January 3, 2003
1.32 Pounds (US)
$40.00 USD, £26.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Men of Little Faith

Selected Writings of Cecelia Kenyon

During a scholarly career that extended from the late 1940s to the mid-1980s, Cecelia Kenyon wrote a series of essays and reviews that reshaped thinking about the American Revolution and its aftermath. Beginning with her influential essay "Men of Little Faith: The Anti-Federalists on the Nature of Representative Government," Kenyon challenged prevailing interpretations of the Revolutionary era by emphasizing the crucial role of ideology. In so doing, she helped spark a major shift in early American historiography.

By bringing Kenyon's key writings together in a single volume, the editors have sought not only to reaffirm the importance of her contributions to scholarship but also to reveal the subtlety and imagination of her mind at work. Whether assessing the limitations of Charles Beard's "An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution," analyzing the enigma of Alexander Hamilton (whom she memorably describes as "the Rousseau of the Right"), or evaluating what was truly radical about America's revolution, Kenyon's insights remain as fresh as they are shrewd.

As the editors point out in their foreword to the book, Kenyon had an extraordinary talent for opening up to scrutiny subjects whose significance had previously been overlooked. Although her originality may not have been fully appreciated at first, her writings had an undeniable impact on subsequent work in her field. Eminent scholars such as Bernard Bailyn, Gordon S. Wood, and John Pocock all drew on Kenyon's ideas in their own groundbreaking studies of the Revolutionary era, and today the pivotal importance of her essays is widely recognized by a new generation of historians.

About the Authors

Stanley Elkins is professor emeritus of history at Smith College. Until his recent death, Eric McKitrick was professor emeritus of history at Columbia University. The late Leo Weinstein was professor of government at Smith College.


"Kenyon's writings are each small gems that sparkle with brilliant insights. Her best known essay, 'Men of Little Faith,' was voted one of the most important and influential essays ever published by the William and Mary Quarterly. An edited collection of her work is long overdue."—Saul Cornell, author of The Other Founders: Anti-Federalism and the Dissenting Tradition in America, 1788–1828

"Kenyon was a pioneer in the movement to take the ideas of the Revolutionary generation seriously as a body of thought. That movement has succeeded so thoroughly that her early contributions, to borrow Jefferson's phrase, have come to resemble a self-evident truth. Elkins, McKitrick, and Weinstein have now recovered for us an appreciation of Kenyon's originality, along the way demonstrating their own unrivalled mastery of the field she pioneered."—Joseph J. Ellis, author of Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

9781558493476 : men-of-little-faith-elkins-mckitrick
296 Pages
$40.00 USD

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