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Short Synopsis
The Transcendentalists and Their World offers a fresh view of the thinkers whose outsize impact on philosophy and literature would spread from tiny Concord to all corners of the earth.

Full Synopsis
The Transcendentalists and Their World offers a fresh view of the thinkers whose outsize impact on philosophy and literature would spread from tiny Concord to all corners of the earth. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the Alcotts called this New England town home, and Thoreau drew on its life extensively in his classic Walden. But Concord from the 1820s through the 1840s was no pastoral place fit for poets and philosophers.

The Transcendentalists lived through a transformative epoch of American life. Concord was a community in ferment, whose small, ordered society was unsettled through the expansive forces of capitalism and democracy. These changes challenged a world of inherited institutions and involuntary associations with a new premium on autonomy and choice.

The Transcendentalists and Their World is both an intimate journey into the life of a community and a searching cultural study of major American writers as they plumbed the depths of the universe for spiritual truths and surveyed the rapidly changing contours of their own neighborhoods. It shows us familiar figures in American literature alongside their neighbors at every level of the social order, and it reveals how this common life in Concord entered powerfully into their works.

The Transcendentalists and Their World

Author Robert A. Gross

Narrated by Paul Brion

Publication date Apr 26, 2022

Running time 26 hrs 13 min

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