Hailed in The New York Times Book Review as "impressively informed and heroic" and in The Economist as "richly suggestive," the award-winning Beneath the American Renaissance is a classic work on American literature. It immeasurably broadens our knowledge of our most important literary period, as first identified by F.O. Matthiessen's American Renaissance. With its combination of sharp critical insight, engaging observation, and narrative drive, it represents the kind of masterful cultural history for which David Reynolds is known. Here the major works of Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, and Dickinson receive striking, original readings set against the rich backdrop of contemporary popular writing. Now back in print in an affordable paperback edition, the volume includes a new foreword by prominent historian Sean Wilentz that reveals the book's impact and influence. An exquisite jewel of criticism and cultural history, Beneath the American Renaissance is certain to find an appreciative new readership in those interested in the genesis of America's most significant literary epoch and the iconic figures who defined it.