The Metaphysical Club

Cover of The Metaphysical Club by Louis Menand. The title is is superimposed on the stripes of an American flag.

First Paragraph:

“Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was an officer in the Union Army. He stood six feet three inches tall and had a soldierly bearing. In later life, he loved to use military metaphors in his speeches and his conversation; he didn't mind being referred to good-naturedly as Captain Holmes; and he wore his enormous military mustaches until his death in 1935, at the age of ninety-three. The war was the central experience of his life, and he kept its memory alive. Every year he drank a glass of wine in observance of the anniversary of the battle Antietam, where he had been shot in the neck and left, briefly behind enemy lines, for dead."

—Louis Menand, The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America