Literacy in Colonial New England: An Enquiry into the Social Context of Literacy in the Early Modern West

Literacy in Colonial New England: An Enquiry into the Social Context of Literacy in the Early Modern West

Literacy in Colonial New England: An Enquiry into the Social Context of Literacy in the Early Modern West

Literacy in Colonial New England: An Enquiry into the Social Context of Literacy in the Early Modern West

Synopsis

throughout the book, the author clearly demonstrates the value of new quantitative methods in overturning previously held notions about the nature of early American and of early modern society.

Excerpt

This study of literacy in colonial New England suggests that we cannot see more than the faintest origins of modernity in the social context of literacy in this region or perhaps in any part of the early modern West. It remains for others to confirm or deny this supposition. The scholars who will finally understand the role of literacy in early western society, and so grasp the nature of that society, are the men whose encouragement has made this study possible. To Roger Schofield and Egil Johansson, sincere thanks and best wishes for their own efforts. Others who must be mentioned are Frank Craven and Lawrence Stone, mentors in all my researches. Professor Stone, in conjunction with the members of the Shelby Cullom Davis seminar, has made the most constructive criticisms of this manuscript. Kathy Crittenden and Mary Hyde were essential to the data processing and statistical analysis, though neither is responsible for unconscious flights of statistical fancy. Judith Hanson and Elaine Wethington have been everything from designers and prosecutors of research to analysts of the data.

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