Becoming America by Jon Butler
The Revolution before 1776

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Multinational, profit-driven, materialistic, politically self-conscious, power-hungry, religiously plural: America three hundred years ago - and today. Here are Britain's mainland American colonies after 1680, in the process of becoming the first modern society - a society the earliest colonists never imagined, a "new order of the ages" that anticipated the American revolution, Jon Butler's panoramic view of the colonies in this epoch transforms our customary picture of pre-Revolutionary America. it reveals a strikingly "modern" character that belies the 18th century quaintness fixed in history. Stressing the middle and late decades (the hitherto "dark ages") of the American colonial experience, and emphasising the importance of the middle and southern colonies as well as New England, this book shows us vast revolutionary changes before 1776 among a fantastically diverse assortment of peoples. here are polyglot populations of English, Indians, Africans, Scots, Germans, Swiss, and French; a society of small colonial cities with enormous urban complexities; an economy of prosperous farmers thrust into international market economies; peoples of immense wealth, a burgeoning middle class, and incredible poverty. Butler depicts settlers pursuing sophisticated provincial politics that ultimately sparked revolution and a new nation; developing new patterns in production, consumption, crafts, and trades that remade commerce at home and abroad; and fashioning a society remarkably pluralistic in religion, whose tolerance nonetheless did not extend to African or Indians. Here was a society that turned protest into revolution and made itself many times during the next centuries - a society that, for 90 years before 1776, was already becoming America.
 

About Jon Butler

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Jon Butler is Howard R. Lamar Professor of American Studies, History, and Religious Studies at Yale University. He is the author of Power, Authority, and the Origins of American Denominational Authority; The Huguenots in America: A Refugee People in New World Society; Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People; and Becoming America: The Revolution Before 1776, and, with Harry S. Stout, editor of Religion in American History: A Reader. Grant Wacker is Professor of Christian History at Duke Divinity School and Director of the Graduate Program in Religion at Duke University. He received his B.A. from Stanford University and Ph.D. from Harvard University. His publications include Augustus H. Strong and the Dilemma of Historical Consciousness and Heaven Below: Pentecostals and American Culture. From 1997 to 2002 was a senior editor of the quarterly journal Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture. In 2008 he served as president of the American Society of Church History. Randall Balmer is Professor of American Religious History at Barnard College, Columbia University. He is the author of a dozen books, including A Perfect Babel of Confusion: Dutch Religion and English Culture in the Middle Colonies; Protestantism in America; and God in the White House: How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush. His second book, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America, now in its fourth edition, was made into an award-winning three-part documentary for PBS. Jon Butler is Howard R. Lamar Professor of American Studies, History, and Religious Studies at Yale University. He is the author of Power, Authority, and the Origins of American Denominational Authority; The Huguenots in America: A Refugee People in New World Society; Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People; and Becoming America: The Revolution Before 1776, and, with Harry S. Stout, editor of Religion in American History: A Reader. Grant Wacker is Professor of Christian History at Duke Divinity School and Director of the Graduate Program in Religion at Duke University. He received his B.A. from Stanford University and Ph.D. from Harvard University. His publications include Augustus H. Strong and the Dilemma of Historical Consciousness and Heaven Below: Pentecostals and American Culture. From 1997 to 2002 was a senior editor of the quarterly journal Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture. In 2008 he served as president of the American Society of Church History. Randall Balmer is Professor of American Religious History at Barnard College, Columbia University. He is the author of a dozen books, including A Perfect Babel of Confusion: Dutch Religion and English Culture in the Middle Colonies; Protestantism in America; and God in the White House: How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush. His second book, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America, now in its fourth edition, was made into an award-winning three-part documentary for PBS. Jon Butler is Howard R. Lamar Professor of American Studies, History, and Religious Studies at Yale University. He is the author of Power, Authority, and the Origins of American Denominational Authority; The Huguenots in America: A Refugee People in New World Society; Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People; and Becoming America: The Revolution Before 1776, and, with Harry S. Stout, editor of Religion in American History: A Reader. Grant Wacker is Professor of Christian History at Duke Divinity School and Director of the Graduate Program in Religion at Duke University. He received his B.A. from Stanford University and Ph.D. from Harvard University. His publications include Augustus H. Strong and the Dilemma of Historical Consciousness and Heaven Below: Pentecostals and American Culture. From 1997 to 2002 was a senior editor of the quarterly journal Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture. In 2008 he served as president of the American Society of Church History. Randall Balmer is Professor of American Religious History at Barnard College, Columbia University. He is the author of a dozen books, including A Perfect Babel of Confusion: Dutch Religion and English Culture in the Middle Colonies; Protestantism in America; and God in the White House: How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush. His second book, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America, now in its fourth edition, was made into an award-winning three-part documentary for PBS.
 
Published April 29, 2000 by Harvard University Press. 336 pages
Genres: History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Becoming America

Kirkus Reviews

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In a thoughtful, erudite survey of colonial history, Butler (Awash in a Sea of Faith, not reviewed) traces the formation of many of America's modern social characteristics in the crucible of pre-Revolutionary society.

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Publishers Weekly

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Historians have often argued that the colonies became Europeanized in the century before the American Revolution, but in his latest book, Yale historian Butler (Awash in a Sea of Faith) contends t

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London Review of Books

Crèvecoeur’s famous question was: ‘What then is this new man the American?’ His immediate answer – ‘that strange mixture of blood, which you will find in no other country’ – suggested that American identity was fashioned by boys meeting and getting girls in defiance of parental expectations to ma...

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