Journal Of John Winthrop, 1630-1649, Abridged Edition / Edition 1

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This abridged edition of Winthrop's journal, which incorporates about 40 percent of the governor's text, with his spelling and punctuation modernized, includes a lively Introduction and complete annotation. It also includes Winthrop's famous lay sermon, "A Model of Christian Charity," written in 1630. As in the fuller journal, this abridged edition contains the drama of Winthrop's life - his defeat at the hands of the freemen for governor, the banishment and flight of Roger Williams to Rhode Island, the Pequot War that exterminated his Indian opponents, and the Antinomian controversy. Here is the earliest American document on the perpetual contest between the forces of good and evil in the wilderness - Winthrop's recounting of how God's Chosen People escaped from captivity into the promised land. While he recorded all the sexual scandal - rape, fornication, adultery, sodomy, and buggery - it was only to show that even in Godly New England the Devil was continually at work, and man must be forever militant.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Review of Books - Edmund S. Morgan
Until the Revolution with its stellar collection of 'Founding Fathers' [John] Winthrop was the only public figure who left his mark on the way his society developed in his own time and for long after. He preserved many letters and papers to document his achievement--he was not bashful about it--and the most important by far was his journal...The new edition [of the journal] will stand as a model of editorial scholarship...[and] is worth reading simply for the sense it conveys of what it took just to stay alive in seventeenth-century Massachusetts...[Winthrop and the Massachusetts Bay colonists] carried out a revolution, rendered bloodless only be the three thousand miles of ocean that separated them from the government they would otherwise have had to overthrow in order to do what they did. In Massachusetts they created what amounted to a republic, substituting annually elected rulers for an hereditary monarchy and independent self-starting churches for the whole hierarchical structure of the Church of England...John Winthrop surely was the wisest, if not the best, public man in early Massachusetts. He guided a whole society in a truly revolutionary reform...With the exception of Jefferson, the men whom Americans recognize as great seam to have pursued and accomplished radical ends by conservative means. Winthrop was the first.
New York Times Book Review - Timothy H. Breen
[W]e should greet the release of a major early American text with enthusiasm. Richard S. Dunn and Laetitia Yeandle have published a splendid new edition of John Winthrop's 'Journal,' an account of the founding of New England written between 1630 and 1649. Such works are expressions of a shared national heritage...This edition, from Harvard University Press, is as definitive as projects of this sort are ever likely to be.
Bernard Bailyn
The single most valuable document of the settlement years, an inner account of the first Puritan generation by its great leader, and a vivid testimony of faith, struggle, and achievement, John Winthrop's journal is now published in a new, scholarly edition, with the text based on a fresh transcription from the surviving manuscripts. It is a splendid edition, the product of many years of collaboration between an expert paleographer and one of the nation's leading historians.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674484276
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1997
  • Series: John Harvard Library Series
  • Edition description: Abridged
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 388
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

James Savage, 1784-1873, prepared the 1825-1826 edition of Winthrop's journal.

Richard S. Dunn is Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of American History, University of Pennsylvania.

Laetitia Yeandle is Curator of Manuscripts, Folger Shakespeare Library.

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Table of Contents



Editorial Method

A Model of Christian Charity

The Journal of John Winthrop


Suggested Further Reading

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