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The Metaphysical Club


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About the Author

Louis Menand is a professor of English at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, a staff writer at The New Yorker, and has been a contributing editor of The New York Review of Books since 1994. This is his first book for a general readership.


'Zestfully good, urbane and original, The Metaphysical Club enlivens virtually everything it touches, and on its frequent diversions it touches many things: natural selection and racism; probability distributions and disputed wills; the Dartmouth case and academic freedom. Anybody interested in modern America will find rewards aplenty.' Economist 'Brilliant... Menand brings rare common sense and graceful, witty prose to his richly nuanced reading of American intellectual history -- a story that takes in (to name only a few of the other players) Emerson, Hegel, Kant, the second Great Awakening, probability theory, the nebular hypothesis, the Pullman strike, academic freedom and the ever-present issue of race.' New York Review of Books 'Menand's book is an extraordinary collective biography, at once erudite and enthralling.' DANIEL KEVLES 'The Metaphysical Club makes a genuinely original contribution to our national self-understanding. . . as evocative, and precise, as a Luminist painting.' HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR. 'This is a richly populated, intellectually thrilling book in which America is shown to be discovering its future.' RICHARD POIRIER

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