By Richard Hofstadter
Original yr of publication: 1955; 1960 - pb
This e-book is a landmark in American political suggestion. It examines the eagerness for development and reform that coloured the whole interval from 1890 to 1940 -- with startling and stimulating effects. It searches out the ethical and emotional explanations of the reformers the myths and goals within which they believed, and the realities with which they'd to compromise.
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Extra info for The Age of Reform
26 It hopes that its measures will attract more people than they repel—something that isn’t easy to calculate. The measures are therefore subject to revision. And whatever the churches do, there will still be Christians, ardent Christians, who aren’t affiliated with any church at all. indd 27 1/16/14 11:08 AM = AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY = To say this is to recognize that there is a place where institutional histories and social theories stop, and the histories of individual men and women start. Consider the story of Frances Jane (Fanny) Crosby, one of the greatest celebrities of nineteenth-century Christianity.
But their strongest association was with recent immigrants, especially the Irish. Relations between Protestants and Catholics were poisoned on many levels. Many Protestants asserted that Catholics could not be saved; many Catholics returned the compliment. At great cost to themselves, Catholics formed their own schools, chiefly because the public schools routinely provided small amounts of generically Protestant religious instruction, chiefly readings from the King James Version of the Bible—a translation similar to the Catholics’ own Douay Version but dismissed as “Protestant” by church hierarchs.
No one, including them, can predict where such connections will be found, in what church or denomination, movement or creed, if any. The task of religious movements is to locate them, and no one can say which methods will work or when. For Crosby, as for many others, what worked was a combination of the very old and the very new. In 1850, at the age of thirty, she visited one of the new metropolitan churches where revival meetings were held. In each service, the high point was an invitation for sinners to come forward and be reconciled with God.