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From the author: "I wish to demonstrate the richness of the seventeenth-century New England imagination through a study of what I take to be a central aspect of our Puritan legacy, the rhetoric of American identity. I have centered my analysis on the interaction of language, myth and society, in an effort to trace the sources of our obsessive concern with the meaning of America, the long foreground to the astonishingly comprehensive ideal of the representative American, with its proportionately comprehensive claims and anxieties. I have chosen a narrow focus: Cotton Mather's title to his Life of John Winthrop--Nehemias Americanus, "The American Nehemiah." 250 pages, softcover. Yale University Press.
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