In Revivals, Awakenings, and Reform, McLoughlin draws on psychohistory, sociology, and anthropology to examine the relationship between America's five great religious awakenings and their influence on five great movements for social reform in the United States. He finds that awakenings (and the revivals that are part of them) are periods of revitalization born in times of cultural stress and eventuating in drastic social reform. Awakenings are thus the means by which a people or nation creates and sustains its identity in a changing world.
"This book is sensitive, thought-provoking and stimulating. It is 'must' reading for those interested in awakenings, and even though some may not revise their views as a result of McLoughlin's suggestive outline, none can remain unmoved by the insights he has provided on the subject."—Christian Century
"This is one of the best books I have read all year. Professor McLoughlin has again given us a profound analysis of our culture in the midst of revivalistic trends."—Review and Expositor