March 28, 2004

The Metaphysical Club

A delightful, fascinating, and brilliant book, the volume transforms our concept of what intellectual history can accomplish. Menand reconstructs and reconsiders the intellectual currents that dominated the best American thought, from the Civil War to the Progressive Era, and shows the real complexity and subtlety of the ideas that took hold, as well as those that failed. Menand is also a superbly readable biographer, adeptly showing how an individual's human circumstances affected, or failed to affect, their thought. Fascinating, thrilling, and readable, this is a very important book.