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Published: Aug 31 2017
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Nathan Crick is a professor in the Communication Department at Texas A&M University. He is the author of Rhetoric and Power: The Drama of Classical Greece, Democracy and Rhetoric: John Dewey on the Arts of Becoming, both published by the University of South Carolina Press, and Rhetorical Public Speaking: Civic Engagement in the Digital Age.
"This is a brilliant and beautifully written book. It is also a muscular book that engages, grapples with, and overthrows the dominant idea that Transcendentalism was the dying gasp of a displaced group of New England literati rudely eclipsed by a new materialist group of industrialists and entrepreneurs. With great intellectual daring, Nathan Crick smashes utterly the image of Emerson and his cadre as an effete group alarmed and threatened by social change. He challenges the traditional concept of power as a unified system of the control of resources with the rhetorical power of the Transcendentalist, a power of moral authority directed toward ends. In highlighting the struggle between institutional control and personal moral authority, Transcendentalism has left its claw marks on the American character."—Andrew King, professor emeritus, Louisiana State University
"Crick's book is the best study on Transcendentalists that we have. By situating a series of six defining voices in the specific context of complex changes in communication, transportation, and market revolutions, Crick is able to explain how they developed new arts of living for both the individual and the collective. He tells this tale in a vigorous writing style that often realizes for our day a scholarly brand of the eloquence he studies. And the chapter on Emerson is the single best study of his writing I have seen."—Frederick J. Antczak, dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Grand Valley State University
"In The Keys of Power, Nathan Crick extends Burke's insights to the larger social contexts of Transcendentalism and considerably deepens our understanding of its rhetorical interests in the material, yet no less mysterious, act of communication."—Rhetoric & Public Affairs
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