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ALLEN THORNDIKE RICE.
The Essays collected in this volume may, without pretension, be truly said to represent the growth of native thought and scholarship in the United States from the close of the second 'war with Great Britain down to the close of the great Civil War. In few libraries, public or private, can complete sets of the “ North American Review” be found, and the best thoughts and the freshest activity of two generations of conspicuous American writers have thus remained inaccessible to the great mass of the American reading public.
When the “North American Review” was projected, the object of its founders was to give public voice to a group of students, scholars, and thinkers in and around the university at Cambridge and the capital of Massachusetts, then not unaptly called the Athens of the New World; and the form of the “ Review” was suggested by the amazing success which had attended the experiment so boldly ventured upon but a few years before by Jeffrey, Brougham, Horner, Sydney Smith,