It will probably be 2017 before any print reviews appear, but we now have our first Amazon review and it is very gratifying. One correction: much as I would like to share credit for Patrick Bowen’s excellent introduction to Volume I, it is entirely his own work. Hope that idealistreader will be pleased by Volume II which is almost entirely letters from Alexander Wilder and much more focused on Platonism than the first volume.
The “Sage” Thomas Moore Johnson truly was a giant in the field of Platonic thought and research in the midwest in the late 1880’s and early 1900’s. I learned about Johnson by reading Paul Anderson’s book Platonism in the Midwest and also Katherine Raine and George Mills Harper’s book on Thomas Taylor (the English Translator of Plato). I have also read several issues of Johnson’s journal The Platonist. So naturally, when I learned that a book with Thomas Moore Johnson’s correspondence was coming out I considered purchasing it. However, initially, I was reluctant because I noticed the first volume did not contain correspondence with such friends as William T. Harris, Alexander Wilder and Bronson Alcott. But despite my reservations, I made the purchase and I am very glad I did. Some of the correspondents are better known (G.R.S. Mead, Anna Kingsford) others obscure, but all the letters contain very interesting thoughts and observations of truth seekers.To think so much esoteric thought was going on over 100 years ago. Bowen and Johnson provide the reader with extremely well researched biographical sketches and in some cases pictures of Johnson’s correspondents. I am in awe at how they gathered all the biographical information. In addition, they give a very thorough biography of Thomas Moore Johnson in the introduction. I commend Patrick Bowen and K. Paul Johnson for the voluminous research they conducted to generate this book and I look forward to purchasing future volumes in this series.