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Invisible Masters
Gender, Race, and the Economy of Service in Early New England
Elisabeth Ceppi

Re-Mapping the Transnational: A Dartmouth Series in American Studies

2018 • 304 pp. 6 x 9"
Colonial History / Social History / New England History

$45.00 Paperback, 978-1-5126-0296-8
$95.00 Hardcover, 978-1-5126-0295-1

$44.99 Ebook, 978-1-5126-0297-5

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

(Hardcover is un-jacketed.
Cover illustration is for paperback edition only)

Can one serve both God and mammon?

Invisible Masters rewrites the familiar narrative of the relation between Puritan religious culture and New England’s economic culture as a history of the primary discourse that connected them: service. The understanding early Puritans had of themselves as God’s servants and earthly masters was shaped by their immersion in an Atlantic culture of service and the worldly pressures and opportunities generated by New England’s particular place in it. Concepts of spiritual service and mastery determined Puritan views of the men, women, and children who were servants and slaves in that world. So, too, did these concepts shape the experience of family, labor, law, and economy for those men, women, and children—the very bedrock of their lives. This strikingly original look at Puritan culture will appeal to a wide range of Americanists and historians.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Ceppi integrates a range of communities and identity categories in demonstrating the meanings, implications, and complications of the phrase ‘servants of the Lord,’ a central metaphor of Puritan life that draws the inextricable connections that tie together various discursive systems and cultures. . . . A fabulous work of scholarship.” —James Egan, Brown University

“In this wise and subtle exploration of the culture of service in Puritan New England, Ceppi teaches us both the true depth of meaning in the familiar expression ‘work ethic’ and the centrality of mastering others to mastering oneself.”—Christopher Tomlins, University of California, Berkeley

“With her astute examination of the language of service, servants, and masters, Ceppi offers an original perspective on religion, the economy, and racial servanthood in early New England.”—Mark Valeri, Washington University in St. Louis

ELISABETH CEPPI is an associate professor of English at Portland State University.

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 13:08:07 -0500