The transcendentalist movement is generally recognized to be the first major watershed in American literary and intellectual history. Pioneered by Emerson, Thoreau, Orestes Brownson, Margaret Fuller, and Bronson Alcott (among others), Transcendentalism provided a springboard for the first distinctly American forays into intellectual culture: religion and religious reform, philosophy, literature, ecology, and spiritualism. This new collection, edited by eminent American literature scholar Joel Myerson, is the first anthology of the period to appear in over fifty years. Transcendentalism: A Reader draws together in their entirety the essential writings of the Transcendentalist group during its most active period, 1836-1844. It includes the major publications of the Dial, the writings on democratic and social reform, the early poetry, nature writings, and all of Emerson's major essays, as well as an informative introduction and annotations by Myerson.