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Representative Men

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  114 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
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Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published (first published 1850)
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Nov 16, 2009 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
Emerson can annoy me at times, but when he’s in full cry, his ecstatic professions of readerly adventure and speculative gusto are difficult to dislike. He writes the marching songs of America’s thinking men; and like Whitman’s

I have witness’d the true lightning—I have witness’d my cities electric;
I have lived to behold man burst forth, and warlike America rise...


All the past we leave behind;
We debouch upon a newer, mightier world, varied world,
Fresh and strong the world we seize, world o
Sep 22, 2009 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Emerson's "Representative Men" is a selection of exemplars from history that more or less became the typification in Emerson's mind of the kind of giants that have gone before and trailblazed a way to truth and understanding within western civilization. Included in the essays are discussions on the contributions of (in order of my favorites) Montaigne (representative of skeptics), Shakespeare (of poets), Plato (of philosophers), Goethe (of writers), Napoleon (of 'leaders of the people' [my words ...more
Dec 10, 2009 Patdmac7 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This is only from the Napoleon essay:

Few men have any next; they live from hand to mouth, without plan, and are ever at the end of their line, and after each action wait for an impulse from abroad.

"Incidents ought not to govern policy," he {Napoleon} said, "but policy, incidents."

"To be hurried away by every event is to have no political system at all." NB

He saw only the object: the obstacle must give way.

Having decided what was to be done, he did that with might and main. He put out all his str
Aug 26, 2011 Stephanie rated it really liked it
I am not too far into this yet, but there is a lot of good, deep and truthful stuff in here. It is inspiring!
not sure if this is the book I read. Published in 1892 by Henry Altimus Begins with Uses of Great men?
Jennifer Rabchuk
Short but sweet biographies of influential men in the history of the Christian church.
Mar 02, 2013 Jenyoseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed the chapter on Michel de Montaigne.
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in 1803, Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston. Educated at Harvard and the Cambridge Divinity School, he became a Unitarian minister in 1826 at the Second Church Unitarian. The congregation, with Christian overtones, issued communion, something Emerson refused to do. "Really, it is beyond my comprehension," Emerson once said, when asked by a seminary professor whether he believed in God. (Quoted ...more
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“Every hero becomes a bore at last.” 15 likes
“Other men are lenses through which we read our own minds.” 4 likes
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