Books

“Events measure themselves against what everyone has said about them, fairly or not. The American people are better examined by scholars like the remarkable David S. Reynolds, who has written American classics in the arena of history and what is now known as cultural studies and cultural biography. His books are essential contributions to accurately understanding the national sensibility.”

Stanley Crouch, National Syndicated News Column, October 7, 2014

 

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Lincoln’s Selected Writings is the only book that features a wide range of Lincoln’s writings along with commentary on him by his contemporaries and interdisciplinary analysis of him by scholars of recent times.

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Mightier Than the Sword: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Battle for America details the cultural roots, political impact, and enduring legacy of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s revolutionary bestseller.

THE NEW YORKER REVIEWERS’ FAVORITES OF THE YEAR

KIRKUS BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR IN NONFICTION

“Fascinating…a lively and perceptive cultural history.”
— Annette Gordon-Reed, The New Yorker

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Walt Whitman’s America: A Cultural Biography is the first Whitman biography to portray the poet in the full social, political, and cultural contexts of his day.

WINNER OF THE BANCROFT PRIZE

FINALIST, NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD

“Remarkably informative…I marked on page after page things about Whitman and his America I never knew before.”
Alfred Kazin, The New York Times Book Review

“Reynolds splendidly examines the culture that formed the greatest American poet and the great American poem.”
Time  

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Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson is a chronicle of American politics, society, reform, and many facets of it culture in the years between 1815 and 1848.

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR

A WASHINGTON POST BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

“An unmitigated delight.”
Washington Post Book World 

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John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights is a cultural biography of the controversial abolitionist who single-handedly changed the course of American history.

WINNER OF THE GUSTAVUS MYERS OUTSTANDING BOOK PRIZE

“Great sensitivity, thorough research, and some marvelous narrative.”
David Blight, Washington Post Book World

“One of the most compelling reads in antebellum history in the past several years”
New England Quarterly 

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Beneath the American Renaissance: The Subversive Imagination in the Age of Emerson and Melville examines classic American authors—Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Hawthorne, Melville, Poe, Dickinson–in their cultural and social contexts.

WINNER OF THE CHRISTIAN GAUSS AWARD

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR

“Impressively informed and heroic . . . An original piece of work that gives the literary canon and its contexts a good shaking.”
Justin Kaplan, The New York Times Book Review 

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Faith in Fiction: The Emergence of Religious Literature in American Literature explores some 250 American writers in the age from Jonathan Edwards to Emerson and beyond.

“A pioneering work…..An interesting and important book.”
Nina Baym, Journal of English and Germanic Philology 

Walt Whitman, by David S. Reynolds

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In Walt Whitman Reynolds shows how Whitman responded to contemporary theater, music, painting, photography, science, religion, and sex.

“A good, enlightening introduction to a still-controversial figure.”
Booklist

“A compelling portrait of a great American poet….. Conveys Mr. Reynolds’s capacious grasp of the literature about Whitman, his reading of the primary sources, and his own well-considered view of the man and poet.”
Carl Rollyson, New York Sun 

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George Lippard is the only full-length study of this fascinating 19th-century American novelist, journalist, playwright, social activist, and labor organizer.

“Brimming over with suggestive insights”
––Adrienne Siegel, Journal of American History 

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Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, 150th Anniversary Edition is an anniversary edition that captures the typeface, design and layout of the original edition supervised by Whitman himself. Today’s readers get a sense of the “ur-text” of Leaves of Grass, the first version of this historic volume, before Whitman made many revisions of both format and style. The volume also boasts an afterword by Whitman authority David Reynolds, in which he discusses the 1855 edition in its social and cultural contexts: its background, its reception, and its contributions to literary history. There is also an appendix containing the early responses to the volume, including Emerson’s letter, Whitman’s three self-reviews, and the twenty other known reviews published in various newspapers and magazines.

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly, “Spendid Edition,” is the facsimile edition of the lavishly 1852 illustrated version–Harriet Beecher Stowe’s classic in its most revealing form.

“Exquisitely conceived and executed.”
The Liberator 

Goerge Lippard's The Quaker City, edited by David S. Reynolds

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America’s best-selling novel in its time, The Quaker City, or the Monks of Monk Hall, published in 1845, is a sensational expose of social corruption, personal debauchery, and the sexual exploitation of women in antebellum Philadelphia. This edition, with an introduction by David S. Reynolds, brings back into print this important work by George Lippard ), a journalist, freethinker, and labor and social reformer.

“One could scarcely overestimate the need to bring George Lippard’s The Quaker City back into print.”
Penn. Mag. of History and Biography 

George Thompson, Venus in Boston & Other Writings, coedited by David S. Reynolds

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Venus in Boston and Other Tales of 19th Century City Life, by George Thompson (coedited with Kimberly Gladman) reprints, for the first time since the 1850s, three short works by George Thompson (1823–c. 1873), one of antebellum America’s most successful and prolific authors of sensational fiction.

The Serpent in the Cup, coedited by David S. Reynolds

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The Serpent in the Cup: Temperance in American Literature (coedited with Debra J. Rosenthal)

“This volume is really the first serious contribution to the field. I found all the essays, without exception, stylistically and substantively a delight to read.”
Roger Forseth  

A Historical Guide to Walt Whitman, edited by David S. Reynolds

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A Historical Guide to Walt Whitman combines contemporary cultural studies and historical scholarship to illuminate Whitman’s diverse contexts. The essays explore dimensions of Whitman’s dynamic relationship to working-class politics, race and slavery, sexual mores, the visual arts, and the idea of democracy. The poet who emerges from this volume is no “solitary singer,” distanced from his culture, but what he himself called “the age transfigured,” fully enmeshed in his times and addressing issues that are still vital today.

George Lippard, Selected Writings, edited by David S. Reynolds

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George Lippard, Prophet of Protest: Writings of an American Radical, 1822–1854 is a rich sampling of Lippard’s writings–valuable documents of America’s literary history, radical thought, and popular culture.

“Reynolds’s very imaginative and enjoyable collection omits no facet of Lippard’s quintessentially American personality.”
Kenneth R. Silverman, New York University