New England Mind The Seventeenth Century

ISBN-10: 0674613066

ISBN-13: 9780674613065

Edition: 1939

Authors: Perry Miller
List price: $45.00 Buy it from $41.86
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Description: The late Perry Miller once stated, "I have been compelled to insist that the mind of man is the basic factor in human history," and his study of the mind in America has shaped the thought of three decades of scholars. The fifteen essays here collected--several of them previously unpublished--address themselves to facets of the American consciousness and to their expression in literature from the time of the Cambridge Agreement to the Nobel Prize acceptance speeches of Hemingway and Faulkner. A companion volume to Errand into the Wilderness, its general theme is one adumbrated in Mr. Miller's two-volume masterpiece, The New England Mind--the thrust of civilization into the vast, empty continent and its effect upon Americans' concept of themselves as "nature's nation." The essays first concentrate on Puritan covenant theology and its gradual adaptation to changing conditions in America: the decline in zeal for a "Bible commonwealth," the growth of trade and industy, and the necessity for coexisting with large masses of unchurched people. As the book progresses, the emphasis shifts from religion to the philosophy of nature to the development of an original literature, although Mr. Miller is usually analyzing simultaneously all three aspects of the American quest for self-identity. In the final essays, he shows how the forces that molded the self-conscious articulateness of the early New Englanders still operate in the work of contemporary American writers. The introduction to this collection is by Kenneth Murdock, Francis Lee Higginson Professor of English Literature, Emeritus, Harvard University, who, with Perry Miller and Samuel Eliot Morison, accomplished what has been called "one of the great historical re-evaluations of this generation."

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Book details

List price: $45.00
Copyright year: 1939
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 4/15/1983
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 540
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.628
Language: English

Born and educated in Chicago, Perry Miller received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1931. From that year until his death, he taught at Harvard University. Working with such source materials as diaries and letters, he studed the literature and culture of New England in the colonial and early national eras. His books, and especially his most popular work, The New England Mind (1939--53), radically altered the old stereotypical view of Puritan life as dreary and uninvolved with worldly matters and did much to create renewed interest in the Puritanism of early New England. As Granville Hicks wrote, "He respected the Puritans as thinkers, and he regarded them more highly than he did their successors who moderated their teachings" (Saturday Review). A professor of American literature, Miller wrote critical essays and compiled anthologies of early American poetry and prose. One work, The Life of the Mind in America, published posthumously in 1965, won the 1966 Pulitzer Prize in history. All of Miller's works were informed by a keen sense of history and reminded students of American civilization of how much the Puritans and the Transcendentalists shaped the national culture.

Religion and Learning
The Augustinian Strain of Piety
The Practice of Piety
The Intellectual Character
The Intellectual Heritage
Cosmology
The Instrument of Reason
Knowledge
The Uses of Reason
Nature
Anthropology
The Nature of Man
The Means of Conversion
Rhetoric
The Plain Style
Sociology
The Covenant of Grace
The Social Covenant
The Church Covenant
God's Controversy with New England
Appendix A. The Literature of Ramus' Logic in Europe
Appendix B. The Federal School of Theology
Notes
Index
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