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Enlightenment and Great Awakening American Revolution

Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism”

FogelThe 4th Great Awakening and the way forward for Egalitarianism. By Robert William Fogel. Chicago: College of Chicago Press, 2000.

Nobel Laureate Robert William Fogel (1926-2013) upset the historic discipline throughout his entire career. Certainly one of his initial works, Railroads and American Economic Growth: Essays in Econometric History (1964), used sophisticated record analysis to overturn the standard assertion that railroads within the nineteenth century greatly stimulated American economic growth by looking into making a powerful situation the impact was really quite small, no more than 2.7% of 1890 GNP. Furthermore, Fogel, dealing with Stanley Engermen, released Time around the Mix (1974), a significant quantitative reinterpretation of yankee slavery. It contended that Southern slavery was enormously lucrative and productive, possibly much more efficient being an economic climate than free labor. It produced a firestorm by quarrelling that since slave proprietors were good capitalists these were less exploitative and oppressive than formerly indicated.

The 4th Great Awakening and the way forward for Egalitarianism isn't as questionable as his study of slavery, but Fogel made the situation inside it that there has been four cycles of spiritual fervor, driven usually by evangelicalism, which has fueled a never-ending march toward greater equality. Inside it he offers “a framework for examining the actions that formed the egalitarian creed in America” (p. 39). Probably the most interesting facets of this book is Fogel’s portrayal of those various “Great Awakenings.”

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