Moralists and Modernizers: America's Pre-Civil War Reformers / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$20.39
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$15.35
(Save 33%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $2.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 91%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (19) from $2.00   
  • New (4) from $22.42   
  • Used (15) from $2.00   

Overview

The decades before the Civil War saw the first secular efforts in history to remake society through reform. Reformers launched unprecedented campaigns reform criminals and prostitutes, to educate the deaf and the blind, guarantee women's rights, and abolish slavery. Our modern systems of free public schools, prisons, and hospitals for the mentally ill are all legacies of this era. Moralists and Modernizers tells the fascinating story of America's first age of reform—combining incisive portraits of leading reformers and movements with perceptive analysis of religion, politics, and society.

Arguing that the reform impulse grew out of the era's peculiar mix of fear and hope, Steven Mintz shows that reform arose not only from fears of social disorder, family fragmentation, and widening class divisions, but also from a millennialist sense of possibility rooted in new religious and philosophical ideas. He then examines three distinct responses to pre-Civil War America's pressing social problems. Moral reform sought to create a Christian moral order using moral suasion. Social reform combatted poverty, crime, and ignorance through new institutions offering non-authoritarian forms of social control. Radical reform sought to regenerate American society by eliminating fundamental sources of inequality such as slavery and racial and sexual discrimination. In an epilogue, Mintz fits antebellum reform into the larger context of America's liberal tradition.

Mintz concludes that America's pre-Civil War reformers were at once moral critics and cultural modernizers. As exponents of a distinctly modern set of values, reformers attacked outmoded customs, smoothed the transition from a preindustrial to an industrial order, and devised modern bureaucratic systems of criminal justice, public education, and social welfare. The first comprehensive account antebellum reform to appear in twenty years, Moralists and Modernizers is a rich and rewarding work of synthesis and interpretation which draws upon the most recent historical research.

"This book charts a middle ground between those who regard reform as a form of class-based social control and those who stress reformers' benevolent intentions. It emphasizes the duality of antebellum reform, which blended impulses toward social and moral uplift with impulses to impose new codes of personal conduct, shape character, and construct new institutions of social control."—from Moralists and Modernizers

Johns Hopkins University Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Choice

[A] well-written, attention-grabbing synethesis of the antebellum reform movement in the US... Mintz makes accessible to readers of all levels a good, solid historical study comparing all of these important movements.

Cross Currents: Religion and Intellectual Life
This text stands tall, offering historical perspective to issues that still baffle the American people and demonstrating how perennial are the battles for equal justice and social transformation.
Cross Currents: Religion and Intellectual Life
This text stands tall, offering historical perspective to issues that still baffle the American people and demonstrating how perennial are the battles for equal justice and social transformation.
Choice
[A] well-written, attention-grabbing synethesis of the antebellum reform movement in the US... Mintz makes accessible to readers of all levels a good, solid historical study comparing all of these important movements.
Booknews
Mintz (history, U. of Houston) chronicles America's first age of social reform with profiles of leading reformers and movements and analyses of religion, politics, and society. He examines moral reform, social reform, and radical reform as distinct responses to the country's pre-Civil War social problems, and concludes that reformers were both moral critics and cultural modernizers who smoothed the transition from a preindustrial to an industrial order. Paper edition (unseen), $13.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801850813
  • Publisher: Hopkins Fulfillment Service
  • Publication date: 8/28/1995
  • Series: The American Moment
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 210
  • Sales rank: 826,290
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Mintz is professor of history at the University of Houston. His books include A Prison of Expectations: The Family in Victorian Culture and Domestic Revolutions: A Social History of American Family Life.

Johns Hopkins University Press

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Editor's Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Ch. 1 The Specter of Social Breakdown 3
Ch. 2 The Promise of the Millennium 16
Ch. 3 Making the United States a Christian Republic: The Politics of Virtue 50
Ch. 4 The Science of Doing Good: Creating Crucibles of Moral Character 79
Ch. 5 Breaking the Bonds of Corrupt Custom 117
Epilogue: Antebellum Reform and the American Liberal Tradition 154
Bibliographical Essay 157
Index 173
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)