All Clever Men, Who Make Their Way

Critical Discourse in the Old South

Edited by Michael O'Brien

Title Details

Pages: 488

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 05/01/2008

ISBN: 9-780-8203-3201-7

List Price: $39.95

All Clever Men, Who Make Their Way

Critical Discourse in the Old South

Edited by Michael O'Brien

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  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Contributors
From the pages of forgotten journals and literary magazines Michael O'Brien assembles fourteen pieces that effectively challenge the long-prevailing notion that the mind of the Old South was superficial, unintellectual, and obsessed with race and slavery. In this book are discourses on subjects ranging from English empirical thought to neoclassical aesthetics, from the enfranchisement of women to transcendental theology, from the works of Hawthorne and Emerson to the social system of Virginia.

All Clever Men Who Make Their Way deserves a serious reading. Surveying the problems students of southern antebellum thinking face, which include the anonymity of many essayists, O'Brien's lively introduction sheds light on the society itself.

Journal of Southern History

This handsomely designed and printed book deserves wide circulation and readership. The book testifies to the justice of giving the antebellum southern an 'uninterrupted moment in the court of historical opinion.' O'Brien has called the court to order and presented an argument. One hopes other historians will do the same.

Journal of the Early Republic

If we want to understand the traditions of the Old South, especially of the towns and cities, we shall have to follow O'Brien's advice and look not only at tax lists and census reports (which are indisputably important sources) but also at books and journals that were directed to an audience of men and women who wanted to view themselves as reasonable people living in a world hospitable to rationality.

Georgia Historical Quarterly

James Hervey Smith

Jesse Burton Harrison

Hugh Swinton Legaré

Thomas Roderick Dew

George Frederick Holmes

Henry Augustine Washington

James Warley Miles

Charles E. A. Gayarré

Frederick Adolphus Porcher

Louisa Susanna McCord

Richard Henry Nisbet

Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve

James Henley Thornwell

About the Author/Editor

MICHAEL O’BRIEN was Reader in American Intellectual History at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Jesus College. He is founder of the Southern Intellectual History Circle and series editor of the Publications of the Southern Texts Society. O’Brien is the author or editor of several books on southern intellectual history, including the Bancroft Prize-winner, Conjectures of Order.