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The Most Famous Man in America

Paperback $20.00

Apr 17, 2007 | 560 Pages

Ebook $13.99

Dec 18, 2007 | 560 Pages

  • Paperback $20.00

    Apr 17, 2007 | 560 Pages

  • Ebook $13.99

    Dec 18, 2007 | 560 Pages

Get the news you want from Penguin Random House


Pulitzer Prize WINNER 2007


Praise for The Most Famous Man in America

“A wonderful portrait of a charismatic preacher with a deeply flawed private life, this biography vividly conveys the color and contradictions of nineteenth-century America. With a sure grasp of history, penetrating insights into religion, and many marvelous turns of phrase, Applegate brings to life a time that uncannily prefigures our own.”
—William Taubman, author of Khrushchev

“At last, Henry Beecher receives the comprehensive treatment he is due, in this perceptive, engaging, and balanced study.”
—James MacGregor Burns

“Debby Applegate brings to life nineteenth-century America’s most influential preacher, who emerges in this full-blooded portrait as a fascinating tangle of all-too-human traits. Drawing off an impressive body of research, the author expertly weaves together biography and history in a riveting narrative that reads like a page-turning novel.”
—David S. Reynolds, author of John Brown, Abolitionist and Walt Whitman’s America.

“Thoroughly researched, passionately written, and richly detailed, this book is the biography of America’s greatest nineteenth-century preacher . . . must reading for serious nonfiction readers of American religion, politics and culture in Victorian America.”
—Harry S. Stout, Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Religious History, Yale University

“A lively narrative of nineteenth-century religion, power, passion, and politics, as well as a perceptive study of the elusive preacher who rode them to the top.”
—Joan D. Hedrick, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Harriet Beecher Stowe

“Henry Ward Beecher was a phenomenon: the scion of an amazing family, the most renowned American preacher of his day, an anti-slavery stalwart—and the main protagonist in one of the most sensational sex scandals of the Victorian era. If you thought that the personalities and machinations surrounding the Clinton impeachment scandal were interesting, you will find the Beecher exposé riveting. More important, Debby Applegate has vividly brought Beecher and his entire era to life, in all of their piety, idealism, pomposity, and pride.”
—Sean Wilentz, author of The Rise of American Democracy

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