The Blurbs of Patriotism and Piety

Many books carry on their covers “blurbs,” or recommendations from other authors and authorities. This is a way of signaling to readers “Look at this book!” or “This is important!” The choices of who will offer blurbs and what those blurbs will say carries a lot of weight.

It’s for that reason that I was incredibly pleased with the two scholars who offered blurbs for Patriotism and Piety.

The first was Mark Noll. Noll is the McAnaney Chair in History at the University of Notre Dame. Noll is the most prolific historian of American Religion in his generation. He has written extensively, producing many important works, including The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind,  A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada, and America’s God. Noll’s scholarship has strongly influenced my own. As a leader in the field, it matters when Noll writes:

With diligent research, the author provides unusually detailed support for his contentions about the religious and political convictions of his subjects, as well as for their networking with other Federalists and competition with Jeffersonians. The result is a convincing study that demonstrates how significantly religion factored in the history of the Federalist Party and how important religious Federalists were for propelling the voluntary style of social organization that influenced the nation so significantly in the first half of the nineteenth century.

The second blurb comes from Thomas Kidd, who is a professor of history at Baylor University and the Associate Director of the Institute for the Study of Religion at Baylor. Kidd is quickly building his own resume as a prolific historian, with histories of the First Great Awakening, Religion in the American Revolution, and just this past year, a biography of George Whitefield. Thus, it’s also a great compliment for Kidd to write:

Patriotism and Piety represents a much-needed addition to the political and religious history of the period. Comprehensive and authoritative, this book is clearly based on immense archival reading and research and will have a long-lasting influence on our view of an understudied topic.

So, don’t just take my word for it–listen to Mark Noll and Thomas Kidd and pick up Patriotism and Piety today!

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