Pahl, Jon. Paradox Lost: Free Will and Political Liberty in American Culture, 1630-1760. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992. First Edition. ISBN: 9780801843341. 
Gray cloth with gilt titles, xvi., 234 clean pp., dust jacket intact and fine. Fine in fine dust-jacket. Hardcover.
"What does the concept of freedom mean in American culture? Where did the characteristic understandings and practices associated with liberty originate, and why? In Paradox Lost Jon Pahl shows how religious ideas about free will directly influenced how Americans thought about liberty.
"From the antinomian controversy of the 1630s to Jonathan Edwards's classic Freedom of the Will in 1754, leading religious thinkers of colonial America developed ideologies of free will that avoided the extremes of fate ('tyranny') and blind chance ('anarchy'). Transforming these ideologies into political terms, Calvinist and Anglican writers cultivated public theologies that contained the central paradox of free will guided by providence. An ironic, and tragic result of this 'moderate' position was that suspected extremists - including Quakers, Native Americans, and African Americans--were subjected to ridicule, repression, and even violence.
"Pahl combines the rigor of close reading with a lively sensitivity to the social contexts and significance of language in the creation of American culture, including the ways in which it has been used to legitimize violence. Paradox Lost represents a new and provocative understanding of early American intellectual life which will be of interest to anyone with a concern for the meaning of 'freedom' in American culture today." - publisher.