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Freedom and Fate in American Thought: From Edwards to Dewey


reviewed by J. David Hoeveler, Jr. 1979

coverTitle: Freedom and Fate in American Thought: From Edwards to Dewey
Author(s): Paul F. Jr. Boller
Publisher: John Wiley, New York
ISBN: , Pages: , Year:
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Many students and teachers of American intellectual history have become familiar with the works of Paul F. Boller, Jr. His several texts, including especially American Thought in Transition: The Impact of Evolutionary Naturalism, 1865-1900 (1969) and American Transcendentalism, 1830-1860: An Intellectual Inquiry (1974) are useful and insightful summaries of two critical periods in the history of American ideas. In his latest work, Boller has charted a large thematic course that centers on one of the most elusive but most intriguing and suggestive themes in our literature, the issue of freedom and fate. Boller gives these terms elastic meanings: "freedom," "liberty," "free will," "natural rights," "determinism," "predestination," "discipline," and "authority" express their several variations. And the spectrum of opinion runs the full length of extremes. On the Right, expressing the skeptical position on freedom, are Mark Twain and Jonathan Edwards. In the middle stand Ralph Waldo Emerson, John C. Calhoun, and John Dewey. The "radical" voices of freedom are Thomas Paine, Frederick Douglass, Edward Bellamy, and William James.... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 80 Number 4, 1979, p. 789-791
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 1113, Date Accessed: 12/18/2017 9:55:31 AM

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About the Author
  • J. Hoeveler, Jr.
    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    E-mail Author
    J. David Hoeveler, Jr., is Associate Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is the author of The New Humanism: A Critique of Modern America, 1900-1940 and has recently completed a biography of James Mc Cosh.
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