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Self-Reliance: The Wisdom of Ralph Waldo Emerson as Inspiration for Daily Living

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  114 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
A finely honed abridgement of Emerson's principal essays with an introduction that clarifies the essence of Emerson's ideas and establishes their relevance to our own troubled era. This is the first truly accessible edition of Emerson's work, revealing him to be one of America's wisest teachers.
ebook, 208 pages
Published April 4th 2012 by Harmony (first published November 5th 1991)
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Hope Morgan
Nov 09, 2014 Hope Morgan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Let me assure the reader that although all of the above may make it sound as though I have changed Emerson beyond recognition, that is by no means the case." -Richard Whelan, Editor

Mr. Whelan, as good as his intentions may have been, rendered Emerson's essays unreadable for me. No editor, after four pages detailing what he or she has changed in the text, should need to assuage the reader of a concern that the original author is no longer present. Those concerns should never arise in the first
Scott Reighard
May 18, 2013 Scott Reighard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
RWE's Self Reliance is a great read. If you can get past the detailed, sometimes boring, narrative, there is a true message that lies underneath the surface. I liken it to a trip to the woods and we see leaves scattered along the way. We may only see leaves strewn about, but sometimes, if we dig under those leaves, we find another world of wonder. That is what this book offers, a look under the leaves. Emerson's style is fluent. It flows well with words that blend together like poetry.

Emerson w
Tony Markey
Dec 16, 2014 Tony Markey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can only read this book in fits and starts. RWE is powerful, crammed with import, and it's as if each sentence is a lightning bolt. I hope I never write with this much power. Such wonderful ideas, so fascinating to think on. Totally recommend that you pick this up and flip through it every 6 months as I do. For the rest of my life, probably.
Jorge Robles sanchez
“It never troubles the sun that some of his rays fall wide and vain into ungrateful space, and only a small part on the reflecting planet. Let your greatness educate the crude and cold companion. If he is unequal, he will presently pass away; but thou art enlarged by thy own shining.”
Aug 04, 2014 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had this from the library but had to return it before I finished it... I read up to the essay titled friendship. Hopefully I can finish it sometime later.
While a good introduction to Emerson, I found myself suspicious of Whelans invasive editing, especially given his propensity for rewording phrases or offering parenthetical explanations that sometimes seemed quite self-evident. In the end, however, I found myself bored enough with Emersons style to be thankful for the abridgement. His ideas are certainly worthwhile, especially in "Spiritual Laws," "Politics," and the titular essay. Also invaluable is the addition by Whelan of Emersons lecture "T ...more
Sep 01, 2011 Ellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed Emerson's essays for decades, and this is an edition that can add much to the reader's understanding of what is meant by Emerson in these writings. Richard Whelan's introduction is quite enlightening and in addition to interpreting Emerson's writings here he also suggests ways in which these spiritual ideas can be put to use in our lives. I personally believe that if each of us followed these principles the world would be a much, much better place. I highly recommend this edition ...more
Jul 05, 2009 Fritz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great condensed introduction to Emerson. A favorite quote or two:

"What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."

"Be, and not seem."

All easier said than done - but how inspirational!
Sep 23, 2012 Stef rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book helpful in getting guidance and inspiration. Emerson is one of my favourite writers. I've had this book for a few years and pick it up from time to time. It's helpful tho, when one has time, to go to some other source and see the complete text. These are abridged versions, so what was extraneous to the author might be useful to another person! :)
Dec 06, 2007 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: open-awareness
I carried this book around with me for 3 years and read it in grocery lines, lunch breaks, between classes. I have probably read it 20 times. Its beautiful. Emmersons writing ignores the ego and speaks to the intelligence within us.
Scott Henkin
Mar 31, 2010 Scott Henkin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Emerson really presents us with a belief that we are part of something bigger. The book is littered with practical advise that still applies and is not archaic.
Jul 20, 2009 Candice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I pick this book up when I get a little bit of free time and am blown away by everything it has to say every time.
Lori Grant
A should-read book on spirituality in self development for knowledge workers, managers, executives, and entrepreneurs.
Oct 08, 2011 DC rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really do love RWE, but this book was not good or as uplifting as I thought it'd be.
Mar 17, 2010 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Definitely some memorable quotes, but it's hard slogging.
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