Frank Lambert is a Professor of History who is famous for his dedication to examining such insurgent periods in the American history as the Colonial and Revolutionary eras. Lambert is also a biographer of George Whitefield, the prominent leader of the Great Awakening. Inventing the “Great Awakening” is a comprehensive and pertinent analysis of the Great Awakening period in the North America.
The book distinctively outlines the colonial history of the USA in line with the development of the Great Awakening. The book focuses on the big picture of introduction and persistence of the Great Awakening principles in the USA colonies, and its scope is within the set of circumstances which were associated with this controversial phenomenon.
Thus, the book is about the premeditated development of the Great Awakening as the natural and general spiritual revival promoted by evangelicals1. In his book, Lambert tries to persuade that the American religious leaders created a series of implications from separate revival occasions to form and promote the Great Awakening with the help of commercial approaches to convince the public and to attract followers.
From this perspective, one of the book’s strong points is that Lambert proposed the innovative approach to discussing the origin of the Great Awakening. Thus, Lambert is rather convincing while stating that in the 18th century, the American religious leaders took advantage of famous media channels to create the misleading principles of the revival. Lambert also tries to provide evidences to state that the source of the Great Awakening was instigated conventionally.
This statement is relevant in relation to the foundations, the transformations, and the inferences. Focusing on his provocative assumption, Lambert indicates that this revival process was started in colonies where evangelicals headed this movement to support it in various regions of New England.
The next strength of the book is the discussion of George Whitefield’s huge role in this awakening. Lambert puts the emphasis on discussing the role of such influential characters of the 18th century as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield in the process.
The next strength is that Lambert clearly outlines the movement with focusing on changes in the revival values2. The author also explains that the values of the evangelicals’ groups were to increase the intensity of the rebirth activities in the North America. Lambert’s thesis is effective, and the main objective of the book is well articulated. Thus, the book is the reliable source to present the new vision of the phenomenon. Lambert is also good to analyze the religious event from the perspective of its cultural and social roles.
On the other hand, Lambert’s book has some weaknesses because the author loses some credibility while trying to provide more evidences and primary sources to support his claims. It is also important to note that Lambert’s research lacks objectivity and the crucial scientific background in way because of basing on many assumptions.
Additionally, the valuable data and information is lacking because of the limited sources. That is why, the main book’s weaknesses are the result of the sources’ limit to provide the strong evidences to support the author’s arguments. Thus, the book is appropriate to provide the general vision of the problem.
Lambert provided the valuable accounts of the Colonial America’s history. Thus, Lambert claims that the focus on the promotion strategies fostered the Great Awakening in America, and he indicates that the process of the Great Awakening was not naturally caused, but it was a deliberate occasion.
Lambert, Frank. Inventing the “Great Awakening”. USA: Princeton University Press, 2001.
1 Frank Lambert, Inventing the “Great Awakening” (USA: Princeton University Press, 2001), 23.
2 Lambert, Inventing the “Great Awakening”, 56.