All Clever Men, Who Make Their Way
Critical Discourse in the Old South

Edited by Michael O'Brien

A rich assortment of writings by antebellum intellectuals


"All Clever Men Who Make Their Way deserves a serious reading. Surveying the problems students of southern antebellum thinking face, which include the anonymity of many essayists, O'Brien's lively introduction sheds light on the society itself."
Journal of Southern History

"This handsomely designed and printed book deserves wide circulation and readership. The book testifies to the justice of giving the antebellum southern an 'uninterrupted moment in the court of historical opinion.' O'Brien has called the court to order and presented an argument. One hopes other historians will do the same."
Journal of the Early Republic

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From the pages of forgotten journals and literary magazines Michael O'Brien assembles fourteen pieces that effectively challenge the long-prevailing notion that the mind of the Old South was superficial, unintellectual, and obsessed with race and slavery. In this book are discourses on subjects ranging from English empirical thought to neoclassical aesthetics, from the enfranchisement of women to transcendental theology, from the works of Hawthorne and Emerson to the social system of Virginia.
Page count: 488 pp.
Trim size: 6.14 x 9.25


List price: $35.95

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Michael O'Brien is Professor of American Intellectual History at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of Jesus College, and a Fellow of the British Academy. He was the longtime series editor of the Publications of the Southern Texts Society. O'Brien is the author or editor of several books on southern intellectual history, including the Bancroft Prize-winner Conjectures of Order, which was also a Nominated Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History.