Tuesday, February 26, 2013

“A very pleasant dinner”: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Louis Agassiz, and friends

Guest blog post by Christoph Irmscher, professor of English at Indiana University, Bloomington, and author of the recently published biography, Louis Agassiz: Creator of American Science.

I collect rare books and manuscripts. Or, perhaps, it would be more accurate to say that I would like to collect rare books and manuscripts. I make my living as a college professor, which means that there are strict limits to what I can (or ought to) buy. A few years ago, I acquired, for not very much money, a letter written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to Louis Agassiz, sent from Longfellow’s house on Brattle Street in Cambridge, Mass., to Agassiz’s house on Quincy Street, also in Cambridge, on June 17, 1867. The letter covers only one sheet, one half of a bifold with the other half (neatly) torn off. In the upper left corner, there is the embossed seal of “Delarue & Co.,” a London stationer and printer that had been in business since 1821. The letter is written in ink, in Longfellow’s characteristic handwriting—so straight and capable, leaning neither much to the left nor much to the right, that William Dean Howells felt compelled to compare it to Longfellow’s poetry: even-handed, safe, not given to extremes of feeling, aiming for the comfortable middle-ground where author and reader meet in mutual recognition.

My little letter didn’t have to travel far to reach its recipient, and what it says is so unremarkable that you might well wonder why I decided to buy it in the first place:

My dear Agassiz,
     It will give me great pleasure, as ever, to dine with you on Tuesday.
          Always Yours
          Henry W. Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to
Louis Agassiz, 17 June 1867,
Collection of Christoph Irmscher.
[Click to enlarge]
The letter presents no problems to the transcriber, with the exception perhaps of the European-looking “1” in “17,” which differs from the “1” in “1867” (it was not unusual, however, for Longfellow to write it both ways). June 17, 1867, the day he wrote the note, was a Monday. Longfellow’s unpublished journal gives us the barest indication of what else he did that day: as happened so frequently, an unbidden visitor showed up at his house, a young lawyer named Budd, carrying a letter of introduction from the well-known Philadelphia editor Samuel Allibone. Mr. Budd, with the sense of cheerful entitlement that seemed to come naturally to many of Longfellow’s uninvited guests, stayed on for dinner. The next day, Tuesday, June 18, the British publisher George Routledge dropped by (“much talk about books”). The weather was lovely, so Longfellow later in the afternoon would have walked to dinner at Agassiz’s house, past Appleton Chapel, across the leafy grounds of Harvard College.

Despite the considerable dents Darwin and his friends had made into his reputation, Agassiz, professor of natural history in the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard University, was still one of the world’s most famous scientists. A staunch anti-evolutionist and believer in the separate creation of all things living and dead, including the human races, Agassiz had returned just the year before from a massive specimen-collecting expedition along the Amazon River and had quickly become a kind of self-declared expert on Brazilian–American relations. He now served as the spiritual godfather for a host of emigrants who, disgusted with Reconstruction, turned their backs on the newly reunited United States to seek their luck in the more reliably retrograde racial climate of the Brazilian empire. That afternoon at Agassiz’s house (among the Boston Brahmin, what we call “dinner” and they regarded as “supper” usually took place later in the evening), the departing Brazilian ambassador, Joaquim Maria Nascentes de Azambuja, had joined the party, as had Longfellow’s closest friend, the Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner. “A very pleasant dinner,” Longfellow noted in his journal, with the characteristic refusal to share salient details that is a hallmark of his journal-writing.

A very pleasant dinner? How could it have been so, given that the conversation, with the ambassador in attendance, would very likely have turned to race? Slavery in Brazil was not officially ended before 1888, and Emerson and others report in their journals that Agassiz would inevitably broach the topic of race relations—and the allegedly detrimental effects of racial mixing—whenever someone as much as breathed the word “Brazil.” Awkwardly, Longfellow, whose account books show that he gave a considerable part of his income to ex-slaves and their supporters, vehemently disagreed with Agassiz on racial matters, as did Sumner (who actually felt that interbreeding would improve the impoverished genetic stock of whites).

What Longfellow’s letters and journals do not reveal, his poetry often barely hints at, but when it does so, it is hard to forget. After Agassiz died in December 1873, his powerful body holding on for days after his mind had already crumbled, Longfellow wrote an untitled sonnet commemorating his friend, without ever mentioning him by name. Imagining himself alone on the beach at Nahant, where Agassiz had maintained a seaside laboratory, Longfellow hears the ocean bemoan his dead friend’s absence, even as the rest of nature, from the rocks to the trees to the weeds at the bottom of the sea, acknowledges that Longfellow is still there.

I stand again on the familiar shore,
          And hear the waves of the distracted sea
          Piteously calling and lamenting thee,
          And waiting restless at thy cottage door.
The rocks, the sea-weed on the ocean floor,
          The willows in the meadow, and the free
          Wild winds of the Atlantic welcome me;
          Then why shouldst thou be dead, and come no more?
This is the point where, in the traditional Italian sonnet, the volta (literally, a “jump”) would mark a turning point, a new beginning. But the finality of Agassiz’s death makes such a dramatic shift impossible, and so the sestet picks up simply where the octet left off, with Longfellow’s lines twice spilling over into the next one:
Ah, why shouldst thou be dead, when common men
          Are busy with their trivial affairs,
          Having and holding? Why, when thou hadst read
Nature’s mysterious manuscript, and then
          Wast ready to reveal the truth it bears,
          Why art thou silent? Why shouldst thou be dead?
Louis Agassiz at the blackboard,
Carte-de-visite, ca. 1862.
Austin Augustus Turner, photographer.
Autographed by Louis Agassiz.
Collection of Christoph Irmscher
The agonizing refrain, an outburst really, “Why shouldst thou be dead?” is repeated three times in the crowded space of the sonnet, a moving testimony to the bereft poet’s helplessness in the face of death. But the intensity of this question, fanned by the wild winds of the Atlantic, also throws into bold relief Agassiz’s brazen confidence that science (practiced the way he thought proper) would allow him to uncover, once and for all, the meaning of the Book of Nature. Now it turns out that nature is doing fine without Agassiz there to inform us what it all means. Louis Agassiz, the great would-be decipherer of nature’s mysteries, was gone, forever gone. Yet men’s trivial affairs—the eating of meals, the visiting of friends, the writing of letters—continued, hour after hour, and day after day, the whole dreary business of living in a world where we “have and hold,” where we cling to our possessions as if none of this could ever end: a world Longfellow knew all about, a world that had produced that little note I bought, a world that, even when someone has died, at first gently, then relentlessly, tugs us back into ordinariness. What if there was no great secret to reveal, no final truth to tell?

We don’t know what, if anything, Longfellow, seated next to the Brazilian ambassador, said or felt on that warm summer afternoon at Agassiz’s Quincy Street house. But we do know that, a week later, on June 26, his translation of Dante’s Paradiso appeared in the bookstores, a tribute to the living light, “ever changing as I changed.”

* * *

Writing in The New York Times Book Review, Rebecca Stott praised Louis Agassiz: Creator of American Science, noting that although men like Agassiz are often difficult to like, “irreconcilable contradictions make for interesting biographies. . . . Irmscher is a richly descriptive writer with an eye for detail, the complexities and contradictions of character, and the workings of institutional and familial power structures.” Professor Irmscher also edited John James Audubon: Writings & Drawings for The Library of America. You can read more about Agassiz’s life and influence at Irmscher’s blog.

Related posts from Reader’s Almanac
Christoph Irmscher on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his beloved wife, Fanny

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Vallandigham Denounces the Draft
(February 23, 1863)

Guest blog post by Aaron Sheehan-Dean, Eberly Family Professor of Civil War History at West Virginia University and one of the co-editors of The Library of America's four-volume series, The Civil War: Told by Those Who Lived It (the first two volumes of which have appeared; the third will appear this spring).

What is the proper way for Americans to express political opposition to an ongoing war? How can the party out of power maintain its own identity without appearing disloyal? Can party members oppose the conflict itself and still proclaim themselves patriots? These questions pressed themselves on the Federalists during the War of 1812 and the Whigs during the U.S.–Mexican War and have recurred in recent years, but they took on a special urgency for northern Democrats during the Civil War. (Because a political party system never emerged in the Confederacy, opposition to the war in the South developed differently than in the North.) By the fall of 1862 the party had divided into “War” and “Peace” factions. While some War Democrats accepted the necessity of attacking slavery, most remained steadfastly opposed to emancipation and hoped that military success would result in the restoration of the Union “as it was.” The Peace Democrats went further, declaring the war to be a failure and asserting that the Union could be saved only through negotiations with the seceded states. In the aftermath of the Union’s bloody humiliation at Fredericksburg, the Peace Democrats were emboldened to call for an armistice with the Confederacy while they used the Emancipation Proclamation to incite fears in the North about the supposed social, political, and economic threat posed by free blacks.

Just as Democrats condemned Lincoln as a tyrant who violated the Constitution in order to elevate blacks above whites, Republicans excoriated antiwar Democrats, calling them “Copperheads,” venomous snakes that strike without warning. In early 1863 George Templeton Strong, the treasurer of the U.S. Sanitary Commission, lamented the “way the Dirt-Eaters and Copperheads and sympathizers and compromisers are coming out on the surface of society, like ugly petechiƦ and vibices, shows that the nation is suffering from a most putrescent state of the national blood.”1 In response to this diagnosis, some Republicans proposed a radical cure: Isaac Funk, a member of the Illinois senate, urged that “these traitors on this floor should be provided with hempen collars. They deserve them. They deserve hanging, I say, the country would be the better of swinging them up.”2 This sentiment was echoed by soldiers who watched the off-year elections for state offices and read Democratic newspapers with increasing dismay and anger. In Pennsylvania the chief justice of the state supreme court, George W. Woodward, denounced emancipation and ruled conscription unconstitutional. A Pennsylvania officer wrote home to warn the Copperheads that if they “inaugurate rebellion in the North, they will find a mighty army of patriots ready to crush them to the earth. Mark that!”3

The draft, as much as emancipation, inspired the ire of antiwar activists. They regarded the resort to conscription, never used in previous American wars, as evidence that Lincoln had lost popular support. Conscription conjured up images of European tyrants who used impressment to build standing armies that oppressed their own citizens. The most vociferous opponent of the draft was Ohio congressman (and future gubernatorial candidate) Clement L. Vallandigham. In a widely-quoted speech in February 1863, Vallandigham argued that the draft was nothing more than “a bill to abrogate the Constitution, the repeal all existing laws, to destroy all rights, to strike down the judiciary, and erect upon the ruins of civil and political liberty a stupendous superstructure of despotism.” And all, in Vallandigham’s view, “to secure freedom to the black man.”4

Vallandigham lost his bid for governor and eventually disappeared from view, but his excesses tarred Democrats with a stain they could not erase. Many Democrats supported the conflict—including Lincoln’s secretary of war, Edwin M. Stanton—and condemned the rhetoric of the antiwar wing, but Republican charges of treason weakened the party over time. For years after the war, Republicans continued to “wave the bloody shirt,” reminding northern voters of the sacrifices soldiers had made to save the Union despite the disloyalty of Democrats. From 1860 to 1932, only two Democrats—Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson—were elected to the presidency, a stunningly rapid and enduring fall from grace for what had been the dominant party throughout the first half of the nineteenth century. Not all the Democrats’ postbellum electoral misfortunes can be blamed on the Copperheads, but the party’s failures in the Civil War revealed the perils that still await political dissenters in wartime.

1 George Templeton Strong: Diary, February 3–5, 1863, in The Civil War: The Third Year Told by Those Who Lived It, ed. Brooks D. Simpson (Library of America, forthcoming, 2013).
2 Isaac Funk: Speech in the Illinois State Senate, February 14, 1863, in The Civil War: The Third Year Told by Those Who Lived It.
3 George Fisher McFarland to the Warren Mail, April 11, 1863, quoted in Timothy Orr, “‘A Viler Enemy in Our Rear’: Pennsylvania Soldiers Confront the North’s Antiwar Movement,” in The View from the Ground: Experiences of Civil War Soldiers, ed. Aaron Sheehan-Dean (University of Kentucky Press, 1997), 180.
4 Clement L. Vallandigham: Speech in Congress, February 23, 1863, in The Civil War: The Third Year Told by Those Who Lived It.


(This item is cross-posted at Civil War 150, cosponsored by The Library of America, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and the National Endowment of the Humanities)

Recent Reader's Almanac posts on the Civil War

Friday, February 22, 2013

Bringing poetry back to the basics: the “fascination with the possibilities of language” in May Swenson’s poems

Langdon Hammer, author of Hart Crane and Allen Tate: Janus-Faced Modernism and editor of The Library of America’s Hart Crane: Complete Poems & Letters, spoke with us about the recent publication of May Swenson: Collected Poems (also published by The Library of America).

What do you admire most about May Swenson as a poet?

Her freshness. There’s an immediacy to her work that gives you back a fresh experience of the world (of weather, nature, time, the body, the senses). And that quality coexists with—no, it’s created by!—a love of words and a fascination with the possibilities of language on the page and in the ear. With some poets, that sort of linguistic awareness gets in the way of immediacy. With May Swenson, it’s the other way around.

What do Swenson’s poems have to say to contemporary readers? Why read her now?

Well, I just mentioned freshness—there’s something always new about Swenson’s best poems. In that sense, they just don’t date. Also, May Swenson was part of no school; no label fits her work. She has something to say therefore, right now, to poets and poetry readers who are fatigued by the labels and schools and fighting words that characterize a great deal of American poetry of the past fifty years. When you read her, a lot of aesthetic debate feels beside the point, and you get back to basics.

Swenson has become something of a gay icon, but did not choose to identify herself that way. What’s your view of the relationship between her poetry and her sexual identity?

It’s essential, the same way that Whitman’s sexual identity is essential to his poetry. If Swenson didn’t want to see her poetry identified as lesbian, that’s only because she didn’t want to be put in a category (I mentioned before how hard it is to label her work). She wanted to talk about all of experience, any experience, just as Whitman wanted to.

Is there something about the depth and quality of Swenson’s interest in nature that speaks to the present moment?

When you asked about Swenson’s potential power for contemporary readers, I might have said her interest in nature. Only “interest” doesn’t get at the persistence and intensity of it. And even to say “nature,” meaning by that birds and animals or the sea, topics she writes about all the time, could be misleading, because Swenson’s nature isn’t something out there, but all around and inside us. It’s something we are part of. And yes, that speaks very urgently to the way we’re being forced today to rethink the relationship between ourselves and our environment.

Perhaps uniquely for a great modern poet, Swenson was raised as a devout Mormon. Did her religious upbringing leave any traces in her work?

Yes, manifestly in the strength of her family feeling, and in the way that her sense of herself as part of a big family fundamentally influences her work. Look at the wonderful poem about being part of a flock, “Manyone Flying”! Then too, as in the case of other writers who leave the religion of their origin behind to become writers, Mormonism matters as what she turns away from when she turns to poetry, and I bet it remains there in the poems as a structure or shadow. Someone who knows more about Mormonism than I do could explain just how.

What relationship do the shape poems have to the rest of her work? What do they say about her as a poet?

The shape poems are a key. They bring out, in an exaggerated way that helps us see them, qualities that are always there in her work: the sense of play; the feeling that a poem should embody an experience; and for that matter, the notion that a poem always has a body—a physical, plastic form. (See the very poignant elegy for Elizabeth Bishop, which isn’t a shape poem strictly speaking, called “In the Bodies of Words” for more on this idea.) And because she liked to revise, and try poems in more than one shape, the shape poems highlight her interest in metamorphosis. Swenson’s poems aren’t stuck in their bodies, any more than we are stuck in ours—at least according to Swenson, who often imagines her own body being transformed in one way or another.

What did you discover about Swenson’s work in the course of preparing this volume?

Its profusion, its abundance. I mentioned Whitman earlier. Swenson several times links herself with Dickinson—see the jaunty “Daffodildo,” for example. And with justice: there’s a lot of Dickinson here. But there’s also a lot of Whitman, and you feel it in the expansiveness, the breadth of this big book.

Do you have a favorite poem in the volume?

This book is so big, I find a new favorite whenever I open it. But if I had to pick one . . . it would be "Come In Go Out." That basic rhythm—in and out—is the rhythm of the tide, of breathing, of a line of poetry, of a life. The poem says everything in a small space.




Originally published in In Other Words (1987).
Copyright © 1987 The Literary Estate of May Swenson. Used with permission.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A birthday tribute to Toni Morrison

America’s only living Nobel laureate for literature celebrates her 82nd birthday on Monday, February 18, which prompts us to share a special tribute Morrison received at last summer’s New York State Writers Hall of Fame gala.

Toni Morrison
Ryan Brenizer Photography
As regular readers of Reader’s Almanac will recall, last June The Empire State Center for the Book, New York’s affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book, held its annual gala at the Princeton Club in midtown Manhattan. The highlight of the evening was the induction of the 14-member class of 2012, which included living writers E. L. Doctorow, Pete Hamill, Joyce Carol Oates, and Toni Morrison, as well as John Cheever, Hart Crane, Edna Ferber, Washington Irving, Henry James, Mary McCarthy, Marianne Moore, Barbara W. Tuchman, Kurt Vonnegut, and Richard Wright.

Judge Anne E. Thompson
Ryan Brenizer Photography
The following tribute was prepared for the evening by former New York mayor David Dinkins, who was unable to attend in person. His remarks were read at the gala by Judge Anne E. Thompson of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, whose friendship with Ms. Morrison and with David and Joyce Dinkins dates to their college days at Howard University.
Over the four score and four years of my life, I have been blessed to know some of the most wonderful women who ever walked the face of this earth. There was my mother, then my sister Joyce, another Joyce—my bride of more than a half-century . . . who is here this evening, and (eventually) our little girl Donna and her daughter Kalila.

And beyond my family circle, I have had the good fortune to have as close friends a number of truly remarkable women, including one who is central to our purpose here this evening. I speak, of course, of Ms. Toni Morrison. And I am thankful for the opportunity to contribute to this occasion in tribute to her despite the thousands of miles that separate us.

Joyce and I have shared a friendship with Toni for many years and, as is true of everyone, we have been fans of her artistry since the beginning of her career . . . and have taken great pride in her accomplishments. You may know that our friendship began while undergraduates at Howard University—I was Class of 1950, and Joyce and Toni were in the Class of 1953.

Our friendship with Toni has evolved as much from how she has chosen to share her talents as it has from the pure talent itself. Her activism in the struggles for educational opportunity for young persons of color has earned her the respect and appreciation of parents everywhere . . . as she has encouraged their children’s dreams and stimulated their creativity by her example and her teachings.

After Howard, Toni went on to earn her master’s degree in English at Cornell University and she has taught her craft at her alma mater Howard and some other good schools—Yale and Princeton. Toni once said in a speech on values in higher education that: “What I think and do is already inscribed on my teaching, my work. And so should it be. We teach values by having them.”

Toni has incorporated the values learned from her parents during her early years in Lorain, Ohio into the richly-expressive depictions of the characters of her novels . . . from The Bluest Eye in 1969 through a succession of works that have included such best-sellers as Sula, Song of Solomon, Tar Baby . . . and her Pulitzer Prize–winning classic, Beloved.

A member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters for over a quarter century, Toni has been awarded countless literary distinctions, including the Commander of the French Order of Arts & Letters and, the ultimate—the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Taking these honors in stride and never losing sight of her personal values, she has remained the warm and unpretentious person she was before becoming an icon whose every word is captured in print, whether in cover articles in Time magazine or the senior theses of students of literature the world over.

“I’m just trying,” she said in an interview with Salon magazine, “to look at something without blinking, to see what it was like or it could have been like, and how that had something to do with the way we live now.” And her body of work is the best testament that she has never blinked. The Nobel Prize Committee described her “epic power, her unerring ear for dialogue, and her poetically-charged” contributions to the field of literature . . . but Toni had other thoughts at the time.

You may recall her initial reaction to learning of her selection for this, the highest recognition for writers in the world. In case you may not, let me share it with you in her own words: “I called someone at the Nobel Committee,” she remembered, “and I said, ‘Look, if you're going to keep giving prizes to women (and I hope you do), you're going to have to give us more warning. Men can rent tuxedos. I have to get shoes and I have to get a dress.’” Vintage Toni Morrison.

In receiving this award tonight, Toni Morrison joins the company of a group of recipients who qualify as our pantheon of artistic excellence—E. L. Doctorow, Pete Hamill and Joyce Carol Oates as well as those inducted posthumously. I commend the good folks at New York Library Association, the Empire State Center for the Book, and the Writers Hall of Fame for their continued efforts to support and encourage the artistry Toni Morrison exemplifies, and hope that your presence here this evening is but prelude to an ongoing commitment to their mission.

Novelist, editor, teacher, scholar, dramatist, poet, children’s author, Pulitzer Prize winner, Nobel Laureate, author of the best work of American fiction in the last quarter century . . . Toni Morrison has given us many hours of literary pleasure and thought, and has provided young writers with a blueprint for the kind of work they must strive to do.

She is dedicated to helping them to build from that blueprint and to design their own, and the tribute tonight is a promise to Toni that the people of the State of New York will continue to support work that expands and engages her artistic and intellectual legacy.

Toni, you are a jewel in the crown of American Letters. We congratulate you on your extraordinary achievements, and promise to do what we can to bring as many of your heirs as possible under the light of that jewel for generations to come.

Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, please join me in saluting our Beloved, Ms. Toni Morrison.
Previous posts from the Hall of Fame ceremony:
Ross Posnock on Henry James
Liesl Schillinger on E. L. Doctorow
Eleanor Bergstein on Joyce Carol Oates
Elizabeth Bradley on Washington Irving
Alice Quinn on Marianne Moore
Jessica Tuchman Mathews on Barbara W. Tuchman
Langdon Hammer on Hart Crane
Eve Stwertka on Mary McCarthy

Monday, February 11, 2013

How a Library of America book is born

We recently remembered a brief article that appeared in a 2004 Library of America newsletter, which described how an LOA book is produced. Since the manufacturing process hasn’t changed a bit in the last decade, we share it here with our readers:

Figure 1: A Timson printing press at Edwards Brothers Malloy in Ann Arbor, one of only three locations in the United States that meet Library of America’s rigorous production standards. [All LOA books are now printed at Edwards Brothers Malloy.] Paper travels through the press at 1,000 feet per minute, producing over 10,000 32-page signatures per hour.

Figure 2: Pages of a reprint of Alexander Hamilton: Writings. Most publishers save money in the printing and binding process by arranging the pages on the sheet perpendicular to the direction that the roll of paper travels through the press. The Library of America requires that the pages be printed in the direction of the paper’s grain. “Printing with the grain” keeps the binding from crackling when the book is opened (you can actually hear the difference), ensures the durability of the binding, and allows the book to lie completely flat.

Figure 3: Unlike most books published today, Library of America volumes bend all the way back without cracking the spine or endangering the binding. Series volumes feature Smyth-sewn binding, the most durable—and the most expensive—commercial process available. In addition, two pieces of material are added to reinforce the spine of each book. If you bend a book all the way back, you’ll see the piece of “crash” (a gray, heavy-duty Kraft paper). Hidden underneath the crash is a wrap of “super,” an extremely strong and very flexible open-mesh fabric affixed with adhesive to the front and back case, to the endsheets, and to the sewn-together signatures. Note how the edges of signatures stay perfectly aligned while the cloth of the spine bends in an optimal “semi-round” shape.

Combined, these high-quality processes give the spine maximum flexibility, keep the sewn signatures from separating, and help the book lie flat. For more information about LOA book specifications, see the LOA website.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Forthcoming from The Library of America (Summer–Fall 2013)

The Library of America’s titles for the early months of 2013, which we announced last summer, have all either arrived from the printer or are currently at press. We’ve just finalized the line-up for the remainder of the year. Below are the publications for May and beyond, including four authors new to The Library of America series and the latest volume in the American Poets Project series.

John Updike
The Collected Stories
Christopher Carduff, editor
September 2013
Boxed set / ISBN 978-1-59853-250-0
Volume 1: Collected Early Stories (102 stories) 

Library of America #242 / ISBN 978-1-59853-251-7
Volume 2: Collected Later Stories (84 stories) 

Library of America #243 / ISBN 978-1-59853-252-4

Ring Lardner
Stories & Other Writings
Ian Frazier, editor
You Know Me Al • The Big Town • The Real Dope • other writings
September 2013
Library of America #244 / ISBN 978-1-59853-253-1


Jonathan Edwards
Writings from the Great Awakening
Philip F. Gura, editor
Some Thoughts Concerning the Present Revival • A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections • other writings
October 2013
Library of America #245 / ISBN 978-1-59853-254-8


Susan Sontag
Essays of the 1960s & 70s
David Rieff, editor
Against Interpretation • Styles of Radical Will • On Photography • Illness as Metaphor • uncollected essays
October 2013
Library of America #246 / ISBN 978-1-59853-255-5


American Musicals
The Complete Books and Lyrics of Sixteen Classic Broadway Shows
Laurence Maslon, editor
Show Boat • As Thousands Cheer • Pal Joey • Oklahoma! • Kiss Me, Kate • South Pacific • My Fair Lady • nine others*
November 2013
Boxed set / ISBN 978-1-59853-257-9
Volume 1: 1927–1949 / Library of America #253 / ISBN 978-1-59853-258-6
Volume 2: 1950–1969 / Library of America #254 / ISBN 978-1-59853-259-3


Countee Cullen
Collected Poems
Major Jackson, editor
Copper Sun • The Ballad of the Brown Girl • The Black Christ and Other Poems • other collected and uncollected poems
May 2013
American Poets Project #32 / ISBN 978-1-59853-083-4


American Pastimes
The Very Best of Red Smith
Daniel Okrent, editor
Terence Smith, afterword
May 2013
A Special Publication of The Library of America / ISBN 978-1-59853-217-3


The Cool School
Writings from America’s Hip Underground
Glenn O’Brien, editor
From bop to punk, a who’s who of the alternative set, including such writers and artists as Henry Miller, Miles Davis, Lenny Bruce, Jack Kerouac, Bob Dylan, Annie Ross, Terry Southern, and Andy Warhol
October 2013
A Special Publication of The Library of America / ISBN 978-1-59853-256-2


New boxed sets

Dashiell Hammett
The Library of America Collection
Steven Marcus, editor
May 2013
2 volumes / Combines #110 & #125 / ISBN 978-1-59853-218-0


Reporting Civil Rights
The Library of America Collection
Clayborne Carson, David J. Garrow, Bill Kovach, Carol Polsgrove (editorial board)
July 2013
2 volumes / Combines #137 & #138 / ISBN 978-1-59853-219-7


Update on Library of America e-books: Conversion of LOA titles, both new and backlist, to e-book formats continues apace. Eighteen titles are now available (and the latest, Slave Narratives, will be available in a few days). Library of America e-books are available in all major formats.

You can see the current list of available e-book titles at www.loa.org/ebooks.
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