Authorizing the past : the rhetoric of history in seventeenth-century New England /
Stephen Carl Arch.
DeKalb : Northern Illinois University Press, 1994.
xi, 232 p. ; 23 cm.
0875801889 (alk. paper)
More Details
DeKalb : Northern Illinois University Press, 1994.
0875801889 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [213]-223) and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1995-07:
In this sophisticated and complex book, Arch discusses the history of the writing of history in 17th-century New England. Emphasizing the works of John Winthrop, Edward Johnson, and Increase and Cotton Mather, Arch argues that each succeeding generation reconfigured New England's past in order to reach a different audience with a message appropriate to that generation with its new needs and views. Winthrop hoped to create a model for English reform; Johnson, a proper preparation for the millennium; Increase Mather, consensus and compromise in the face of specific crises; and Cotton Mather, New England's adjustment to the provincial charter. As much a study of literature as it is of history or historiography, Arch's work joins those of Sacvan Bercovitch, Peter Gay, and Philip Gura in the literary analysis of Puritanism. Because of its complexity, it is a book most appropriate for upper-division undergraduates and above. H. R. King; Eastern Michigan University
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Choice, July 1995
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Table of Contents
"Scattered Bones": John Winthrop's History of New Englandp. 3
Edifying History: Edward Johnson's Wonder-Working Providencep. 51
History in Pieces: Increase Mather and the New England Pastp. 88
Back to the Future: Cotton Mather's Magnalia Christi Americanap. 136
Epiloguep. 189
Notesp. 195
Works Citedp. 213
Indexp. 225
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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