David Michael Hertz demonstrates how three major American artistsFrank Lloyd Wright, Wallace Stevens, and Charles Iveswere influenced by Emerson s nineteenth-century transcendentalism. By focusing on the reflective statements of the artists themselves, Hertz shows that Emerson s belief that all things including matter and spiritare in flux had direct bearing on the form and content of their works.Hertz writes the book as a meditation on the condition of the artist in America, including biographical and historical information as well as his own interpretations of the three artists works. In part 1, he examines the emerging creative mind of the architect, poet, and composer, citing Emerson as the central figure who, through his essays, influenced each of them. By tracing their development as powerful and original thinkers, Hertz examines the processes that enabled them to become unique. In part 2, Hertz connects Emerson, Wright, Stevens, and Ives through a shared ideology, evident both in their critical statements and in their creative work. He shows how all three artists had specific, documented knowledge of Emerson s major works. Their pragmatism, their preoccupation with the primacy of the senses, their love for analogy and loose metaphor, their dedication to individuality and self-reliance, and their eclecticism and conception of originality were shared traits and beliefs gleaned from Emerson."