Roger Williams: Prophet of Liberty

Roger Williams: Prophet of Liberty

by Edwin S. Gaustad
     
 


Roger Williams chronicles the life of one of the most remarkable forefathers in American history. A true revolutionary, this devout Puritan championed Native American rights; wrote treatises on equal rights, flag desecration, and the separation of church and state; established the first American settlement based on total religious toleration--and he livedSee more details below

Overview


Roger Williams chronicles the life of one of the most remarkable forefathers in American history. A true revolutionary, this devout Puritan championed Native American rights; wrote treatises on equal rights, flag desecration, and the separation of church and state; established the first American settlement based on total religious toleration--and he lived more than a century before independence, when America was still a vast wilderness! Williams went on to adopt adult baptism and founded the first Baptist church in America. He became president of Rhode Island colony in 1654, served as captain in the defense of Providence during King Philip's War, and continued to write and preach passionately for religious tolerance and Native American rights until his death in 1683.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Many people know that Roger Williams founded Rhode Island; some know that he was a Puritan minister. But how many have learned about his spiritual integrity, championship of religious liberty, advocacy of Native Americans, bravery and intellectual honesty? He had many friends and even more enemies. Just as landmarks and monuments and sermons do not survive, Williams appears to be a forgotten man. In actuality, he was among the founders of our country who left us our unique legacy. Born in London under the reign of James I, he studied at Cambridge to be a minister in the Church of England. But soon he became involved in a Protestant sect that came to be called Puritans. Persecuted for their beliefs, many Puritans, including Williams and his new wife, migrated across the Atlantic to find religious freedom. Here he established a settlement that, after almost thirty years of hard work and political strife, was chartered in 1663 as the colony of "Rhode Island and Providence Plantations." There is much more to the Roger Williams story, all of it told here in engaging prose and compelling detail. This is not a biography for the casual browser anxious to fulfill a homework assignment, but rather, for the intellectually curious who enjoy spending several hours with a fascinating character. A chronology, an extensive reading list and an index add to the book's appeal. It is part of the series, "Oxford Portraits." 2001, Oxford University Press, $24.00. Ages 12 up. Reviewer: Ellen R. Butts
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-In this fast-paced account, Gaustad recounts Williams's life and identifies his contribution to the concept of religious liberty. His lively prose never transgresses scholarly limits, but makes the most of the few biographical details available. Readers will be engaged by a sense of Williams's personality; he was stubborn, restless, forceful, but a man of integrity and conviction. Following an overview of the life and theology of his subject, Gaustad then focuses on the man's dealings with the Indians, notably his farsighted views on their rights to their own land; his struggles to establish civil governance in Rhode Island; and his upholding of the cause of religious liberty-a radical stance in his day. The final chapter provides a lucid explanation of Williams's influence on such figures as John Locke, James Madison, and later historians and political thinkers. The author makes excellent use of primary-source excerpts and includes a chronology and annotated list for further reading (but no notes). Black-and-white photographs of sites and reproductions of artwork, documents, and maps illustrate the book. This accessible volume is well suited to reading as a biography or to use as a reference on specific topics.-Patricia Lothrop-Green, St. George's School, Newport, RI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195130003
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/28/2001
Series:
Oxford Portraits Series
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 6.30(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >