Book details

Beyond the Revolution

A History of American Thought from Paine to Pragmatism

By William H. Goetzmann

  • ISBN13: 9780465004959
  • Pub Date: 02/24/2009 | Price: $35.00 / $40.50 CAN
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Trim: 6.50 x 9.50 Inches | 480 Pages
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About the Book

From 1776, when Citizen Tom Paine declared, “The birthday of a new world is at hand,” America was unique in world history. A nation suffused with the spirit of explorers, constantly replenished by immigrants, and informed by a continual influx of foreign ideas, it was the world's first truly cosmopolitan civilization.

In Beyond the Revolution, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian William H. Goetzmann tells the story of America's greatest thinkers and creators, from Paine and Jefferson to Melville and William James, showing how they built upon and battled one another's ideas in the critical years between 1776 and 1900. An unprecedented work of intellectual history by a master historian, this book will be essential reading for anyone interested in the origins of our national culture.

About the Author

William H. Goetzmann is Jack S. Blanton, Sr. Professor in History and American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He taught American Intellectual History for fifty years at Yale and the University of Texas. His Explorations and Empire won both the Pulitzer Prize and Francis Parkman Award. He lives in Austin, Texas.


New York Observer
“In Beyond the Revolution, intellectual historian William Goetzmann reminds us that the most brazen utopian ambition of them all had nothing to do with sex or rapture, but was rather founded in the radical provisions of ‘we the people' and those ‘certain inalienable rights.'”

New York Times Book Review
“[Goetzmann's] strange and valuable book…is richly populated with radicals and utopians who, with one eye on the innermost soul and the other on world history, created a tradition of open-ended experiment.”

Howard R. Lamar, Sterling Professor Emeritus of History, Yale University
Beyond the Revolution is one of the most complete, wide-ranging, readable, and insightful accounts of American intellectuals we have ever had. It deserves to be recognized as a major classic history of American intellectuals to be read by every thinking American.”

Virginia Quarterly
“An excellent summary of American thought before the Civil War. It is sure to engage readers interested not only in the history of ideas but also in the history of the early nation.”

Texas Observer
“We now have Goetzmann's life of learning distilled into what may be the capstone of his career to help us understand who we were.”