"Most Were Much Affected and Many In Much Distress"

Portable field pulpit Oak, c. 1742-1770 American Tract Society, Garland, Texas (63)

It was "a series of religious revivals in the American colonies which people experienced as a 'new Birth': described as an acute awareness of sight, sound, and inward feeling, as if just woken from sleep."

This is how Joan van der Woude, Assistant Professor of English and of History and Literature, describes The Great Awakening in her contribution, this bold and wide-ranging anthology of American culture has generated interest, commentary, and controversy.

Publishers Weekly summed it up this way: "The full national-literary character of the United States is on display in this mighty history and reference work for our time."