UNLIMITED KINDLE ☆ Banquet at Delmonico's: Great Minds, the Gilded Age, and the Triumph of Evolution in America - by Barry Werth

Banquet at Delmonico's: Great Minds, the Gilded Age, and the Triumph of Evolution in America By Barry Werth,

  • Title: Banquet at Delmonico's: Great Minds, the Gilded Age, and the Triumph of Evolution in America
  • Author: Barry Werth
  • ISBN: 9781400067787
  • Page: 299
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In Banquet at Delmonico s, Barry Werth, the acclaimed author of The Scarlet Professor, draws readers inside the circle of philosophers, scientists, politicians, businessmen, clergymen, and scholars who brought Charles Darwin s controversial ideas to America in the crucial years after the Civil War.The United States in the 1870s and 80s was deep in turmoil a brash young naIn Banquet at Delmonico s, Barry Werth, the acclaimed author of The Scarlet Professor, draws readers inside the circle of philosophers, scientists, politicians, businessmen, clergymen, and scholars who brought Charles Darwin s controversial ideas to America in the crucial years after the Civil War.The United States in the 1870s and 80s was deep in turmoil a brash young nation torn by a great depression, mired in scandal and corruption, rocked by crises in government, violently conflicted over science and race, and fired up by spiritual and sexual upheavals Secularism was rising, most notably in academia Evolution and its catchphrase, survival of the fittest animated and guided this Gilded Age.Darwin s theory of natural selection was extended to society and morals not by Darwin himself but by the English philosopher Herbert Spencer, father of the Law of Equal Freedom, which holds that every man is free to do that which he wills, provided it doesn t infringe on the equal freedom of others As this justification took root as a social, economic, and ethical doctrine, Spencer won numerous influential American disciples and allies, including industrialist Andrew Carnegie, clergyman Henry Ward Beecher, and political reformer Carl Schurz Churches, campuses, and newspapers convulsed with debate over the proper role of government in regulating Americans behavior, this country s place among nations, and, most explosively, the question of God s existence.In late 1882, most of the main figures who brought about and popularized these developments gathered at Delmonico s, New York s most venerable restaurant, in an exclusive farewell dinner to honor Spencer and to toast the social applications of the theory of evolution It was a historic celebration from which the repercussions still ripple throughout our society.Banquet at Delmonico s is social history at its finest, richest, and most appetizing, a brilliant narrative bristling with personal intrigue, tantalizing insights, and greater truths about American life and culture.
    Banquet at Delmonico s Great Minds the Gilded Age and the Triumph of Evolution in America In Banquet at Delmonico s Barry Werth the acclaimed author of The Scarlet Professor draws readers inside the circle of philosophers scientists politicians businessmen clergymen and scholars wh

    One thought on “Banquet at Delmonico's: Great Minds, the Gilded Age, and the Triumph of Evolution in America”

    1. The book covers a time in American history from 1871 to 1872 It culminates with the breakfast at DelMonico s where Herbert Spencer comes to America to speak to a select group of famous people I wouldn t exactly defend the subtitle, The Triumph of Evolution in America, since I wouldn t exactly call it a triumph There was still dissent, just like we have today unfortunately It s the triumph of Spencer He seemed to rise ahead of Darwin as the champion of the theory of evolution as it applied to hu [...]

    2. A simple review would state This rich narrative is about the development of social Darwinism in post Civil War polite society But there ain t nothin simple about this book It is complex roller coaster ride through American society facing tremendous upheaval and rapid industrialization in the generation following Reconstruction And in light of current political and economic conditions and the ongoing debate of evolution vs religion, this social history is incredibly relevant the political and eco [...]

    3. I find Werth s title somewhat ironic, as he quotes at length some of the speeches given at the event The speakers proclaimed the importance of evolution as a scientific principle but what brand of evolution Spencer s follower John Fiske asserted that the events of this world do not exist blindly but that all are connected together as the orderly manifestations of a divine Power The best received speech, by the Rev Henry Ward Beecher, grounded science on religion There is a record in geology that [...]

    4. The New York Times Book Review noted that t rying to write intellectual history is like trying to nail jelly to a wall, but most critics concluded, with some reservations, that Werth has succeeded in this effort Reviewers praised Banquet at Delmonico s for its taut storytelling and its bright evocation of the famous Americans who debated Darwinism However, both the New York Times Book Review and the Washington Post lamented Werth s reluctance to take a step back from his story The New York Times [...]

    5. There is a lot of merit to this book fascinating characters, ideas, events but I found the structure a bit difficult to follow The chronological order makes sense, but there were so many different people involved and events going on, the chronological structure didn t pull the pieces together for me very well It felt like the book lacked a center the most central piece was the Youmans Spencer relationship, but some of the other fascinating episodes The Beecher affair mostly felt like tangents th [...]

    6. Using Herbert Spencer s 1882 New York lecture as a framing device, Werth gives us a snapshot of the dazzling intersection of money, science and society in the Gilded Age, with nicely done vignettes of the tycoons, intellectuals and scandalous glitterati Spencer, Edward Youmans, John Fiske, Louis Agassiz, Henry Ward Beecher, Victoria Woodhull, Carl Schurz, William Graham Sumner, William Evarts and Andrew Carnegie.

    7. This history of social Darwinism in America has many parallels in our time In its original incarnation, social Darwinism was eclipsed by pragmatism, and I hope that s what we re experiencing now in our political life.

    8. The last chapter, the Banquet, was a wonderful end to a great book The author did a superb job of weaving the evolution theme in and through the gilded age of American history The book has plenty of depth and weight in addition to the factual rendition of this brief historical period Thrilled I stumbled onto this book.

    9. Engrossing look at the confluence of religion, science, and Capitalism in late 19th Cent America to justify racism and weslth in the hands of a few Fascinating look at the movers and shakers of the time Darwin, Huxley, Spencer, Stowe, etc.

    10. A very entertaining view of the post civil war years and the battle over and expansion of evolution theory and scientific reason I recommend it highly.

    11. Truly intriguing story about the rise of social darwinism in the United States and to a degree in England Worthwhile reading for an understanding of the social context of scientific acceptance.

    12. Banquet at Delmonico s Great Minds, the Gilded Age, and the Triumph of Evolution in America by Barry Werth 2009

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