The Newsboys' Lodging-house or The Confessions of William James

The Newsboys' Lodging-house or The Confessions of William James

A Novel

Book - 2003
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Penguin Putnam
William James, psychologist, philosopher, and one of the founding fathers of modern American thought, was thirty years old when he suffered a devastating mental collapse. Suicidal, unable to work, eat or sleep, James became obsessed with the question of evil. Months later he emerged from the hospital with a surer sense of self and a profound clarity of purpose. No one knows what happened during that time as forty-two pages had been cut out of his diary. In his enchanting historical novel filmmaker and novelist Jon Boorstin imagines what perils befell James during those missing months and what saved him.

Inspired by the novels of Horatio Alger, James goes to New York incognito to study the pluck and drive of the young street urchins Alger wrote about. While there, James finds himself tested by the harsh realities of a gritty, unforgiving city coming into its own. He becomes embroiled in a battle to save a nine-year-old seduced by the darker side of street life and the young philosopher and brilliant theorizer is forced to test his abstract speculations in the crucible of 1870 New York-the very ideas that would later so profoundly influence American thought. A marvelous evocation of old New York and some of its famous denizens, a gripping tale, and an illuminating study of a young man on the path to greatness, Boorstin's story of the travails and triumphs of young James and a city on the rise is a spellbinding literary entertainment.

Baker & Taylor
Considers what happened in the life of foremost nineteenth-century American psychologist William James in the months after he suffered a devastating mental collapse, in a story that takes him to the side of street urchins in New York, where he works to save a troubled nine-year-old. 25,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
William James, psychologist and philosopher, one of the founding fathers of modern American thought, suffered a devastating mental collapse when he was thirty years old. Obsessing about evil's existence in a godly world, he found himself unable to work or sleep, and contemplated suicide. Months later, he emerged from his isolation with a surer sense of self and a new clarity of purpose. No one knows what happened in the interim as forty-two pages had been cut out of his diary. In this historical novel, Jon Boorstin imagines James's adventures during those missing months.
Inspired by a chance encounter with Horatio Alger, James goes incognito to New York City to search for the key to human nature in the struggles of the young street urchins Alger wrote about. Once there, James finds himself confronting the harsh realities of a gritty, unforgiving city coming into its own as he battles to save a nine-year-old seduced by the darker side of street life. James, the brilliant theorizer, is forced to test his abstract speculations in the crucible of 1870s New York - shaping the very ideas that would later so profoundly influence American thought.

Baker
& Taylor

Imagines what happened to William James during the months that are unaccounted for in forty-two pages which were cut out of his diary after he suffered a mental collapse.

Publisher: New York : Viking, 2003.
ISBN: 9780670031153
0670031151
Characteristics: 341 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.

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