This is a truly fascinating look at the Puritans with keenly drawn portraits and the insight that only a lifetime of scholarship can achieve. It should become the standard introduction to the field. Written in the mold of Joseph Ellis's Founding Brothers and Gordon Wood's Revolutionary Characters, the book will appeal to general readers, students, and scholars alike.
"[Bremer] takes a biographical approach to detail how Puritans' ideas and values ultimately contributed to the forming of our American government and institutions. . . .He effectively presents the distinct and evolving Puritan views and elaborates on how they influenced American life. . . . Bremer's work will appeal to the thoughtful reader with an interest in exploring the roots of our country's founding credos through these accessible biographies."—Library Journal
"First Founders brings the colonial Puritan world alive in all its complexity through these sensitive and insightful biographies of those who hoped to create a godly society in a new world. Bremer's mastery of the subject shines through in his new interpretations of familiar figures like John Winthrop and Anne Bradstreet, but readers will also be fascinated by the lives and passions of the ordinary men and women he introduces. This is history at its best."—Carol Berkin, Presidential Professor of History, Baruch College & The Graduate Center, CUNY