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The Puritan Origins of the American Self: With a New Preface Paperback – May 31, 2011
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Bercovitch goes a step further with his analysis, however, by noting that this Puritan approach to personal/national identity provided a handy but complex structure for later generations to think of their place in the world. The result was a belief in human perfectibility and a strong utopian impulse in American intellectual thought and political tradition.Read more ›
The reason I didn't give this book 5 stars is that Bercovitch claims that Cotton Mather's ideology stretched all the way to RW Emerson. While there may be some external similarities in both stressing the uniqueness of America, the differences between the two are much more prominent. Succinctly, Emerson stood against virtually everything Mather stood for, staunchly denying Mather's Calvinist Christianity, veering past Unitarianism into agnostic pantheism. In the end, Emerson's deconstruction of biblical religion has contributed to the devastation of the 'nation' that Mather knew, one based on Biblical ethics.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The disappointing new introduction to this influential American Studies classic largely restates the intended argument rather than seriously meditating upon, grappling with, and... Read morePublished on February 1, 2013 by Passionphd
Sacvan Bercovitch's lengthy preface to the 2011 edition of THE PURITAN ORIGINS OF THE AMERICAN SELF is a gem. It's worth the price of the book. Read morePublished on December 10, 2011 by Thomas J. Farrell