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Written by distinguished historians with the force of a novel, this book reconstructs the web of religious ecstacy, greed, and seduction within the cult of the Prophet Matthias in New York in 1834 and captures the heated atmosphere of the religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening. Illustrations.
"A history book that reads like a novel of suspense and intrique...it affords us a rare glimpse into a much-misunderstood time."—WORLD
"Johnson and Wilentz successfully anchor their narrative in the religious and economic history of the early nineteenth century."—American Historical Review
"The story is an inherently engrossing one, and its retelling will be of direct value to scholars of the history of communitarianism and of alternative religions. The scholarship here...is impressive; the authors have come up with remarkable detailed sources for a story so seemingly marginal and so long past. But even more impressive is their ability to tell an engrossing story in language at once scholarly and as compelling as that of a good novel."—Utopian Studies
"This interesting and informative examination of an early religious cult will be a definite asset for anyone doing research on the history of cults."—KLIATT, November 1995
|Prologue: Two Prophets at Kirtland||3|
|A Note on Sources||181|