Cover image for William James : in the maelstrom of American modernism : a biography
William James : in the maelstrom of American modernism : a biography
Richardson, Robert D., 1934-
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, [2006]

Physical Description:
xvi, 622 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Biographer Richardson has written a moving portrait of James--pivotal member of the Metaphysical Club and author of The Varieties of Religious Experience. The biography, ten years in the making, draws on unpublished letters, journals, and family records. Richardson paints extraordinary scenes from what James himself called the "buzzing blooming confusion" of his life, beginning with childhood, as he struggled to achieve amid the domestic chaos and intellectual brilliance of Father, brother Henry, and sister Alice. James was a beloved teacher who taught courage and risk-taking, and served as mentor to W.E.B. Du Bois, Gertrude Stein, and many other Harvard outsiders. Richardson also illuminates James's hugely influential works. One of the great figures in mysticism here brought richly to life, James is a man "whose leading ideas are still so fresh and challenging that they are not yet fully assimilated by the modern world they helped to bring about."--From publisher description.
General Note:
Maps on lining papers.
I. Growing up zigzag: -- Art is my vocation -- Newport and the Jameses -- The father -- Harvard, 1861 -- Science and the Civil War -- Comparative anatomy and medical school -- The gulls at the mouth of the Amazon -- Tea squalls and a life according to nature -- We must be our own providence -- A dead and drifting life -- Minnie Temple -- William James, M.D. -- Treading water -- The end of youth -- II. The action of consciousness: Hitting bottom -- Turning to physiology -- The Metaphysical Club and Chauncey Wright -- Charles Pierce -- Cambridge and Harvard, 1872 -- Teaching -- To Europe and back -- Emerson, Mill, and Blood -- From physiology to physiological psychology -- Days of rapture and heartbreak -- The trouble with Herbert Spencer -- The action of consciousness -- III. The principles of Psychology: Spaces -- The heart wants its chance -- The feeling of effort -- Hegel in Cambridge -- Death of a mother -- Goodbye, my sacred old father -- The wonderful stream of our consciousness -- Not a simple temperament -- What is an emotion? -- The literary remains of Henry James Sr. -- The death of Herman -- Mrs. Leonora Piper -- My only absolutely satisfying companion (Alice) -- Hypnotism and summers at Chocorua -- Instinct and will -- Santayana at Harvard -- The psychology of belief -- Reunion with Alice: the hidden self --

IV. The varieties of religious experience: Response to "Principles" and the moral philosopher -- Flooded by the deep life -- The death of Alice James -- European sabbatical -- Abnormal Psych -- Talks to teachers -- Sarah, Rosina, and Pauline -- Is life worth living? -- The gospel of relaxation -- The right to believe -- High tide -- Walpurgisnacht -- California -- A certain blindness -- The logic of the absolute -- Religion is real -- The religion of healthy-mindedness -- The sick soul: slouching toward Edinburgh -- The twice-born -- Voluntary poverty -- The mystical center -- V. The Philosopher: William James at 60 -- Bergson -- The Ph.D. Octopus and John Dewey's New School -- Emerson -- The true Harvard -- A life of interruptions -- The many and the one -- The modern moment: radical empiricism -- Schiller versus Bradley versus James -- Royce: pragmatic stirrings -- William and Henry -- California dreaming -- Earthquake -- A general theory of human action -- Pragmatism -- The energies of men -- The Harvard elective system applied to the universe -- The true race of prophets -- A pluralistic universe -- Psychical researches redux -- The meaning of truth -- Ever not quite -- Chronology -- James family genealogy.
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