|Plot Summary of The Metaphysical Club|
|"Menand's study looks at the lives and thought of four representative American thinkers who variously ascribed to a philosophy known as pragamatism: Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., William James, Charles Sanders Pierce, and Thomas Dewey. The first three met briefly in 1872 as the "Metaphysical Club," but their respect for and effects upon one another went much further than that. Menand concludes they were largely responsible for laying the foundations for free speech and thought in the U.S. today. Holmes was wounded three separate times in the Civil War, and concluded that certainty leads to violence, and no idea is worth dying for. Amazingly, he became a Supreme Court justice and lived into his 90s. James, psychologist brother of the novelist, was an intuitive, emotional thinker, who said: "Truth happens to an idea. It becomes true...." Other fascinating characters slip through the pages of this book: Jane Addams, Louis Agassiz, Emerson, and Darwin. Though philosophy is the subject, the book reads remarkably smoothly."
David Loftus, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of The Metaphysical Club|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Period of greatest activity?
Subject of Biography
- long lived adults
Biography of famous person?
- American (!)
How sensitive is this person?
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Cynical sense of humor
- Very much smarter than other people
- average physique
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 1 ()
- 19th century
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Book makes you feel?
Commentary on society?
- justice system
Writer's slant towards subject:
Story of entire life, or part?
- story of nearly entire life
Is this a biography of several people?
- A ton 16-20 B&W
How much dialogue in bio?
- significantly more descript than dialog
How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?
- 0-25% of book
How much is philosophy rather than life story?
- 51-75% of book
Click here for more information about this book
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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