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[Ed. note: This message is a reply to David Voelker's review: see http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=25634] There is very little to quarrel with in David Voelker’s generous review of my _American Transcendentalism: A History_, and so I wish only to reemphasize what I believe its contributions to the larger body of scholarship on this topic. Voelker remarks that my narrative in part follows that set out by scholars like Perry Miler and William Hutchison. Indeed it does. For years, for example, I have maintained that the head notes to Miller’s landmark _The Transcendentalists: An Anthology_ (1950), constituted the best history of the movement, and Hutchison’s _The Transcendentalist Ministers_ (1959) is still an indispensable guide to the clerical wrangling that marked the movement’s emergence. Moreover, I consciously sought to flesh out Miller’s narrative, even as I had the benefit of easy access to so many primary sources not yet available when he wrote. Further, as Voelker notes, I sought to provide as full a history as I could within a reasonable page limit, so that the work would interest the general reader as well as the specialist. As I re-read the primary source materials, though, certain key facts began to leap out at me, things that Miller had not seen or chosen to emphasize; and it was around these that I mapped the trajectory of the book. First, it became clear that early on the movement coalesced around George Ripley and Orestes Brownson, who by the late 1820s and early 1830s forwarded various kinds of social reform based in their belief in the innate divinity of each person. It was not until the brouhaha in 1838 over Emerson’s “Divinity School Address” that he began to emerge as another influence on those already exposed to the “New Thought.” Moreover, even as Emerson became one of the central figures in the movement, there was considerable debate over whether his emphasis on individual reform or “self-culture” should weigh more than the reform agenda pursued by others in the emergent group who viewed his “ego-theism” as an impediment to full social justice. Transcendentalist stalwarts like Theodore Parker and Elizabeth Peabody, in addition to the aforementioned Ripley and Brownson, centered this cohort, even as Henry Thoreau and Margaret Fuller gravitated toward Emerson’s point of view. Second, I discovered that by the mid-1850s, with the escalation of the anti-slavery movement, Transcendentalists seemed less involved in the transatlantic intellectual discourse (particularly in theology and philosophy) that had so informed their early years. The slavery question became all-consuming, and ventures like the utopian communes Brook Farm and Fruitlands, and the publication of journals like _The Dial_ or _Aesthetic Papers_, devoted to the promulgation of the Transcendentalists’ ideas, paled in significance against the horrors of the Southern plantation. To be sure, some individuals, particularly Fuller, were swept into the fervor of Europe’s revolutions, but after her death in 1850 and the loss of her manuscript describing her experiences on the Continent, anti-slavery became the issue for most of those who still held aloft the Transcendentalist banner. To take but one example, the plight of the working poor, of such concern to Ripley, Brownson, and others from the 1830s on, was no longer central to the movement. And, finally, Voelker is right that, from the outset, I view the Transcendentalist movement with some melancholy because of its final failure to realize “a truly egalitarian brotherhood.” As I read the narrative, in the post-Civil War period, as the industrialization that allowed the North to win that war increased and coalesced, what people remembered about the movement came via Emerson, not from Ripley, Brownson, or Parker. Emerson’s emphasis on the self-reliant individual believing in himself against all odds became part of the national mythology, and the dream of social equality embodied in the Transcendentalists’ original vision fell by the wayside. Indeed, although no reviewer has remarked it, my concluding paragraph borrows directly from Joseph Haroutunian’s magnificent _Piety Versus Moralism: The Passing of the New England Theology_ (1932), an equally elegiac book about the eventual transformation of Jonathan Edwards’ poetry into mere prose. A similar fate befell Transcendentalism. In the end, in the popular imagination two of the Transcendentalists’ core beliefs —"the supremacy of the individual consciousness" and concomitantly, "universal divine inspiration--grace as the birthright of all"—were oversimplified and, more importantly, separated from a third, "a profound sense of universal brotherhood." We are the worse for it. Philip F. Gura University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill