Exiled from England, the Puritans settled in what Cromwell called "a poor, cold, and useless" place--where they created a body of ideas and aspirations that were essential in the shaping of American religion, politics, and culture. In a felicitous blend of documents and narrative Heimert and Delbanco recapture the sweep and restless change of Puritan thought from its incipient Americanism through its dominance in New England society to its fragmentation in the face of dissent from within and without.

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