In my home department of American Studies, U.S. intellectual history is basically a primary source kind of affair. My orals list in the field has such chestnuts as Ben Franklin’s Autobiography, essays from Emerson and Thoreau, The Souls of Black Folk, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and even Charles Murray’s Losing Ground. But I admit to being rather ignorant of works that are about U.S. intellectual history. I know a lot of that early republican stuff and am aware of the work of a few figures such as Hollinger and Kucklick. And of course biographies of intellectuals always count as intellectual history. But there must be more than that, no?
So what are the major secondary sources in the field? I’ll ask interested parties to submit comments listing, say, 5-10 of the most important such books (or articles). If we come up with disagreements later, that might be interesting, but for now I’m interested in more consensual picks, if such things exist.