A readable and wide-ranging contribution to the social history of New England, this volume treats subjects as diverse as economic growth, wealth distribution, poor relief, local government, office-holding, leadership, urban development, and historiography. Each essay takes a comparative approach to its subject, identifying general patterns within New England society as well as significant regional, typological, and idiosyncratic variations and changes that occurred over the course of the eighteenth century. Collectively, the work creates a picture of an increasingly heterogeneous society fragmenting into competing economic, political, and social groups. Although largely quantitative in approach, the book is written to be accessible both to undergraduates just beginning their study of social history and experienced researchers who seek a deeper understanding of particular aspects of New England's history. As such, it will be an ideal supplemental text for courses on American history, colonial history, and social, community, or New England history.