Coming as it does during a global pandemic and domestic political chaos, John Howard Smith’s A Dream of the Judgment Day is a timely reminder of just how deeply embedded are the twin themes of apocalypticism and millennialism in the American narrative. From the QAnon cult to antivaxxers, we have all witnessed how easily apocalyptic rhetoric has been used to mobilize segments of the population to levels of direct action rarely seen in recent memory. Given that Smith began his project some twenty years before, the book’s increased salience is fortuitous of course, but neatly underscores its need. The author’s original goal was simply to chart how “the prevalence of Enlightenment-oriented, optimistic, postmillennialism slowly and steadily gave way to pessimistic, bibliocentric, ‘fundamentalist’ premillennialism” (275). A Dream of the Judgment Day accomplishes this in admirable detail, but the very comprehensiveness of Smith’s approach leads him well beyond the evangelical mainstream. A...

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