Sutton’s American Apocalypse succeeds admirably as a history of modern American evangelicalism. It is well written and filled with engaging anecdotes, as well as copious information about the life and times of both the nation and its quintessentially American evangelicals. Sutton’s attempt to place a preoccupation with the “apocalypse” at the center of evangelicalism (the “most distinguishing characteristic of the movement”), however, is less successful, although it certainly makes for a lively theme (3). To attempt to isolate any feature as the core of evangelicalism is a largely thankless task, and not terribly helpful. Fortunately, Sutton carries his thesis lightly; readers can enjoy and appreciate the book as a survey of the past 150 years of American evangelicalism, even if they largely ignore, or disagree with, the author’s thesis. Despite the title’s focus on apocalyptic theology, the narrative takes a multipronged approach, covering many aspects of fundamentalist and evangelical life...
American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism. By Matthew Avery Sutton (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 2014) 459 pp. $35.00
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William L. Svelmoe; American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism. By Matthew Avery Sutton (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 2014) 459 pp. $35.00. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2015; 46 (3): 463–464. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/JINH_r_00889
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