The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian and the Rural Enlightenment in America has been released on Kindle. Here are a few reviews:
...one of my favorite history books of the last decade...John is one of those rare historians who can actually write for history buffs [and] armchair history readers, like my father, who prides himself on having read Shelby Foote's Civil War trilogy three times....--Lauren Winner, Duke Divinity School.
John has given readers...a gift in this delightful biography of diarist Philip Fithian...Fea has captured a multifacted world that teachers of American history should rush to share with their students."--Dallett Hemphill, author of Bowing to Necessities: A History of Manners in America.
Many historians of Revolutionary America have plundered the diaries of Philip Vickers Fithian, but until now no one has satisfactorily told the life story of this great diarist. John Fea's insightful book does just that--and yet more...."--Mark Noll, University of Notre Dame.
John Fea's biography of Philip Vickers Fithian is a rare book, one that will appeal to both academic historians specializing in early America and to those whose interest in the field and in history is more casual...In sum, with this charming, nicely written, and thoroughly researched biography of an engaging colonial character, John Fea has provided readers of early American history with a gift to be treasured--Russell Menard, University of Minnesota.
"...leaves the reader wanting even more..." -Maxine Lurie, Seton Hall University.
...the book's potential as a teaching tool should not be allowed to obscure its scholarly contributions...In coining the term "rural Enlightenment," Fea brings us a portrait of eighteenth-century British Americans deeply connected to the land they lived and worked on, strongly tied to local communities through bonds of faith, yet yearning after the latest in Enlightenment theory and philosophy.--Nicole Eustace, New York University in The American Historical Review.
For those of us who like American history and, in particular, like to read about the theological or religious dimensions of that history, Fea's biography...is a powerful way to enter into that history.--Scot McKnight, author of The Jesus Creed.