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Joel Porte is Ernest I. White Professor of American Studies and Humane Letters, Cornell University. He has written extensively on American Renaissance figures and is the author of Emerson and Thoreau: Transcendentalists in Conflict and Representative Man: Ralph Waldo Emerson in His Time, among other books.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882 Criticism and interpretation, Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862 Criticism and interpretation, National characteristics, American, in literature, New England Intellectual life 19th century, Consciousness in literature, Culture in literature