The Crossroads of American History and Literature collects two decades' worth of the best-known essays of Philip F. Gura. Beginning with a definitive overview of studies of colonial literature, Gura ranges through such subjects in colonial American history as the intellectual life of the Connecticut River Valley, Cotton Mather's understanding of political leadership, and the religious upheavals of the Great Awakening. In the nineteenth century, he visits such varied topics as the history of print culture in rural communities, the philological interests of the Transcendentalist Elizabeth Peabody, the craft and business of the early Amerian music trades, and Thoreau's interest in exploration literature and in the Native American. Displaying remarkable sophistication in a variety of fields that, taken together, constitute the heart of American Studies, this collection illustrates the complexity of American cultural history.Philip F. Gura is Professor of English and Adjunct Professor of American Studies and Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of The Wisdom of Words: Language, Theology, and Literature in the American Renaissance (Wesleyan, 1981) and A Glimpse of Sion's Glory: Puritan Radicalism in New England, 1620-1660 (Wesleyan, 1984), and editor, with Joel Myerson, of Critical Essays on American Transcendentalism (G. K. Hall, 1982).