The roots of his varied career were sent down in his youth. He grew up, largely self-educated, in rural Vermont, encountered social inequality first-hand in the fashionable resort town of Ballston Spa, New York, and came of age as an apprentice journalist in the midst of controversy over the role of money and influence in politics. After a brief stint as a schoolteacher on the outskirts of Detroit - then a frontier settlement populated largely by French-speaking Catholics - he settled in New York as a Universalist minister and editor, only to be driven from his pulpit by fellow Universalists who considered him an "infidel."
Becoming Brownson is not only the story of Brownson's formative years, but an essential key to the problem of reconciling the many dimensions of his mature and fruitful life.
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