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Publisher's Summary

Hardly a club in the conventional sense, the organization referred to in the title of this superb literary hybrid (part history, part biography, part philosophy) consisted of four members and probably existed for less than nine months. Yet its impact upon American intellectual life remains incalculable. Louis Menand masterfully weaves pivotal late 19th- and early 20th-century events, colorful biographical anecdotes, and abstract ideas into a narrative whole that both enthralls and enlightens.
©2001 Louis Menand; (P) 2001 Highbridge Company

Critic Reviews

  • Pulitzer Prize winner, History, 2002

"The Metaphysical Club is a compellingly vital account of how the cluster of ideas that came to be called pragmatism was forged from the searing experiences of its progenitors' lives." (Daniel Kevles, Yale University)
"The Metaphysical Club is a brilliant reanimation of American pragmatism." (Richard Poirier)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    68
  • 4 Stars
    63
  • 3 Stars
    43
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    7

Performance

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    32
  • 4 Stars
    30
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    17
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    36
  • 4 Stars
    26
  • 3 Stars
    19
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    5
  • 1 Stars
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Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Scholarly, diverse, engaging.

Fascinating story of nineteenth and twentieth century ideas and intellectual currents. Highly recommended for academically oriented readers.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good jumping off point for Pragmatism

Exceeded expectations. An interesting listen that requires a second/third go round with notebook.

The reader is better than most but not spectacular.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • J
  • Berea, KY, United States
  • 12-29-11

Fascinating subject

Would you consider the audio edition of The Metaphysical Club to be better than the print version?

While the performance was quite good, Menand's text is what really makes this book worth listening to.

  • Overall
  • Laura
  • Toronto, ON, Canada
  • 07-01-10

Well Written History

To be honest, to get the most out of this book, the reader probably needs some knowledge of the American Civil War. It would also help to know a bit about early American philosophy and psychology. However, if the reader remains patient, Menand eventually fills in the missing details.

Overall, the Metaphysical Club is a very well written and complex history of a fascinating group of thinkers.

  • Overall
  • Robert
  • LARCHMONT, NY, USA
  • 09-30-04

Not bad

An interesting topic, though you need to be a history or philosophy buff to get the most out of this book.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Missing information

I really enjoyed many parts of this book. However, I was hoping the author would go a little deeper and provide a richer story. There were so many threads he could have followed but didn't.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Douglas
  • QUINCY, MA, United States
  • 01-08-13

Mispronunciation

How could the performance have been better?

The reader consistently mispronounces the name of one of the main historical characters. Charles Peirce is pronounced /ˈpɜrs/ like "purse"; Can't a paid reader take the time to look something like that up?

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Boring

I like the subject but found both the book and reader boring!!

0 of 6 people found this review helpful