Dean Grodzins: Transcendentalists In The 19th Century

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The United States, it is often thought, was born in rebellion. This is the story reinforced by the Declaration of Independence, and it’s the story promoted by the first elected officials of this country. America has been a nation of protestors -- be it protest against Britain, “savages,” heathens, police, abortion, racism, or taxes -- since its inception. According to the early 19th century Transcendentalists, however, the greatest battle before Americans is the battle for one’s very soul. Dean Grodzins is a Harvard-educated historian, and a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Historical Society specializing in mid-19th century American history. According to Grodzins’ work in the Dictionary of American History, the first American Transcendentalists
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