In a major interdisciplinary reinterpretation of first-generation New England cultural formation, Phillip H. Round demonstrates that Puritanism was only one ingredient in the creation of a new American civil society. Examining five discourses at work in the early modern era -- civic order, truth-telling, gender difference, authorship, and ethnicity -- he provides fresh readings of early American writers like William Bradford and Anne Bradstreet, and historical figures like Anne Hutchinson and Thomas Morton, that reveal the true transatlantic and civil dimensions of our nation's earliest literature.
Though the struggle over social authority took place within a Reformed Protestant context, it was actually far more eclectic, heterogeneous, and secular than contemporary published Puritan discourses -- and their latter day interpreters -- would admit. Round steps outside the official Puritan discourse to emphasize several other modes of rhetorical expression: transatlantic letters, urban revolutionary discourses and performances, town records, and pamphlets and tracts that engaged questions of racial and gender difference. The result is a version of the "New England Mind" and public culture which is far more complicated and interesting than prevailing theories suggest.
|Publisher:||Tufts University Press|
|Series:||Civil Society: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives Series|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.99(d)|
About the Author
PHILLIP H. ROUND is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Iowa.
Table of ContentsA True Relation
Whatsoever We did When We were in England
From her, that to yourself more duty owes
They Must Use their Eares and Not Their Tongues
Come Over and Help Us