This is an important work, which should be read by anyone who is trying to understand nineteenth-century America. It will be of especial interest to students of church history, intellectual history, and social reform.
Henry Lee Swint, 'Mississippi Valley Historical Review'
This is a brilliant study, full of stimulating suggestions, rich bibliographical leads, and well-chosen quotations. A chief feature of the work, which won the Brewer prize for 1955, is its apt and extensive documentation. The author has industriously ranged through mountains of books, periodicals, and fugitive materials, and competently supported his well-written narrative with illuminating footnotes, which happily and helpfully appear where they belong at the foot of each - and almost every - page. Hence his judgments are backed by impressive scholarship.
Robert T. Handy, 'Church History'
So many historians have tracked the trail of the American revivalists that it is difficult for anyone to discover something new about that trail. Timothy Smith claimed to discover that they were more oriented towards social reform than their critics saw them to be. He backed up, with solid documentation, his claim that they were, in their own way, fathers of the Social Gospel. His book represented one of those rare moments in the study of American church history: the development of an original thesis, one worthy of the argument which it has during the past decade inspired and survived.
Martin E. Marty