How does the early life--the childhood or the adolescent years--shape the mature thought of American intellectuals? Over at U.S. Intellectual History Paul Croce, a historian at Stetson University, thinks it is very important for seven reasons. Here is a taste of his post:
For the other six reasons, read Croce's entire post.
This kind of developmental biography is not easy. Primary materials on the early life of intellectuals--or any figure in history for that matter--is difficult to find. My biography of Philip Vickers Fithian (who was certainly not a famous intellectual) could only gesture toward the kind of culture in which he was raised due to lack of documentary evidence. If he wrote anything prior to the age of eighteen it does not exist.