Primitivism, Millennialism, and the Making of New England
Zachary McLeod Hutchins
Reviews and Awards
"In this ambitious, deeply researched, and wide-ranging book, Hutchins offers fresh perspective on early New England through an examination of one surprisingly fertile concept: the biblical Eden." - Thomas S. Kidd, author of God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution
"Hutchins draws on a rich array of sources and events in colonial New England. Due to the wealth of material, which has traditionally attracted scholars to this place and time, Hutchins tends to make New England history the history of the United States and indeed of transatlantic evangelical culture." - Kenneth P. Minkema, Yale University, Georgetown University, The American Historical Review
"Hutchins, with reading as wide as it is perceptive, demonstrates convincingly that biblical Eden occupied a surprisingly pervasive place in the literature of New England and much of the rest of the American colonies. Whether as literal truth, myth, or metaphorical ideal, paradise loomed large in colonial minds. Among this fine book's many virtues is its genuinely transatlantic character, as Hutchins draws together William Bradford, Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor, and Jonathan Edwards with the likes of Francis Bacon, George Herbert, and John Milton for an unusually illuminating treatment of his edenic theme." - Mark Noll, author of America's God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln
"In this innovative study, Hutchins persuasively demonstrates that belief in the Garden of Eden - as both historical model and millennial hope - shaped how colonial New Englanders approached their environment, bodies, language, and more. Significantly, Inventing Eden also suggests how enduring beliefs in the Edenic ideal shaped later American history." - Matthew J. Grow, co-author of Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism
"Inventing Eden is a beautifully written book. Hutchins intertwines fresh paradigmatic insights with the wide sweep of this carefully researched study." - Reiner Smolinski, editor of The Threefold Paradise of Cotton Mather: An Edition of "Triparadisus"