OVERRIDE

A Shopkeeper's Millennium

Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815-1837

Paul E. Johnson; With a New Preface by the Author

Hill and Wang

A quarter-century after its first publication, A Shopkeeper's Millennium remains a landmark work--brilliant both as a new interpretation of the intimate connections among politics, economy, and religion during the Second Great Awakening, and as a surprising portrait of a rapidly growing frontier city. The religious revival that transformed America in the 1820s, making it the most militantly Protestant nation on earth and spawning reform movements dedicated to temperance and to the abolition of slavery, had an especially powerful effect in Rochester, New York. Paul E. Johnson explores the reasons for the revival's spectacular success there, suggesting important links between its moral accounting and the city's new industrial world. In a new preface, he reassesses his evidence and his conclusions in this major work.

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A Shopkeeper's Millennium
1EconomyCHARLES FINNEY came to Rochester via the Erie Canal in the autumn of 1830. The route from Albany took him through the Mohawk Valley, then onto the broad plain that forms the southern shore of Lake Ontario. The last fifty miles passed through recently settled land, and on both sides of the canal Finney saw farmhouses and bustling villages surrounded by endless yellow wheatfields. East of the Genesee River, the fields stopped abruptly and Rochester began. Finney's boat crossed a line of new stores and houses, passed high over the river on a stone aqueduct, and
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REVIEWS

Praise for A Shopkeeper's Millennium

"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 nineteenth century." --Charles Sellers, University of California, Berkeley

"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

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Paul E. Johnson; With a New Preface by the Author

  • Paul E. Johnson, professor of history at the University of South Carolina, is co-author, with Sean Wilentz, of The Kingdom of Matthias. He lives in Columbia, South Carolina, and Onancock, Virginia.
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    A Shopkeeper's Millennium

    Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815-1837

    Paul E. Johnson; With a New Preface by the Author

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