The University of Wisconsin Press


American Studies / History / Literature & Criticism




American Jeremiad
Anniversary Edition, with a new preface
Sacvan Bercovitch


Studies in American Thought and Culture
Paul Boyer, Series Editor


“Sacvan Bercovitch is a giant in American studies. This book was his first classic work— and others followed. He stands alongside Perry Miller and F. O. Matthiessen as indispensable figures in our understanding of American civilization.”
—Cornel West, Princeton University

When Sacvan Bercovitch’s The American Jeremiad first appeared in 1978, it was hailed as a landmark study of dissent and cultural formation in America, from the Puritans’ writings through the major literary works of the antebellum era. For this long-awaited anniversary edition, Bercovitch has written a deeply thoughtful and challenging new preface that reflects on his classic study of the role of the political sermon, or jeremiad, in America from a contemporary perspective, while assessing developments in the field of American studies and the culture at large.

“A deeply learned, revolutionary break with the dominant consensus models from Perry Miller through F. O. Matthiessen, The American Jeremiad rediscovered the prophetic core of American literature and culture, and it demonstrated how fully our national identity has been forged from conflicted narratives of self-examination and redemption. The author’s brilliant and searching new introduction brings this classic work boldly into the twenty-first century.”—Eric J. Sundquist, Johns Hopkins University 

Sacvan Bercovitch is the Powell M. Cabot Research Professor of American Literature at Harvard University. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is a  former president of the American Studies Association and the general editor of the eight-volume Cambridge History of American Literature.

For more information regarding publicity and reviews contact our publicity manager, phone: (608) 263-0734, email: publicity@uwpress.wisc.edu

Of related interest
The cover of Countercultural Conservative is a collage of two images of Christian evangelicals.Countercultural Conservatives
American Evangelicalism from the Postwar Revival to the New Christian Right
Axel R. Schäfer
“A compelling history of evangelical politics from the early 1940s to the late 1990s. Schäfer’s ability to show how the Christian Right combines traditional moral convictions with modern consumerism, as well as his careful discussion of continuities from postwar suburbanization through post-1960s right-wing activism, makes his book a landmark contribution. This one is a gem.”—Mark A. Noll, author of God and Race in American Politics: A Short History

Image is of a dead tree standing as a flagpole with clouds and a sunset forming red and white stripes and a break in the clouds revealing a blue sky with stars shining

April 2012

LC: 78-053283 PS
290 pp.    5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Book icon
Paper $24.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-28864-8
E-book logo e-book $14.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-28863-1
  Adobe Digital Edition (PDF)
About our e-books
No restrictions on printing or copying, access on six different devices.
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
  Review cart contents
Secure checkout
Click here for a further explanation of the shopping cart feature.

This new anniversary edition replaces the 1978 cloth edition, ISBN 978-0-299-07350-3, and the 1980 paper edition, ISBN 978-0-299-07354-1, both out of print.

“For more than three decades, Sacvan Bercovitch's work has both charted the most promising path and posed the most profound challenge to the academic project of radical political critique of U. S. literature and culture. So long as ‘change we can believe in’ amounts, by definition, to ‘forms of renewal that confirm the basic tenets of the system,’ as Bercovitch deftly puts it in his new preface to this classic study, The American Jeremiad will remain new and necessary.”
—Evan Carton. University of Texas at Austin  

Home | Books | Journals | Events | Textbooks | Authors | Related | Search | Order | Contact

If you have trouble accessing any page in this web site, contact our Web manager.
E-mail: webmaster@uwpress.wisc.edu

Updated February 15, 2012

© 2012, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System