Herman Melville is widely considered to be one of America's greatest authors, and countless literary theorists and critics have studied his life and work. However, political theorists have tended to avoid Melville, turning rather to such contemporaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau to understand the political thought of the American Renaissance. While Melville was not an activist in the traditional sense and his philosophy is notoriously difficult to categorize, his work is neve.
About the Author
Jason Frank is associate professor of government at Cornell University. He is the author of Constituent Moments: Enacting the People in Postrevolutionary America and Publius and Political Imagination and coeditor of Vocations of Political Theory.