Skip to main content
Shopping cart: items Cart

Distributed for Dartmouth College Press

Invisible Masters

Gender, Race, and the Economy of Service in Early New England

Distributed for Dartmouth College Press

Invisible Masters

Gender, Race, and the Economy of Service in Early New England

Invisible Masters rewrites the familiar narrative of the relation between Puritan religious culture and New England’s economic culture as a history of the primary discourse that connected them: service. The understanding early Puritans had of themselves as God’s servants and earthly masters was shaped by their immersion in an Atlantic culture of service and the worldly pressures and opportunities generated by New England’s particular place in it. Concepts of spiritual service and mastery determined Puritan views of the men, women, and children who were servants and slaves in that world. So, too, did these concepts shape the experience of family, labor, law, and economy for those men, women, and children—the very bedrock of their lives. This strikingly original look at Puritan culture will appeal to a wide range of Americanists and historians.

304 pages | 6 x 9

History: American History


View all books from Dartmouth College Press

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments • Introduction: Unprofitable Servants • The Child Who Serves: Household Obedience and the Public Authority of Masters • Answering Back: Elizabeth Knapp’s Demonic Possession and the Gender of Public Service • Servant to a Christian: Mary Rowlandson’s Captivity and the Racialization of Obedience • Racial Vocation: New England’s Calling to Slavery • The Spirit of Mastery: Samson Occom, Benjamin Franklin, and Modern Hypocrisy • Coda: Serving the Plot • Notes • Bibliography • Index

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press