John Winthrop: America's Forgotten Founding Father
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John Winthrop: America's Forgotten Founding Father

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  39 ratings  ·  4 reviews
John Winthrop's effort to create a Puritan "City on a Hill" has had a lasting effect on American values, and many remember this phrase famously quoted by the late Ronald Reagan. However, most know very little about the first American to speak these words. In John Winthrop, Francis J. Bremer draws on over a decade of research in England, Ireland, and the United States to of...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published March 31st 2005 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published June 16th 2003)
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Ann
This was an interesting look inside the mind of one of our pivotal founding fathers. I was impressed with the level of detail presented, particularly about Winthrop's life and his motivation to come to the New World. The second half of the book was a slower slog - as the author delved in to the distinctions between puritans, separatists, autonomists, etc., etc. One thing that surprised me was the level of religious intolerance in the early colony - ironic because 'freedom of religion' is cherish...more
Christy Robinson
I've seen this book referenced in much of the research I'm doing for my own historical novel on a related subject: Mary Barrett Dyer, the Quaker martyr.

I'm not usually nitpicky about other people's books, and am generally trusting of their scholarship, BUT... I did find a mistake near the end of the narrative, regarding Winthrop's fourth wife, Martha Rainsborough Coytmore. The child she had with Gov. Winthrop died in 1651, so she had no descendants; in addition, she was not considered worthy of...more
Mary
Bremer does a good job of explaining how John Winthrop helped shape colonial Massachusetts civil and religious authority, as well as how Winthrop's ideas grew out of 16th century English and puritan practices. The first few chapters provide background on Winthrop's English ancestors and -- since everyone seems to be named Adam, John, or William -- are somewhat confusing if you're reading just a few pages at a time. Once Bremer moves on to Winthrop's life things are a bit easier to follow. Howeve...more
Jennifer
Apr 16, 2008 Jennifer rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: my Dad
Shelves: american-history
I thought that this book gave great insite to the life of John Winthrop, the policital times he lived in, and the struggles with the English in the early 1600's. The book followed a logical format, starting with his ancestors in England and ending with his life in "the new land." The book was a bit repatitive and I found myself losing my place often. Overall a good book biography.
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