Prominent transcendentalists included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Orestes Brownson, William Henry Channing, James Freeman Clarke, Christopher Pearse Cranch, Convers Francis, Margaret Fuller, Frederick Henry Hedge, Sylvester Judd, Elizabeth Peabody, George Ripley, Amos Bronson Alcott, and Jones Very.
Samuel Hopkins Adams (1871–1958) — The Great American Fraud, exposed false claims about patent medicines cork suckers
Ray Stannard Baker (1870–1946) — of McClure's & American Magazine
George Seldes (1890–1995) — Freedom of the Press (1935) and Lords of the Press (1938), blacklisted during the 1950s period of McCarthyism.
Upton Sinclair (1878–1968) — The Jungle (1906), U.S. meat-packing industry, and the books in the "Dead Hand" series that critique the institutions (journalism, education, etc.) that could but did not prevent these abuses.
John Kenneth Turner — (1879-1948) author of Barbarous Mexico (1910), an account of the exploitative debt peonage system used in Mexico under Porfirio Díaz.
Dark romanticism is a literary subgenre that emerged from the Transcendental philosophical movement popular in nineteenth-century America. Works in the dark romantic spirit were influenced by Transcendentalism, but did not entirely embrace the ideas of Transcendentalism. Such works are notably less optimistic than Transcendental texts about mankind, nature, and divinity. Authors considered most representative of dark romanticism are Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, poet Emily Dickinson and Italian poet Ugo Foscolo.
1920s *Cultural Trends: Popular and Otherwise*
- The 1920s witnessed the birth of a new mass culture and more leisure time for Americans. New forms of entertainment and culture included:
Movies – Silent film, then sound with The Jazz Singer. Most movies were escapist fantasies, and people flocked to see the hot new movie stars like Clara Bow, Rudolph Valentino, Greta Garbo – okay, this is NOT supposed to be about that!
Sports – With mass culture came a loss of individuality, so people looked to sports figures as representatives of the triumph of the unique individual. “Lucky Lindy” is another example of this type of hero-worship.
Prohibition or Lack Thereof – People still drank in speakeasies and such, and all the Eighteenth Amendment did was give gangsters like Al Capone tremendous power.
- As for literature and the arts…
The Lost Generation – F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and John Steinbeck. Faced w/materialism and conformity, many writers went abroad during the 1920s and wrote about America from afar. Others stayed, but still spoke about the same themes: alienation, hypocrisy, conformity, and so on.
Harlem Renaissance – Blacks flocked to Harlem, where they established a vibrant artistic community that celebrated black culture. A big issue for intellectuals in the HR was identity.
Jazz – A major part of the Harlem Renaissance was Jazz, which owed a lot to black culture and music. Jazz was a huge hit in the cities, and helped the recording industry greatly.
Innovative Art/Music – The twenties were very creative, and many artists attempted new styles, like Georgia O’Keefein painting, Aaron Copland and George Gershwin in music, and Frank Lloyd Wright and his “prairie-style houses” in architecture.