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Essays, First and Second Series

Essays, First and Second Series (Dodo Press) (Paperback) by Ralph Waldo Emerson (Author)

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By the American essayist, poet, and leader of the Transcendentalist movement in the early nineteenth century. He is often identified as the first writer to develop a uniquely American literary style and vision, rather than following in the footsteps of his contemporaries who were strongly influenced by their British cultural heritage. He was considered one of the great orators of the time. His outspoken, uncompromising support for abolitionism later in life caused protest and jeers from crowds when he spoke on the subject. He formulated and first expressed the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his essay Nature (1836) which was the first significant work to establish this new way of looking at the Americas and its raw, natural environment. Emerson's Collected Essays: First (1841) and Second (1844) Series, including his seminal essays on History, Self-Reliance, Compensation, Spiritual Laws, Love, Friendship, Prudence, Heroism, The Over-soul, Circles, Intellect, and Art in the first and The Poet, Experience, Character, Manners, Gifts, Nature, Politics, and Nominalist and Realist in the second, is considered to be one of the 100 greatest books of all time.

Contemporary Reviews

Review of the Second Series from the January 18, 1845 issue of Littell's Living Age

Shorter review of the Second Series from the January 25 issue of the same magazine that year

A more general survey called "Emerson's Essays" from the June 1845 issue of The United States Democratic Review


5 out of 5 stars Mighty thoughts that can shake your life!, July 16, 1998

By Rolando Beirão (Santos, SP - BRAZIL)

This review is from: Essays: First and Second Series (Library of America) (Paperback)

This is one of the greatest books I have ever read. I know that many people don't like to read essays of any kind, but all I can say is that Ralph Waldo Emerson is simply different! Nobody has the gift to write essays and analyze life like him.

His words and ideas are so powerful and deep that we soon realize that they didn't come only from a brilliant mind, but also from a warm-hearted soul!

That's exactly what this book is about: Its sentences break through your brain and penetrate right into your soul! Emerson's optimistic view on human beings and life can only reinforce our courage in mankind and, especially, in ourselves!

What else can I say? His speech is direct, he defends all the good values, tell us to have confidence in ourselves and show us that passing through life with dignity is a matter of choice and courage, and that it simply doesn't change with time. It was like this a thousand years ago, it will probably follow the same rules a thousand years f! ! rom now.

This is the book I grab to comfort my spirit when I'm having difficult times... :) It is a guide that make us believe that anything is possible when we really want it! " Self-Reliance ", one of the essays inside this book, is a masterpiece in its own and I believe it should be studied in every high school, instead some of the crap we are usually obliged to read!

This book can shape your spirit and your mind. It is also possibly THE BEST self-help book you could ever own and, yet, a great literary work.

I would rate this book as ageless and I'm sure the future generations will be still interested in it, in the same way we are in those ancient Greek and Roman texts.

This is precious culture and food for your soul as a bargain! Do not waste more time. READ IT!!!

5 out of 5 stars Pure BUTTER..., November 27, 2001

By "_bits_" (Australia)

This review is from: Essays: First and Second Series (Library of America) (Paperback)

I accidentally found this book in my university library in Australia while I was looking for Thoreau's "Walden". One glance at the Contents page had me hooked, and I can tell you that this has to be one of the most insightful and powerful books ever written. Whether you believe in Christianity, Buddhism, or the Force, this is a must for anyone's personal spiritual canon. The man was a Jedi, and the book is total butter.

5 out of 5 stars Prophetic!, December 5, 2001

By Patrick Dougherty (Dallas, TX USA) (REAL NAME)    

This review is from: Emerson's Essays:First and Second Series (Hardcover)

Emerson's essays are prophetic. Like peeling an onion; every time you read them, you understand life, the human race, and yourself, at a deeper level.

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