Like the preceding books in The Representative Americans series, The Romantics makes history human by putting tissue on the skeletal framework of names and dates. Risjord uses a biographical approach to make the past more concrete and vivid, to recover a heritage that today's reader can feel and experience. The Romantics treats people whose principal contributions fell in the first half of the nineteenth century, though several of those studied lived into the Civil War era and beyond.While certain individuals may be unfamiliar to readers -- the slaves Prince and Fed, Free Frank, a black farmer of Kentucky and Illinois, and the "Lowell Girls", Lucy Lacom and Sarah Bagley -- the majority of the figures studied in The Romantics are well known. Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams carry the political story at the beginning of the era; John C. Fremont bears that burden at the end of the time period. The heart of the volume introduces some of the leading literary and cultural figures of the age -- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne -- as well as some of the voices of reform -- Horace Mann, Frances Wright, Catharine Beecher, and Theodore and Angelina Grimke Weld. Tying it all together is the prevailing spirit of American Romanticism.
Print Book, English, ©2001
Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, ©2001
xiii, 400 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.
9780742520820, 9780742520837, 074252082X, 0742520838
pt. 1. The political theater: Andrew Jackson vs. John Quincy Adams. The soldier and the diplomat: fortuitous allies ; Contrasting styles of presidency ; Old man eloquent
pt. 2. Literary romantics. Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosopher-poet ; Margaret Fuller: the romantic as feminist ; Nathaniel Hawthorne: the romance and the reality of domesticity
pt. 3. Impulse to reform. Horace Mann: in a republic, ignorance is a crime ; Frances Wright: the cost of social change ; Catharine Beecher: the limits of reform ; Theodore and Angelina Grimke Weld: the antislavery dilemma
pt. 4. (Un)common lives. Prince and fed: varieties of slave experience ; Lucy Larcom and Sarah Bagley: Lowell girls ; Free Frank, subtle entrepreneur
pt. 5. Of men and nature. Osceola: the tragedy of Indian removal ; Jedediah Strong Smith, mountain man ; John C. Fremont, destiny's agent
"A Madison House book."