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Critical AmericansVictorian Intellectuals and Transatlantic Liberal Reform$
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Leslie Butler

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780807830840

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877579_butler

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(p.1) Introduction
Critical Americans

Leslie Butler

University of North Carolina Press

The Massachusetts Historical Society is a group of like-minded friends who shared literary political commitments and historical experiences during the middle of the century. This book focuses on four central figures of this group: Charles Eliot Norton, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, George William Curtis, and James Russell Lowell. It describes how this liberal circle of friends and the larger community of liberal men of letters devoted their post-Civil War careers to the reformation of American democracy, to the elevation and broadening of its cultural life, and to a sharp critique of its late-century imperial adventures.

Keywords:   Massachusetts Historical Society, Charles Eliot Norton, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, George William Curtis, James Russell Lowell, Civil War, reformation, American democracy

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