U.S. Intellectual History Blog

The American Intellectual Tradition Contents

Earlier today Lauren asked whether readers continue to use Hollinger and Capper’s The American Intellectual Tradition. David Hollinger sent me a note in response. He is currently traveling, but he heard there was interest and thus shared a PDF listing the contents of the Sixth Edition of AIT for me to post. Check it out here.

Hollinger also also mentioned that the November issue of Modern Intellectual History will include an article of his recounting the experience Capper and he had in editing six editions of this work, with special attention to the correspondence they have had with colleagues concerning what selections are best included.

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  1. Vol. 1 — 1630 – 1865

    Part One: The Puritan Vision Altered

    John Winthrop, “A Modell of Christian Charity” (1630)
    Anne Hutchinson, “The Examination of Mrs. Anne Hutchinson at the Court at Newtown” (1637)
    Roger Williams, The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience (1644)
    Cotton Mather, Selection from Bonifacius (1710)
    Charles Chauncy, Enthusiasm Decribed and Caution’d Against (1742)
    Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” (1741); Selection from A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections (1746)

    Part Two: Republican Enlightenment

    Benjamin Franklin, Selection from The Autobiography (1784-88)
    John Adams, A Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law (1765)
    Thomas Paine, Selection from Common Sense (1776)
    Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence (1776)
    Alexander Hamilton, “Constitutional Convention Speech on a Plan of Government” (1787)
    “Brutus,” Selection from “Essays of Brutus” (1787-88)
    James Madison, The Federalist, “Number 10” and “Number 51” (1787-88)
    Judith Sargent Murray, “On the Equality of the Sexes” (1790)
    John Adams, Letters to Samuel Adams, October 18, 1790; and to Thomas Jefferson, November 15, 1813; April 19, 1817
    Thomas Jefferson, Selection from Notes on the State of Virginia (1787); Letters to John Adams, October 28, 1813; to Benjamin Rush, with a Syllabus, April 21, 1803; and to Thomas Law, June 13, 1814

    Part Three: Protestant Awakening and Democratic Order

    William Ellery Channing, “Unitarian Christianity” (1819)
    Nathaniel William Taylor, Concio and Clerum (1828)
    Charles Grandison Finney, Selection from Lectures on Revivals of Religion (1835)
    John Humphrey Noyes, Selections from The Berean (1847)
    William Lloyd Garrison, Selection from Thoughts on African Colonization (1832); “Prospectus of The Liberator” (1837)
    Sara Grimke, Selection from Letters on the Equality of the Sexes, and the Condition of Woman (1838)
    George Bancroft, “The Office of the People in Art, Government, and Religion” (1835)
    Orestes Brownson, “The Laboring Classes” (1840)
    Catharine Beecher, Selection from A Treatise on Domestic Economy (1841)
    Henry C. Carey, Selection from The Harmony of Interests (1851)

    Part Four: Romantic Intellect and Cultural Reform

    Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The Divinity School Address” (1838); “Self-Reliance” (1841)
    Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, “A Glimpse of Christ’s Idea of Society” (1841); “Plan of the West Roxbury Community” (1842)
    Margaret Fuller, Selection from Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845)
    Henry David Thoreau, “Resistance to Civil Government” (1849)
    Horace Bushnell, “Christian Nurture” (1847)
    Herman Melville, “Hawthorne and His Mosses” (1850)

    Part Five: The Quest for Union and Renewal

    John C. Calhoun, Selection from A Disquisition on Government (c. late 1840s)
    Louisa McCord, “Enfranchisement of Woman” (1852)
    George Fitzhugh, Selection from Sociology for the South (1854)
    Martin Delany, Selection from The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States (1852)
    Frederick Douglass, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” (1852)
    Abraham Lincoln, “Speech at Peoria, Illinois” (1854); “Address Before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society” (1859); “Address Delivered at the Dedication of the Cemetery at Gettysburg” (1863); “Second Inaugural Address” (1865)

  2. Vol. II – 1865 to the Present

    Part One: Toward a Secular Culture

    Asa Gray, Selection from “Review of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1860)
    Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Selection from “A Plea for Culture” (1867)
    Charles Peirce, “The Fixation of Belief” (1877)
    William Graham Sumner, “Sociology” (1881)
    Charles Augustus Briggs, Selection from Biblical Study (1883)
    Lester Frank Ward, “Mind as a Social Factor” (1844)
    William Dean Howells, “Pernicious Fiction” (1887)
    Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “The Solitude of the Self” (1892)
    Frederick Jackson Turner, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” (1893)
    William James, “The Will to Believe” (1897)
    Josiah Royce, “The Problem of Job” (1898)
    Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Selection from Women and Economics (1898)
    Henry Adams, “The Dynamo and the Virgin” (1907)
    George Santayana, “The Genteel Tradition in American Philosophy” (1913)

    Part Two: Social Progress and the Power of Intellect

    Jane Addams, “The Subjective Necessity of Social Settlements” (1892)
    Thorstein Veblen, Selection from The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899)
    Woodrow Wilson, “The Ideals of America” (1902)
    W.E.B. Du Bois, Selections from The Souls of Black Folk (1903)
    William James, “What Pragmatism Means” (1907)
    Walter Lippmann, Selection from Drift and Mastery (1914)
    Randolph Bourne, “Trans-National America” (1916); “Twilight of Idols” (1917)
    H.L. Mencken, “Puritanism as a Literary Force” (1917)
    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., “Natural Law” (1918)
    John Dewey, “Philosophy and Democracy” (1918)
    Margaret Mead, Selection from Coming of Age in Samoa (1928)
    Joseph Wood Krutch, Selection from The Modern Temper (1929)
    John Crowe Ransom, “Reconstructed and Uregenerate” (1930)
    Sidney Hook, “Communism without Dogmas” (1934)


  3. Vol. II (continued)

    Part Three: To Extend Democracy and to Formulate the Modern

    Clement Greenberg, “Avant-Garde and Kitsch” (1939)
    David E. Lillienthal, Selection from TVA: Democracy on the March (1944)
    Gunnar Myrdal, Selection from An American Dilemma (1944)
    Reinhold Niebuhr, Selection from The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness (1944)
    Erik H. Erikson, Selection from Childhood and Society (1950)
    James Baldwin, “Many Thousands Gone” (1951)
    George F. Kennan, Selection from American Diplomacy, 1900-1950 (1951)
    Whittaker Chambers, Selection from Witness (1952)
    Hannah Arendt, “Ideology and Terror” (1953)
    – J. Robert Oppenheimer, “The Sciences and Man’s Community” (1954)
    Peter F. Drucker, “Innovation–The New Conservatism?” (1959)
    John Courtney Murray, Selection from We Hold These Truths (1960)
    Daniel Bell, “The End of Ideology in the West” (1960)
    W.W. Rostow, Selection from The Stages of Economic Growth (1960)
    Lionel Trilling, “On the Teaching of Modern Literature” (1961)
    Milton Friedman, Selection from Capitalism and Freedom (1962)
    Ayn Rand, “Man’s Rights” (1963)

    Part Four: Reassessing Identities and Solidarities

    Wilfred Cantwell Smith, “Christianity’s Third Great Challenge” (1960)
    Harold John Ockenga, “Resurgent Evangelical Leadership” (1960)
    C. Wright Mills, “Letter to the New Left” (1960)
    Harold Cruse, “Revolutionary Nationalism and the Afro-American” (1962)
    Thomas S. Kuhn, Selection from The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962)
    Betty Friedan, Selection from The Feminine Mystique (1963)
    Martin Luther King, Jr., Selection from “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (1963)
    Susan Sontag, “Against Interpretation” (1964)
    Herbert Marcuse, Selection from One-Dimensional Man (1964)
    Noam Chomsky, “The Responsibility of Intellectuals” (1967)
    Edward W. Said, Selection from Orientalism (1978)
    Nancy J. Chodorow, “Gender, Relation, and Difference in Psychoanalytic Perspective” (1979)
    Richard Rorty, “Science as Solidarity” (1986)
    John Rawls, “The Idea of an Overlapping Consensus” (1987)
    Catharine MacKinnon, Selection from Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law (1987)
    Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Selection from Loose Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars (1990)
    Joan W. Scott, Selection from “The Evidence of Experience” (1991)
    Samuel P. Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations” (1993)
    Sam Harris, Selection from The End of the Faith (2004)
    Stewart Brand, Selection from Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto (2009)

  4. After spending 45 minutes typing up these contents at 2:00 in the morning, I feel that a few comments are in order (and that I’ve earned enough stenographical capital to make them):

    First, typos and errors are mine. Unintentional omissions are mine. Intentional omissions need to be brought to the attention of Hollinger and Capper. 😉

    Second, typing this up enabled me to notice something interesting: for one period in U.S. intellectual history (as periodized by H&C), almost all the texts are complete essays. (I noticed this because I didn’t have to HTML code so many italicized titles.) This would be part 1 of the second volume, from 1860 to 1914. I point this out because it strikes me as interesting that during this time the “great conversation” among American thinkers — at least as sampled in this anthology — was taking place in essay form, in magazines, rather than in monographs, collected sermons, etc. Perhaps this was the golden age of the general readership magazine in American life. Not my field, and not a hill I’m going to die on — just a thought to toss out there.

    Third, I’m glad I seized the opportunity to type up these contents. It brought back to me a whole host of memories associated with my (fairly recent) first pass through these volumes — the crackling conversation of the seminar room, the magisterial brilliance of my prof, the spirited joviality of my fellow classmates. It was a good class, and it was during this semester that I began to believe that I could be(come) an intellectual historian. (That belief has since been shaken, but I’ll get my mojo back eventually.)

    Fourth, I would make note of the fact that both volumes are dedicated to Henry F. May, who must have been a wonderful mentor and friend to these editors. May was one of the authors we read alongside these primary sources in my seminar — we read selections from The Enlightenment in America. I remember it well because of May’s authorial voice, epitomized for me in this sentence from his introduction: “My sympathies are with those who are not sure that they understand themselves and the universe rather than with those who make hard things easy.” That line gave me great encouragement as I slogged my way through a pretty dense thicket of thought all semester long.

    Anyway, I hope the TOC is helpful to those who are thinking about using the books, and I hope it persuades you to use them. I don’t think you could do better for a combination of breadth and at the same time focus. Some selections might easily be replaced with others, but what’s here is worthy enough of one’s attention and well represents the thinking of its time. And you never know what selection, what author is going to light a fire in your students’ minds. For me, it was William Lloyd Garrison and William James — they could not be less alike, and I could not love to read anybody more.

  5. Thanks LD, for your yeoman’s work. I truly appreciate it, as I’m sure do others. In my infinite ignorance about the internets, I assumed everyone could access Google Docs. If anyone would like the PDF, let me know and I can email it.

  6. My advisor still calls Henry May every week, Thursday at 1 pm. He’s in his nineties and still sharp. I’ve enjoyed many stories about him.

    Thanks LD, for the table of contents!

  7. My pleasure.

    I am also glad for the chance to reflect yet again on the nature of the academy as it is exemplified in the relationship of May to his students, and to their students in turn. (I blog about academe and the professoriate. A lot.)

    For a bunch of nerds, introverts, and bookworms, what we do is highly relational and deeply personal. We are beneficiaries and keepers of a living tradition, and the tradition is not in the content of what we study so much as in the care with which each generation hands off the work to those who come after. There’s a lot of hope and trust there — and faith, too, I guess, that what we have done with our lives matters enough that someone else will carry it on after us.

    And I’m so glad to know Henry May is still going strong in his 90s, and that he is able to enjoy the benediction of seeing his students follow in his footsteps.

    The market hasn’t quite triumphed yet.

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