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The religious revival that flourished in the early nineteenth century and changed American life found its most spectacular expression in Rochester, New York. The revival, in Rochester and elsewhere, made the United States the most militantly Protestant nation on earth and had an enormous influence on many Northern antebellum reform movements, including abolition and temperance. But although many historians have discussed its profound and wide-ranging effects, we know very little about its causes.A Shopkeeper's Millenniumnot only explores the interconnections between these vitally important economic, social, political, and religious changes but presents an evocative picture of a rapidly growing frontier city.
Paul E. Johnson is Professor of History at the University of Utah, where he teaches American social history, specializing in history of popular religion.
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"Johnson's book is indispensable for any understanding of the evangelical revival and related reform movements in New York's 'burned-over district.' No less important, Professor Johnson has brilliantly fused the quantitative methods of the 'new social history' with a sparkling style and an imaginative reconstruction of social reality. Both in substantive conclusions and as a model for future regional studies, A Shopkeeper's Millennium is one of the freshest and most exciting books I have read in the past few years."--David Brion Davis, Yale University
"This is far more than a study of local history, and more even than a provocative interpretation of the social sources of religious revivalism. It is a brilliant pioneering assault upon the most important unaddressed problem in American historiography--how our society and very personalities were transformed by the rapid advance of the capitalist market in the earlier twentieth century."--Charles Sellers, University of California, Berkeley