Anne's Reviews > William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism

William James by Robert D. Richardson
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Dec 22, 11

Read from October 21 to 22, 2011

I really liked William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism because it gave me some good insights into the life of Henry James's elder brother, a successful writer and thinker in his own right. Since I'm writing a paper on Henry James's work right now, some of which I hope will go into my dissertation, I wanted to get some background on William's life and writing, especially his writing about the psychology of emotion, which is my area of interest in Henry's fiction. William James articulated his theory of emotion so well that his theory is still considered relevant more than 100 years later. The biography is only difficult in a few places, where Richardson, the author, has to unpack some really complex ideas found in William James's writings. This book would be best for people who have an interest in the James family, late-nineteenth-century conceptions of medicine, science, evolution, philosophy, and psychology, as well as anyone interested in understanding the world of Harvard University (where James was a professor) at the end of the nineteenth century.
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