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    Making the American Self: Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln (Paperback) By (author) Daniel Walker Howe

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    DescriptionOriginally published in 1997 and now back in print, Making the American Self by Daniel Walker Howe, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of What Hath God Wrought, charts the genesis and fascinating trajectory of a central idea in American history. One of the most precious liberties Americans have always cherished is the ability to "make something of themselves"-to choose not only an occupation but an identity. Examining works by Benjamin Franklin, Jonathan Edwards, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and others, Howe investigates how Americans in the 18th and 19th centuries engaged in the process of "self-construction," "self-improvement," and the "pursuit of happiness." He explores as well how Americans understood individual identity in relation to the larger body politic, and argues that the conscious construction of the autonomous self was in fact essential to American democracy-that it both shaped and was in turn shaped by American democratic institutions. "The thinkers described in this book," Howe writes, "believed that, to the extent individuals exercised self-control, they were making free institutions-liberal, republican, and democratic-possible." And as the scope of American democracy widened so too did the practice of self-construction, moving beyond the preserve of elite white males to potentially all Americans. Howe concludes that the time has come to ground our democracy once again in habits of personal responsibility, civility, and self-discipline esteemed by some of America's most important thinkers. Erudite, beautifully written, and more pertinent than ever as we enter a new era of individual and governmental responsibility, Making the American Self illuminates an impulse at the very heart of the American experience.


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  • Full bibliographic data for Making the American Self

    Title
    Making the American Self
    Subtitle
    Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Daniel Walker Howe
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 352
    Width: 155 mm
    Height: 231 mm
    Thickness: 20 mm
    Weight: 499 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780195387896
    ISBN 10: 0195387899
    Classifications

    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 25590
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC subject category V2: HBLL
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.2
    BIC subject category V2: HBTB
    BIC E4L: HIS
    BIC subject category V2: HBJK
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    LC subject heading:
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 01
    Ingram Subject Code: HS
    B&T General Subject: 430
    DC22: 973
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 05
    B&T Merchandise Category: POD
    BISAC V2.8: HIS036000
    Abridged Dewey: 973
    Libri: I-HS
    B&T Approval Code: A16010000
    BISAC V2.8: POL031000
    B&T Approval Code: A14504600
    LC subject heading: , , , ,
    BISAC V2.8: HIS054000
    LC classification: E169.1 .H769 2009
    Thema V1.0: NHTB, NHK
    Illustrations note
    black & white illustrations
    Publisher
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Imprint name
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Publication date
    15 October 2009
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Author Information
    Daniel Walker Howe is Rhodes Professor of American History Emeritus, Oxford University and Professor of History Emeritus, University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of What Hath God Wrought (OUP 2007), which won the Pulitzer Prize in History, The Unitarian Conscience, and The Political Culture of the American Whigs. He lives in Los Angeles.
    Review quote
    "An erudite, original, and often eloquent reconstruction of, and tribute to, a vital and protean tradition in American liberal culture."--Charles Capper, Boston University "By reinvigorating a vanished past...Howe provides also much to ponder for the present. We have no better historian on broad questions at the intersection of mind and culture in the American past than Howe."--Mark A. Noll, University of Notre Dame "Howe succeeds triumphantly in linking the cultural gestures of politicos like Madison and Lincoln with the formal systems of thinkers like Edwards, and middle-brow culture brokers like Mann, Emerson, and Fuller. His skill in dovetailing these otherwise angular and resistant minds illuminates landscapes of the American intellect...long closed off to view."--Allen C. Guelzo, Books & Culture
    Table of contents
    INTRODUCTION ; I VIRTUE AND PASSION IN THE AMERICAN ENLIGHTENMENT ; 1. Benjamin Franklin, Jonathan Edwards, and the Problem of Human Nature ; 2. The American Founders and the Scottish Enlightenment ; 3. The Political Psychology of The Federalist ; II CONSTRUCTING CHARACTER IN ANTEBELLUM AMERICA ; 4. The Emerging Ideal of Self-Improvement ; 5. Self-Made Men: Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass ; 6. Shaping the Selves of Others ; III THE CULTIVATION OF THE SELF AMONG THE NEW ENGLAND ROMANTICS ; 7. The Platonic Quest in New England ; 8. Margaret Fuller's Heroic Ideal of Womanhood ; 9. The Constructed Self Against the State ; CONCLUSION ; NOTES