Perry Miller, The New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century and The New England Mind: From Colony to Province. Miller, an atheist and heavy drinker who is widely regarded as the greatest historian of American Puritanism, admired the Puritans as serious intellectuals who lived out their beliefs.
Edmund Morgan, The Puritan Family. Morgan, Miller’s student, gives a sympathetic treatment of the warmth and passion of Puritan family life that belies the stereotype of Puritans as legalistic killjoys.
Charles Hambrick-Stowe, The Practice of Piety. Hambrick-Stowe brilliantly explicates the Puritans’ devotional practices and their fervent love of God.
Harry Stout, The New England Soul. While Miller emphasized the changing nature of Puritanism in America, Stout finds that Puritan theology, focused on the doctrine of covenant, remained quite stable throughout the colonial era.
Jill Lepore, The Name of War. Lepore compellingly recounts the tragic, brutal history of the Puritan war with Native Americans in the 1670s, which in terms of the percentage of people killed remains one of the deadliest wars in American history (Thomas Kidd, Patheos, July 17).