Catalogue


The Americanist /
Daniel Aaron.
imprint
Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2007.
description
199 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0472115774 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780472115778 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2007.
isbn
0472115774 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780472115778 (cloth : alk. paper)
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
6112494
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2007-11-01:
Also author of the excellent Writers on the Left (1961) and The Unwritten War (CH, Feb'74), Aaron (emer., English and American literature, Harvard), the "Americanist" of the title, describes himself as "a type of native son neither estranged from the collective American family nor unreservedly clasped to its bosom." The son of Russian Jewish immigrants, Aaron was among the first to earn a PhD in Harvard's American civilization program; he went on to teach for many years not only at Harvard but also at Smith College and abroad in Austria, Finland, Poland, Uruguay, and China. In lucid, unpretentious prose, Aaron recounts the growth of his Americanism in the antifascism of the 1930s, the anti-McCarthyism of the 1950s, and the social unrest of the 1960s. His reflections include his encounters with a wide range of literary figures: Theodore Roethke, W. H. Auden, Robert Frost, Katherine Anne Porter, Truman Capote, Richard Wright, Edmund Wilson, Mary McCarthy, Irving Howe, et al. This is not only compelling memoir; it is a fine meditation on what it means to know America and to be American. Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers. G. Grieve-Carlson Lebanon Valley College
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 2007
Reference & Research Book News, November 2007
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
"I have read all of Daniel Aaron's books, and admired them, but inThe AmericanistI believe he has composed an intellectual and social memoir for which he will be remembered. His self-portrait is marked by personal tact and admirable restraint: he is and is not its subject.The Americanistis a vision of otherness: literary and academic friends and acquaintances, here and abroad. Eloquently phrased and free of nostalgia, it catches a lost world that yet engendered much of our own." Harold Bloom "The Americanistis the absorbing intellectual autobiography of Daniel Aaron, who is the leading proponent and practitioner of American Studies. Written with grace and wit, it skillfully blends Daniel Aaron's personal story with the history of the field he has done so much to create. This is a first-rate book by a first-rate scholar." David Herbert Donald, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University The Americanistis author and critic Daniel Aaron's anthem to nearly a century of public and private life in America and abroad. Aaron, who is widely regarded as one of the founders of American Studies, graduated from the University of Michigan, received his Ph.D. from Harvard, and taught for over three decades each at Smith College and Harvard. Aaron writes with unsentimental nostalgia about his childhood in Los Angeles and Chicago and his later academic career, which took him around the globe, often in the role of America's accidental yet impartial critic. When Walt Whitman, whom Aaron frequently cites as a touchstone, wrote, "I am large, I contain multitudes," he could have been describing Daniel Aaronthe consummate erudite and Renaissance individual whose allegiance to the truth always outweighs mere partisan loyalty. Not only should Aaron's book stand as a resplendent and summative work from one of the finest thinkers of the last hundred years, it also succeeds on its own as a first-rate piece of literature, on a par with the writings of any of its subjects.The Americanistis a veritable Who's Who of twentieth-century writers Aaron interviewed, interacted with, or otherwise encountered throughout his life: Ralph Ellison, Robert Frost, Lillian Hellman, Richard Hofstadter, Alfred Kazin, Sinclair Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge, John Crowe Ransom, Upton Sinclair, Edmund Wilson, Leonard Woolf, and W. B. Yeats, to name only a few. Aaron's frank and personal observations of these literary lights make for lively reading. As well, scattered throughoutThe Americanistare illuminating portraits of American presidents living and passedminiature masterworks of astute political observation that offer dazzlingly fresh approaches to well-trod subjects.
Main Description
The Americanist is author and critic Daniel Aaron's anthem to nearly a century of public and private life in America and abroad. Aaron, who is widely regarded as one of the founders of American Studies, graduated from the University of Michigan, received his Ph.D. from Harvard, and taught for over three decades each at Smith College and Harvard. Aaron writes with unsentimental nostalgia about his childhood in Los Angeles and Chicago and his later academic career, which took him around the globe, often in the role of America's accidental yet impartial critic. When Walt Whitman, whom Aaron frequently cites as a touchstone, wrote, "I am large, I contain multitudes," he could have been describing Daniel Aaronthe consummate erudite and Renaissance individual whose allegiance to the truth always outweighs mere partisan loyalty. Not only should Aaron's book stand as a resplendent and summative work from one of the finest thinkers of the last hundred years, it also succeeds on its own as a first-rate piece of literature, on a par with the writings of any of its subjects. The Americanist is a veritable Who's Who of twentieth-century writers Aaron interviewed, interacted with, or otherwise encountered throughout his life: Ralph Ellison, Robert Frost, Lillian Hellman, Richard Hofstadter, Alfred Kazin, Sinclair Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge, John Crowe Ransom, Upton Sinclair, Edmund Wilson, Leonard Woolf, and W. B. Yeats, to name only a few. Aaron's frank and personal observations of these literary lights make for lively reading. As well, scattered throughout The Americanist are illuminating portraits of American presidents living and passedminiature masterworks of astute political observation that offer dazzlingly fresh approaches to well-trod subjects. Daniel Aaron is Victor S. Thomas Professor of English and American Literature, Emeritus, Harvard University. His many books include Men of Good Hope: A Story of American Progressives, Writers on the Left, The Unwritten War: American Writers and the Civil War, Studies in Biography, and The Inman Diary: A Public and Private Confession.
Main Description
The Americanistis author and critic Daniel Aaron's anthem to nearly a century of public and private life in America and abroad. Aaron, who is widely regarded as one of the founders of American Studies, graduated from the University of Michigan, received his Ph.D. from Harvard, and taught for over three decades each at Smith College and Harvard. Aaron writes with unsentimental nostalgia about his childhood in Los Angeles and Chicago and his later academic career, which took him around the globe, often in the role of America's accidental yet impartial critic. When Walt Whitman, whom Aaron frequently cites as a touchstone, wrote, "I am large, I contain multitudes," he could have been describing Daniel Aaronthe consummate erudite and Renaissance individual whose allegiance to the truth always outweighs mere partisan loyalty. Not only should Aaron's book stand as a resplendent and summative work from one of the finest thinkers of the last hundred years, it also succeeds on its own as a first-rate piece of literature, on a par with the writings of any of its subjects.The Americanistis a veritable Who's Who of twentieth-century writers Aaron interviewed, interacted with, or otherwise encountered throughout his life: Ralph Ellison, Robert Frost, Lillian Hellman, Richard Hofstadter, Alfred Kazin, Sinclair Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge, John Crowe Ransom, Upton Sinclair, Edmund Wilson, Leonard Woolf, and W. B. Yeats, to name only a few. Aaron's frank and personal observations of these literary lights make for lively reading. As well, scattered throughoutThe Americanistare illuminating portraits of American presidents living and passedminiature masterworks of astute political observation that offer dazzlingly fresh approaches to well-trod subjects. Daniel Aaron is Victor S. Thomas Professor of English and American Literature, Emeritus, Harvard University. His many books includeMen of Good Hope: A Story of American Progressives, Writers on the Left, The Unwritten War: American Writers and the Civil War, Studies in Biography,andThe Inman Diary: A Public and Private Confession.
Main Description
"I have read all of Daniel Aaron's books, and admired them, but in The AmericanistI believe he has composed an intellectual and social memoir for which he will be remembered. His self-portrait is marked by personal tact and admirable restraint: he is and is not its subject. The Americanistis a vision of otherness: literary and academic friends and acquaintances, here and abroad. Eloquently phrased and free of nostalgia, it catches a lost world that yet engendered much of our own." --Harold Bloom " The Americanistis the absorbing intellectual autobiography of Daniel Aaron, who is the leading proponent and practitioner of American Studies. Written with grace and wit, it skillfully blends Daniel Aaron's personal story with the history of the field he has done so much to create. This is a first-rate book by a first-rate scholar." --David Herbert Donald, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University The Americanistis author and critic Daniel Aaron's anthem to nearly a century of public and private life in America and abroad. Aaron, who is widely regarded as one of the founders of American Studies, graduated from the University of Michigan, received his Ph.D. from Harvard, and taught for over three decades each at Smith College and Harvard. Aaron writes with unsentimental nostalgia about his childhood in Los Angeles and Chicago and his later academic career, which took him around the globe, often in the role of America's accidental yet impartial critic. When Walt Whitman, whom Aaron frequently cites as a touchstone, wrote, "I am large, I contain multitudes," he could have been describing Daniel Aaron--the consummate erudite and Renaissance individual whose allegiance to the truth always outweighs mere partisan loyalty. Not only should Aaron's book stand as a resplendent and summative work from one of the finest thinkers of the last hundred years, it also succeeds on its own as a first-rate piece of literature, on a par with the writings of any of its subjects. The Americanistis a veritable Who's Who of twentieth-century writers Aaron interviewed, interacted with, or otherwise encountered throughout his life: Ralph Ellison, Robert Frost, Lillian Hellman, Richard Hofstadter, Alfred Kazin, Sinclair Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge, John Crowe Ransom, Upton Sinclair, Edmund Wilson, Leonard Woolf, and W. B. Yeats, to name only a few. Aaron's frank and personal observations of these literary lights make for lively reading. As well, scattered throughout The Americanistare illuminating portraits of American presidents living and passed--miniature masterworks of astute political observation that offer dazzlingly fresh approaches to well-trod subjects.
Main Description
"I have read all of Daniel Aaron's books, and admired them, but inThe AmericanistI believe he has composed an intellectual and social memoir for which he will be remembered. His self-portrait is marked by personal tact and admirable restraint: he is and is not its subject.The Americanistis a vision of otherness: literary and academic friends and acquaintances, here and abroad. Eloquently phrased and free of nostalgia, it catches a lost world that yet engendered much of our own." Harold Bloom "The Americanistis the absorbing intellectual autobiography of Daniel Aaron, who is the leading proponent and practitioner of American Studies. Written with grace and wit, it skillfully blends Daniel Aaron's personal story with the history of the field he has done so much to create. This is a first-rate book by a first-rate scholar." David Herbert Donald, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University The Americanistis author and critic Daniel Aaron's anthem to nearly a century of public and private life in America and abroad. Aaron, who is widely regarded as one of the founders of American Studies, graduated from the University of Michigan, received his Ph.D. from Harvard, and taught for over three decades each at Smith College and Harvard. Aaron writes with unsentimental nostalgia about his childhood in Los Angeles and Chicago and his later academic career, which took him around the globe, often in the role of America's accidental yet impartial critic. When Walt Whitman, whom Aaron frequently cites as a touchstone, wrote, "I am large, I contain multitudes," he could have been describing Daniel Aaronthe consummate erudite and Renaissance individual whose allegiance to the truth always outweighs mere partisan loyalty. Not only should Aaron's book stand as a resplendent and summative work from one of the finest thinkers of the last hundred years, it also succeeds on its own as a first-rate piece of literature, on a par with the writings of any of its subjects.The Americanistis a veritable Who's Who of twentieth-century writers Aaron interviewed, interacted with, or otherwise encountered throughout his life: Ralph Ellison, Robert Frost, Lillian Hellman, Richard Hofstadter, Alfred Kazin, Sinclair Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge, John Crowe Ransom, Upton Sinclair, Edmund Wilson, Leonard Woolf, and W. B. Yeats, to name only a few.

Long Description
" I have read all of Daniel Aaron' s books, and admired them, but in "The Americanist" I believe he has composed an intellectual and social memoir for which he will be remembered. His self-portrait is marked by personal tact and admirable restraint: he is and is not its subject. "The Americanist" is a vision of otherness: literary and academic friends and acquaintances, here and abroad. Eloquently phrased and free of nostalgia, it catches a lost world that yet engendered much of our own." -- Harold Bloom " "The Americanist" is the absorbing intellectual autobiography of Daniel Aaron, who is the leading proponent and practitioner of American Studies. Written with grace and wit, it skillfully blends Daniel Aaron' s personal story with the history of the field he has done so much to create. This is a first-rate book by a first-rate scholar." -- David Herbert Donald, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University "The Americanist" is author and critic Daniel Aaron' s anthem to nearly a century of public and private life in America and abroad. Aaron, who is widely regarded as one of the founders of American Studies, graduated from the University of Michigan, received his Ph.D. from Harvard, and taught for over three decades each at Smith College and Harvard. Aaron writes with unsentimental nostalgia about his childhood in Los Angeles and Chicago and his later academic career, which took him around the globe, often in the role of America' s accidental yet impartial critic. When Walt Whitman, whom Aaron frequently cites as a touchstone, wrote, " I am large, I containmultitudes, " he could have been describing Daniel Aaron-- the consummate erudite and Renaissance individual whose allegiance to the truth always outweighs mere partisan loyalty. Not only should Aaron' s book stand as a resplendent and summative work from one of the finest thinkers of the last hundred years, it also succeeds on its own as a first-rate piece of literature, on a par with the writings of any of its subjects. "The Americanist" is a veritable Who' s Who of twentieth-century writers Aaron interviewed, interacted with, or otherwise encountered throughout his life: Ralph Ellison, Robert Frost, Lillian Hellman, Richard Hofstadter, Alfred Kazin, Sinclair Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge, John Crowe Ransom, Upton Sinclair, Edmund Wilson, Leonard Woolf, and W. B. Yeats, to name only a few. Aaron' s frank and personal observations of these literary lights make for lively reading. As well, scattered throughout "The Americanist" are illuminating portraits of American presidents living and passed-- miniature masterworks of astute political observation that offer dazzlingly fresh approaches to well-trod subjects.

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