Louis Menand


Born
in Syracuse, The United States
January 21, 1952

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Louis Menand, professor of English at Harvard University, is the author of The Metaphysical Club, which won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in History. A longtime staff writer for The New Yorker, he lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Average rating: 3.99 · 6,815 ratings · 706 reviews · 25 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Metaphysical Club

4.07 avg rating — 3,895 ratings — published 2001 — 14 editions
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The Marketplace of Ideas: R...

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3.58 avg rating — 287 ratings — published 2010 — 10 editions
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Pragmatism: A Reader

3.96 avg rating — 219 ratings — published 1997
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American Studies

3.92 avg rating — 212 ratings — published 2002 — 9 editions
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The Best American Essays 2004

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3.93 avg rating — 180 ratings — published 2004 — 3 editions
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Discovering Modernism: T.S....

3.72 avg rating — 29 ratings — published 1986 — 5 editions
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The Future of Academic Freedom

3.50 avg rating — 10 ratings — published 1996 — 2 editions
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The Story of the Soup Cans

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 2 ratings
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The Rise of the Research Un...

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it was ok 2.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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Autobiography and Recollect...

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 2008 — 6 editions
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“Quotable quotes are coins rubbed smooth by circulation.”
Louis Menand

“There is history the way Tolstoy imagined it, as a great, slow-moving weather system in which even tsars and generals are just leaves before the storm. And there is history the way Hollywood imagines it, as a single story line in which the right move by the tsar or the wrong move by the general changes everything. Most of us, deep down, are probably Hollywood people. We like to invent “what if” scenarios--what if x had never happened, what if y had happened instead?--because we like to believe that individual decisions make a difference: that, if not for x, or if only there had been y, history might have plunged forever down a completely different path. Since we are agents, we have an interest in the efficacy of agency.”
Louis Menand

“If you look up a word in the dictionary, you find it defined by a string of other words, the meanings of which can be discovered by looking them up in a dictionary, leading to more words that can be looked up in turn. There is no exit from the dictionary.”
Louis Menand, The Metaphysical Club

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