Spencer W. McBride

Historian of Early America



Spencer W. McBride is the author of Pulpit and Nation: Clergymen and the Politics of Revolutionary America. He has also published in a number of different forums. Listed here is a selected sampling of some of his forthcoming and past publications:


Pulpit & Nation: Clergymen and the Politics of Revolutionary America (2017)

In Pulpit and Nation, McBride highlights the importance of Protestant clergymen in early American political culture, elucidating the actual role of religion in the founding era. Beginning with colonial precedents for clerical involvement in politics and concluding with false rumors of Thomas Jefferson’s conversion to Christianity in 1817, this book reveals the ways in which the clergy’s political activism—and early Americans’ general use of religious language and symbols in their political discourse—expanded and evolved to become an integral piece in the invention of an American national identity. Offering a fresh examination... 

Other Books

Somewhere Between Citizens and Foreigners: Perceptions of Mormons in American Political Culture [editor with Brent M. Rogers and Keith A. Erekson] (under contract with Cornell University Press).

New York's Burned-Over District: A Documentary History [editor, with Jennifer Dorsey] (in progress).

The Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 7 [editor, with Matthew C. Godfrey, Alex Smith, and Christopher Blythe], (forthcoming, 2018). 

The Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 11 [editor, with Tyson Reeder and Jeffrey Mahas], (in progress).

Academic Journals

"When Joseph Smith Met Martin Van Buren: Mormonism and the Politics of American Religious Liberty," Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture, March 2016.

"A 'Masterly Stroke of Policy': The American Revolution and the Politics of Congressional Prayer," The Journal of Religion, Identity, and Politics, April 2013.

Magazines, Newspapers, and Blogs

"Benjamin Rush and the Divine Right of Republics," The Junto, January 13, 2017.

"Pilgrimage to History," New York Archives, Summer 2015.

"Joseph and Emma Smith as Parents," Deseret News, April 16, 2015.

"Strange Constitutional Bedfellows: The First and Third Amendments in the Mormon Quest for Religious Liberty," The Junto, December 15, 2014.

"A Display of Folly and Show: Joseph Smith's Impressions of Congress," The Junto, 20 August 2014.

Book Reviews

Review of John Gary Maxwell, The Civil War Years in Utah: The Kingdom of God and the Territory That Did Not Fight, in Civil War Book Review 18, no. 3 (Fall 2016).

Review of Daniel L. Dreisbach and Mark David Hall, eds., Faith and the Founders of the American Republic, and Howard B. Rock, Haven of Liberty: New York Jews in the New World, 1654-1865, in Journal of the Early Republic 35, no. 1 (Spring 2015).

Review of Jeffrey L. Pasley, The First Presidential Contest: 1796 and the Founding of American Democracy, in Polymath 3, no. 4 (2013).

Review of Eran Shalev, American Zion: The Bible as a Political Text from the Revolution to the Civil War, in Civil War Book Review 15, no. 2 (Summer 2013).

Review of James S. Leamon, Reverend James Bailey, Maine Loyalist: For God, King, Country, and for Self, in Journal of the Early Republic 33, no. 2 (2013).

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