William James, the radical modern philosopher and father of American psychology, found habit and will to be the secret of a good life. He elaborated this discovery into a philosophy of life that runs through his many scintillating writings, ranging from psychology and religion to pragmatism and war. Always he urged people to cultivate habits of mind---especially habits of will, including the power to break bad habits---that give us self-mastery. alert us to truth, equip us to act, and lend zest to life.
In the extensive introduction James Sloan Allen shows how William James came to his philosophy of life and how he played it out in ideas and works that have immediate value today. In the selections that are included in the book, we see William James weaving his philosophy through classic writings on habit and its uses, consciousness and the discipline of will, the efficacy of belief and clues to morality, the truths of experience, and the strenuous life and its rewards.