Emerson's enduring power is apparent everywhere in American literature: there is scarcely a writer or philosopher who has not been touched by his vision. The first volume of his writing in the Library of America covers his most productive period, and encompasses his richest and most important works. Here in their entirety are the books that established Emerson's colossal reputaion as our most eloquent champion of individualism and as a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society. Included are such renowned works as "The American Scholar" (which Oliver Wendell Holmes called "our intellectual Declaration of Independence"), the controversial "Divinity School Address," which led to Emerson's leaving the ministry to pursue a fiercely independent course, the inspiring summons to "Self-Reliance." No other volume conveys so comprehensively the exhilaration and exploratory energy of perhaps America's greatest writer.
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