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Walden’s Shore: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Science by Robert M. Thorson (review)

Walden’s Shore: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Science by Robert M. Thorson (review) REVIEWS shapers of a distinctive southern culture that combined the best of the past and the present'' (9). By telling the stories of De Bow's readers, Kvach does more than demonstrate the wide reception of De Bow's writing; he presents a group portrait of antebellum elites who transcended regional stereotypes and faced the future with optimism and innovation. Short sketches of subscribers reveal that their entrepreneurial spirit ruined them during the war, when Confederate authorities confiscated their vital businesses and Union armies destroyed them. Kvach's brief sketches of individual subscribers left this reviewer wanting a deeper look into their lives. These were prominent, articulate people who no doubt left extensive manuscript records, but we seldom hear their voices in this book. Kvach consults some manuscript collections, but he relies more on economic data, newspapers, and periodicals to interpret De Bow's readers and rivals. In short, this book provides more of a socioeconomic portrait than a cultural and intellectual one. Kvach's approach accomplishes much, but the cultural dimensions of De Bow's vision might explain how he managed to dance between economic innovation and social conservatism. More cultural history would have enabled Kvach to engage recent histories of nineteenth-century capitalism http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

Walden’s Shore: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Science by Robert M. Thorson (review)

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 34 (4) – Nov 24, 2014

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620
Publisher site
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Abstract

REVIEWS shapers of a distinctive southern culture that combined the best of the past and the present'' (9). By telling the stories of De Bow's readers, Kvach does more than demonstrate the wide reception of De Bow's writing; he presents a group portrait of antebellum elites who transcended regional stereotypes and faced the future with optimism and innovation. Short sketches of subscribers reveal that their entrepreneurial spirit ruined them during the war, when Confederate authorities confiscated their vital businesses and Union armies destroyed them. Kvach's brief sketches of individual subscribers left this reviewer wanting a deeper look into their lives. These were prominent, articulate people who no doubt left extensive manuscript records, but we seldom hear their voices in this book. Kvach consults some manuscript collections, but he relies more on economic data, newspapers, and periodicals to interpret De Bow's readers and rivals. In short, this book provides more of a socioeconomic portrait than a cultural and intellectual one. Kvach's approach accomplishes much, but the cultural dimensions of De Bow's vision might explain how he managed to dance between economic innovation and social conservatism. More cultural history would have enabled Kvach to engage recent histories of nineteenth-century capitalism

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Nov 24, 2014

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