Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Monday, January 10, 2011

Behind as Usual, Snow, and a Book Review

It's already January 10, and I am not doing a very good job of keeping up with the blog. I guess that once you get out of the routine, it's hard to get back into it.

We're having an unusually snowy winter in East Tennessee. We had so much snow and ice at the close of last semester that some of us began to dub it "the semester that never ends." This is the 3rd snow event in about 4 or 5 days for us, and we have another on the way. A friend of mine said he was sending snow our way, and I replied that he could keep it because I'd already shoveled more than my quota for the year!

I participated in a read-a-thon over the weekend. One of the books I read was Francis J. Bremer's Puritanism: A Very Short Introduction. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009). I ordered the book from NEHGS recently when the item was on sale. I want to share my review of it with you all because I suspect many of us have early New England ancestors.

Author Francis J. Bremer delivers exactly what is promised by the title of this book -- a brief introduction on Puritan thought. There are a few quotes, mostly in shaded sidebars. While one could tell the author was familiar with primary source writings, she utilized quite a few secondary sources in this overview of the Puritan movement. There are no footnotes, but there are bibliographies which accompany each chapter, leading the reader who wishes to explore the topics more fully to good sources. We learn a bit about the history and theology of the movement, how the Puritan interacted in society, and about personal lifestyle. The weakness of the book is in describing the decline of Puritanism and describing the genealogy of present-day groups claiming some level of origin with the Puritans. This book, however, is well-suited to persons who just want an introductory level of knowledge about Puritan history and theology. 3.5 stars.

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