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The Transformation of Virginia, 1740-1790 by…
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The Transformation of Virginia, 1740-1790 (1982)

by Rhys Isaac

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Rhys Isaac's Pulitzer Prize winning history examines the changes in Virginia's civilization in the latter half of the 18th century. In the first part of the book, Isaac describes mid-18th century Virginia's social life and customs, including domestic life, religious life, community life, and the landscape and its influence on settlement patterns and architecture. In the second part of the book he takes a close look at several religious and political incidents that reflect a change in social values. At mid-century, Virginia society was hierarchical and community oriented. By the end of the 18th century, it was democratic and focused more on the individual. Isaac's concluding “Discourse on the Method” is a useful tool that history students can apply to other historical times and locations. Highly recommended for readers with an interest in Colonial and Revolutionary American history. ( )
  cbl_tn | May 31, 2013 |
Not an easy read by any stretch, but a really important book that worked to illustrate how Virginia society was gradually transformed from one that aped the stratified British aristocratic order to one that genuinely valued democracy (for white guys, anyway.) This transformation, of course, being the harbinger of the US Revolution.

Of course, the experience in the other colonies was markedly different. But Virginia was always a lynchpin in Colonial politics, so the gradual growth in interest in democratic ideas and ideals there had profound effects on the country as a whole. ( )
  Oreillynsf | Jun 11, 2010 |
I read this book because it won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1983. It is, I believe, the least intersting and most esoteric book I have ever read. It reminded me of my reading of Fin-de-Siecle Vienna, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1981, and which I long wanted to read and then when I read it I found it a chore to read, and greatly welcomed the last page. The last chapter of Transformation made no sense for me at all, and reading this book's only significance is that I have read another Pulitzer Prize winner in history. I thought I should warn persons who might be overly influenced by the other reviews and might think this would be a great book to read. ( )
  Schmerguls | Dec 7, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 080784814X, Paperback)

In this Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Rhys Isaac describes and analyzes the dramatic confrontations—primarily religious and political—that transformed Virginia in the second half of the eighteenth century. Making use of the observational techniques of the cultural anthropologist, Isaac vividly recreates and painstakingly dissects a society in the turmoil of profound inner change.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:29 -0400)

"In this Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Rhys Isaac describes and analyzes the dramatic confrontations - primarily religious and political - that transformed Virginia in the second half of the eighteenth century. Making use of the observational techniques of the cultural anthropologist, Isaac vividly recreates and painstakingly dissects a society in the turmoil of profound inner change."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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