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Book Reviews 149 fence of those they called "sisters." Surely, their work was known, if not followed, in Oregon. David Peterson del Mar in this fine book has suggested an associatton between changes in American culture and fluctuations in wife abuse. The wife beater, he concludes drawing on his counselling experience, is not the alien psychopath depicted by the media, "out there somewhere, on the margins of society and history. He is instead our close companion. He is at the center of our past" (174). Those words, to me, suggest a simpler and more depressing explanation for the persistence of wife abuse than Peterson del Mar's analysis of American society: wife abuse is a constant, because there are always men who want to and can find excuses to beat their wives. Jerome Nadelahft University of Maine Ann Kelly Knowles. Calvinism Incorporated. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997. Pp. xxxiii +330 including bibliography and index. Seldom does a book live up to the paeans of praise that grace the back covers of academic paperbacks. However, the review comments of this study of Welsh Calvinist Methodist settlers in Ohio are well deserved. This is a wellbalanced , insightful, thoroughly researched and readable study, that should be on the reading list of anyone interested in the field of ethnic studies. Historians, geographers, sociologists, graduate students, and others, will find it to be a welcome reminder that new approaches and insights can, every so often, reinvigorate and stimulate research and writing on a field apparently already well ploughed and harvested. Ann Kelly Knowles examines "the connections between economy and culture" of a group of immigrants from Mynydd Bach in north central Wales who settled in Jackson and Gallia counties in Ohio between 1835 and 1850. Using the historical geographer's approach, complete with an abundance of statistics, graphs, maps, and theories that hinge on the minute examination of often conflicting numbers, she paints a convincing portrait of the constraints and poverty of rural life. She explores the options open to those who could not continue to live their traditional agricultural lives; employment in 150 Canadian Review of American Studies Revue canadienne d etuaes americaines lead and coal mines, iron works, domestic service, migration to London, or emigration to the United States. Using obituaries from Welsh-American periodicals as her primary source, she gathered information on 1,772 individuals , some of whom arrived in the United States as early as 1791. The data thus spanned some sixty years and two generations of emigration activity and permitted her to focus in on the smaller group of Calvinist Methodists from Cardiganshire. Knowles presents such Welsh push factors as overpopulation, competition for land, changing agricultural practices, and rapid industrial development and the American pull factors of cheap land, high labour demand, and greater freedom of opportunity. One of the few things that distinguishes her study group from other Welsh or European immigrants of the period is the central importance of their religious beliefs and practices to their life paths. Knowles tenaciously follows this religious thread that so clearly determines the whole "world and life view" of the Cardiganshire Calvinist Methodists. As a 1948 Dutch-Canadian immigrant from a semi rural nee-Calvinist background, I had very little difficulty drawing parallels to my own immigrant experience. Many of Knowles's conclusions and insights could just as well been written about the people I grew up with in Canada some one hundred years later. Although the Calvinist Methodists were somewhat more "enthusiastic" in their religious observances than the Dutch nee-Calvinists, they clearly accepted the idea that Reformed Christian's are called to be "in the world but not of the world." God expected his predestined ones to keep a distance from fallen creation. This perspective informed their views on all of life and often resulted in problems which, while not faced by most other immigrants, were common to all Calvinist immigrant communities in North America. The very idea of emigration was regarded by some as opposition to God's will and therefore ultimately to be rejected. Others justified their emigration as a kind of secular mission activity-bringing Calvinism to the American frontier. Sunday labour, apparently necessary in the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-114X
Print ISSN
0007-7720
Pages
pp. 149-151
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-02
Open Access
No
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