Tuesday, December 09, 2008

What is Johann N. Neem reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read: Johann N. Neem, author of Creating a Nation of Joiners: Democracy and Civil Society in Early National Massachusetts.

His entry starts:
I'm currently reading two books. The first is Albert Camus' The Plague. I read it because I am, like so many, on a quest to find how humans create meaning in the world. The existentialists, while challenging, confront the possibility of meaninglessness. I believe that this confrontation need not lead to nihilism but might instead help us understand how we, as humans together in community, can forge a better society for ourselves.[read on]
Johann N. Neem is Associate Professor of History at Western Washington University.

Read an excerpt from Neem's Creating a Nation of Joiners and learn more about the book at the Harvard University Press website.

Among the praise for Creating a Nation of Joiners:
Beautifully conceived and clearly written, Creating a Nation of Joiners is a major contribution to our understanding of the early Republic. Not only does it nicely show how bitterly contested was the struggle over the creation of a civil society, but it contains the best account of the changing nature of the corporation since Oscar and Mary Handlin's Commonwealth. A superb study.
--Gordon S. Wood, Brown University
Writers Read: Johann N. Neem.

--Marshal Zeringue