The first volume of this work, covering the period from 1741-1850, was issued in 1931 by another publisher, and is reissued now without change, under our imprint. The second volume covers the period from 1850 to 1865; the third volume, the period from 1865 to 1885. For each chronological period, Mr. Mott has provided a running history which notes the occurrence of the chief general magazines and the developments in the field of class periodicals, as well as publishing conditions during that period, the development of circulations, advertising, payments to contributors, reader attitudes, changing formats, styles and processes of illustration, and the like. Then in a supplement to that running history, he offers historical sketches of the chief magazines which flourished in the period. These sketches extend far beyond the chronological limitations of the period. The second and third volumes present, altogether, separate sketches of seventy-six magazines, including The North American Review, The Youth's Companion, The Liberator, The Independent, Harper's Monthly, Leslie's Weekly, Harper's Weekly, The Atlantic Monthly, St. Nicholas, and Puck. The whole is an unusual mirror of American civilization.
The passing of reformed theology as a major influence in American life during the nineteenth century was not a spectacular event, and its mourners have been relatively few. Calvinism, when it is mentioned, is still often portrayed as a dark cloud that hovered too long over America, acting as an unhealthy influence on the climate of opinion. Nonetheless, the transition from the theologically oriented and well-formed Calvinism characteristic of much of American Protestantism at the beginning of the nineteenth century to the nontheologically oriented and often poorly informed conservative Protestantism firmly established in middle-class America by the end of the same century remains a remarkable aspect of American intellectual and ecclesiastical history. The twentieth-century attitude, itself a product of this transition, has placed strong emphasis on nineteenth-century Protestant activities - their organizations, their revivals, and their reforms. The mind of American Protestantism in these transitional years deserves at least equal consideration. -from the Introduction