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Intellectual Life in America

A History

This historical study of intellectuals asks, for every period, who they were, how important they were, and how they saw themselves in relation to other Americans. Lewis Perry considers intellectuals in their varied historical roles as learned gentlemen, as clergymen and public figures, as professionals, as freelance critics, and as a professoriate.

Looking at the changing reputation of the intellect itself, Perry examines many forms of anti-intellectualism, showing that some of these were encouraged by intellectuals as surely as by their antagonists. This work is interpretative, critical, and highly provocative, and it provides what is all too often missing in the study of intellectuals—a sense of historical orientation.

484 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1984, 1988

History: American History

Table of Contents

Preface, 1989
1. Opening Up the Intellectual Globe
Civility and Virtuosity
The South
Reason and Passion
2. The Intellect and the Heart in New England
Sin and Grace
The Divided Soul
3. Awakening and Enlightenment
The Surprising Work of God
The Moral Sense in Virginia
The Middle Colonies
Revolutionary Faith
4. The Reorganization of Intellectual Life
Equality and Respectability
Institutions and Professions
The Surviving Enlightenment
5. Emotions and Ideals in Reorganized America
The Theology of the Feelings
Southern Towns
Manliness and Femininity
Polite Culture
6. The Cultivated Class in the Late Nineteenth Century
The Ideology of Culture
Critiques of Culture
Religion and the Culture of Inquiry
The Intellect Unmoored
7. Modernity and Service
Cultural Relativism
Rebels and Exiles
Cosmopolitanism and the People
Useful Intellectuals
Subcurrents of Anxiety
Dissociated Intelligence
8. The Disconnection of Intellectual Life
Renewal and Orthodoxy
Equality and Elitism
Objective Discipline
Hard Times

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