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The American Intellectual Tradition

Volume I: 1630 to 1865

Seventh Edition

Edited by David A. Hollinger and General Editor: Charles Capper

Publication Date - 02 November 2015

ISBN: 9780190262327

640 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Traces the evolution of American intellectual writing and thinking from its origins in Puritan beliefs to the most recent essays on diversity and postmodernity


Revised and updated, the seventh edition of this now standard two-volume anthology brings together some of the most historically significant writings in American intellectual history. Uniquely comprehensive, The American Intellectual Tradition includes classic works in philosophy, religion, social theory, political thought, economics, psychology, and cultural and literary criticism. Organized chronologically into thematic sections, the two volumes trace the evolution of American intellectual writing and thinking from its origins in Puritan beliefs to the most recent essays on diversity and postmodernity.

New to this Edition

  • New selections reflecting recent developments in historical scholarship
  • New selections by Samuel Stanhope Smith, Bronson Alcott, Francis Lieber, and others reflecting the increase in scholarly work on early racial science, educational theory, and American nationalism
  • New selections on recent public debates about American "exceptionalism," religion, globalization, race, science, and technology, including Philip Kitcher on atheism, Norbert Wiener on cybernetics, and Francis Fukayama on the geopolitical dynamics of the late twentieth century

About the Author(s)

David A. Hollinger is Preston Hotchkis Professor of History Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include After Cloven Tongues of Fire (2013), Postethnic America: Beyond Multiculturalism (Third Edition, Expanded, 2006), Cosmopolitanism and Solidarity (2006), and Science, Jews, and Secular Culture (1996). He is a former President of the Organization of American Historians and is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Charles Capper is Professor of History at Boston University. He is the author or coeditor of several books, including Margaret Fuller: An American Romantic Life, Vol. 1: The Private Years (OUP, 1992), which won the 1993 Bancroft Prize, and Vol. 2: The Public Years (OUP, 2007); and Transient and Permanent: The Transcendentalist Movement and Its Contexts (1999). He is also a coeditor of Modern Intellectual History.

Previous Publication Date(s)

October 2010


"This is a wonderfully rich collection of primary source readings, intelligently selected and usefully organized. This updated edition is indispensable for undergraduate courses in American intellectual or cultural history, a stimulating supplement to any undergraduate course about the United States, and required reading for graduate students."--Dorothy Ross, Johns Hopkins University

"This sourcebook continues to serve as the cornerstone of my teaching in American thought for undergraduates and graduate students alike. The American Intellectual Tradition provides a comprehensive survey ranging from Puritan theology to postmodern critical theory."--James T. Kloppenberg, Harvard University

Table of Contents

    Volume I: 1630-1868

    Part One: The Puritan Vision Altered

    John Winthrop, "A Modell of Christian Charity" (1630)
    John Cotton, Selection from A Treatise of the Covenant of Grace (1636)
    Anne Hutchinson, "The Examination of Mr.s 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 Described and Caudion'd Against (1742)
    Jonathan Edwards, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" (1741)
    Jonathan Edwards, 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)
    Thomas Jefferson, Letters to John Adams, October 28, 1813; to Benjamin Rush, with a Syllabus, April 21, 1803; and to Thomas Law, June 13, 1814
    Samuel Stanhope Smith, Selection from An Essay on the Causes of the Variety of Complexion and Figure in the Human Species (1810)

    Part Three: Protestant Awakening and Democratic Order

    William Ellery Channing, "Unitarian Christianity" (1819)
    Nathaniel William Taylor, Concio ad Clerum (1828)
    Charles Grandison Finney, Selection from Lectures on Revivals of Religion (1835)
    John Humphrey Noyes, Selection from The Berean (1847)
    William Lloyd Garrison, Selection from Thoughts on African Colonization (1832)
    William Lloyd Garrison, "Prospectus of The Liberator" (1837)
    Sarah Grimké, 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

    A. Bronson Alcott, Selection from Conversations with Children on the Gospels (1836-37)
    Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The Divinity School Address" (1838)
    Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance" (1841)
    Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, "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)
    Abraham Lincoln, "Address Before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society" (1859)
    Abraham Lincoln, "Address Delivered at the Declaration of the Cemetery at Gettysburg" (1863)
    Abraham Lincoln, "Second Inaugural Address" (1865)
    Francis Lieber, "Nationalism and Internationalism" (1868)