"Readers who want an engaging story... will find Banquet at Delmonico's to be a literary treat." (Boston Globe) "On one level, the book is a study of how ideas are understood, reworked, mangled and applied to society: Banquet at Delmonico's is like a racier version of The Metaphysical Club, Louis Menand's worthy study of the origins of pragmatism. But... Werth also offers a portrait of how ideas can be transformed if their originators vacate the public sphere." (Nation) "Histories of ideas are rarely page-turners, but Werth has done the trick." (Kirkus, starred review) "A beautifully written classic of non-fiction narrative." (Nature) "What Werth has done, cleverly, in addition to drawing Spencer out from behind Darwin's shadow... is to create a narrative double helix of his own." (Los Angeles Times) "A surprisingly suspenseful and fast-paced story.... Banquet at Delmonico's crackles with energy and wit.... Werth is a gifted writer, and his subject is especially important in our current economic crisis." (New York Times Book Review)"Vom Verlag:
In "Banquet at Delmonico's", Barry Werth draws readers inside the circle of intellectuals, scientists, politicians, businessmen, and clergymen who brought Charles Darwin's controversial ideas to post - Civil War America. Each chapter is dedicated to a crucial intellectual encounter, culminating with an exclusive farewell dinner held in English philosopher Herbert Spencer's honor at the venerable New York restaurant Delmonico's in 1882. In this thought-provoking and nuanced account, Werth firmly situates Darwinism in the context of the Gilded Age. "Banquet at Delmonico's" is social history at its finest.
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