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Representative Men (Seven Lectures) (Modern Library) Paperback – 15 Jul 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library Inc; Modern Library Pbk. Ed edition (15 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812970055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812970050
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,759,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Andrew Delbanco is Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. Among his many publications are The Puritan Ordeal and The Real American Dream: A Meditation on Hope (both from Harvard). --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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It is natural to believe in great men. Read the first page
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6 of 25 people found the following review helpful
ripoff 20 Aug. 2002
By supastar - Published on
Format: Paperback
this is one of my favorite Emerson works. It opens itself up to so much, talking about his theories of influence, precursing everything from queer theory and gender transitivity to Harold Bloom, and it is a poem, too. It's beautiful. It offers his thoughts on the most diverse materials, gets into the most detail on his Hindu readings, gets very brave in "Swedenborg." But ... for a 165-page book? Delbanco's intro is boring and useless. Don't even READ it before you read the book. It'll be like watching an educational video on yeast infections before watching a porno. The index is a kind of neat feature; it's cool to see how many men are mentioned how many times. For example, the most obvious 'omission' in the book, JESUS, is mentioned only 5 times in the book, but he lurks throughout in so many ways. I love the book, but think the edition is a huge ripoff. However, it is difficult to find all these essays in one volume without buying a "complete works" or something, and they are ALL good and work together as a complete 'book,' one essay building off the prior in subject and time, going from B.C. to the nineteenth century, from Plato to Napoleon and Goethe.
0 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Emerson's 'great man' 20 Feb. 2006
By Shalom Freedman - Published on
Format: Unknown Binding
Great men are those who inspire new great men into being. So Emerson understood in his seven portraits of human greatness. The poet Shakespeare and the philosopher Plato, the skeptic Montaigne and the mystic Swedenborg,the man of the world Napoleon and the writer Goethe.

Of great men he said,"Nature seems to exist for the excellent. The world is upheld by the veracity of good men: they make the earth wholesome. They who lived with them found life glad and nutritious..... We call our children and our lands by their names. Their names are wrought into the verbs of language, their works and effigies are in our houses, and every circumstance of the day recalls an anecdote of them."

It is interesting that of Emerson's great men two would certainly be in question today. Swedenborg does not have the followers in our day that he had in Emerson's. Napoleon today can be considered in these terms only if we are also willing to discuss the horrible aspect of conqueror- great- men and the millions of dead that come with the conquests.

Emerson a sublime argument for his conception of ' the great man', of the unique character who makes a gift to Mankind no one else has or can .
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