• The Metaphysical Club

  • By: Louis Menand
  • Narrated by: Henry Leyva
  • Length: 6 hrs and 53 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 09-19-03
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.8 (216 ratings)

Regular price: $22.02

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Publisher's Summary

Hardly a club in the conventional sense, the organization referred to in the title of this superb literary hybrid (part history, part biography, part philosophy) consisted of four members and probably existed for less than nine months. Yet its impact upon American intellectual life remains incalculable. Louis Menand masterfully weaves pivotal late 19th- and early 20th-century events, colorful biographical anecdotes, and abstract ideas into a narrative whole that both enthralls and enlightens.
©2001 Louis Menand (P)2001 Highbridge Company
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Critic Reviews

Pulitzer Prize winner, History, 2002
"The Metaphysical Club is a compellingly vital account of how the cluster of ideas that came to be called pragmatism was forged from the searing experiences of its progenitors' lives." (Daniel Kevles, Yale University)
"The Metaphysical Club is a brilliant reanimation of American pragmatism." (Richard Poirier)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Victoria on 12-08-03

The Great American Experiment

Menand brilliantly weaves from the strands of late nineteenth century scientific and philosophical thought, the entire tapestry of America's secular theology -- democracy, free speech, enlightened self-interest, pragmatism, public schools and individual rights. Less than half way through this engaging discussion on the origins of the great American Experiment, I regained a small part of the national pride of which the sixties and seventies deprived us all. I also realized, to my great surprise, that the values I most dearly hold today were taught to me by the California public school system in the 1950's and 1960's -- that an eager, open-minded inquiry into the natural, social and political world is the best road toward wisdom, peace and prosperity for the greatest number; that diversity of opinion (like the diversity of the species) is the most important source of a society's health and longevity, and, that, as Oliver Wendell Holmes opined, it is certitude itself that inevitably leads to violence. Fascinating, stirring and entertaining. One of my new top ten books to take to a desert island.

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37 of 39 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By James P. Oliver on 08-11-04

a wonderful book, but...

Charles Sanders Peirce's name rhymes with "purse," not "fierce." The consistent mispronunciation on this recording is unfortunate, because Menand's book redresses a gaping hole in Americans' consciousness of their own philosophical heritage. Imagine Greeks ignorant of Plato or French of Descartes: such is the state of popular awareness regarding our own Big Thinkers Peirce, William James, John Dewey, and others. So: 5 stars for the book, 3 for the recording (which will put off those who've heard of CSP, and misinform the rest).

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19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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