The American Scholar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia From Wikipedia: 'Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States. Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay, Nature. Following this ground-breaking work, he gave a speech entitled "The American Scholar" in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. considered to be America's "Intellectual Declaration of Independence".[1 From time to time I wonder what advice some of the 'great thinkers' would offer? No doubt --persevere. I suppose that was always 'The Way'. Much is said about 'what is not being taught in schools the history/heritage of the US'---this should go on that list. I don't know much about the ideas of Emerson, Holmes, Thoreau and others---Transcendalists/transformers?---humanists. Presumably those ideas were blended with other ideas and passed on to me. Sometimes it helps me gain perspective to review.