From Library Journal
Butler's fine scholarly summary of the first three centuries of Christian experience in America is both well researched and very readable. Butler ranges widely, showing how the elitist Christianity of early modern Europe co-existed with belief in magic and the occult and also discussing 18th-century church establishment in America, the negligible impact of the Great Awakening, the impact of the American Revolution on religion, and the democratization of 19th-century American religion. While many of his theses are arguable, they are all impressively defended. Recommended for large public and academic libraries.- Susan A. Stussy, St. Norbert Coll., De Pere, Wis.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Throughout, the richness of detail, nuance, and illustration is superb and often eye-opening...In all, it is a daring work of synthesis...meticulously researched...This book ranks among the most challenging and far-ranging historical analyses of religion in America to date. (Leigh Eric Schmidt Journal of Church and State
This is one of those rare books that historians await impatiently for years. It is also one of those rare and remarkable books that prove worth the wait. It fulfills extravagantly the promise of those pathbreaking and pugnacious articles that made magic an essential reality of the seventeenth century and the Great Awakening an interpretive fiction of the eighteenth. It is, by far, the best account we have of early American religious life, and the most radiantly original. (Michael Zuckerman Journal of the Early Republic
Anyone who wants to know about religion in America up to the Civil War would do well to read Jon Butler's rich, comprehensive and--it must be said--contentious account. (David Martin Times Literary Supplement