Download The Story upon a Hill: The Puritan Myth in Contemporary by Christopher Leise PDF

By Christopher Leise

In this provocative and thought-provoking quantity, Christopher Leise sheds new mild on glossy American novelists who query not just the idea that Puritans based New England—and, through extension, American identity—but additionally even if Puritanism ever existed within the usa at all.

The tale upon a Hill: The Puritan fantasy in modern American Fiction analyzes the paintings of numerous of an important modern writers within the usa as reinterpreting normal narratives of the country’s origins with a willing eye at the results of inclusion and exclusion that Puritan myths advertise. In 1989, Ronald Reagan recalled the phrases of Massachusetts Bay Colony governor John Winthrop, who imagined the colony as a “city upon a hill” for destiny countries to emulate. In Reagan’s speech, Winthrop’s signature rhetoric turned a logo of yank idealism, and for lots of american citizens, the Puritans’ New England was once where the place the us solid its unique identity.


But what if Winthrop by no means gave that speech? What if he didn't even write it? Historians can't definitively resolution those questions. in truth, no crew that we consult with as American Puritans considered themselves as Puritans. relatively, they have been a gaggle of dissident Christians frequently larger outlined by way of their disagreements than their shared beliefs.


Literary students attracted to Anglo-American literary construction from the 17th century throughout the current, historians, and readers attracted to how principles approximately Christianity movement in pop culture will locate interesting the ways that William Gaddis, Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Pynchon, and Marilynne Robinson repurpose so-called Puritan sorts of expression to forge a brand new narrative of latest England’s Congregationalist legacy in American letters. Works by way of Colson Whitehead, Paul Auster, Toni Morrison, and others also are thought of. The tale upon a Hill increases a provocative query: if the Puritans by no means existed as we comprehend them, what could American heritage seem like in that context?

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