Though there have never been many Quakers, these small numbers belie the sect's tremendous impact, both historical and contemporary.
Quakerism has produced an astonishing and disproportionate number of eminent thinkers, scientists, industrialists and businessmen, who are united not only by their success but by their commitment to philanthropy and social justice.
Quakers also played an important role in early American history, William Penn even having a state named after him.
In this illustrated introduction, Peter Furtado traces the history of Quakerism through the tumultuous period of the Civil War and Restoration, its zealous and unrelenting opposition to the slave trade, and its continued work at the forefront of peacemaking, poverty relief, conflict resolution and charity.
He also looks closely at the egalitarian teachings of Quakerism's founder, George Fox, and at how the sect's beliefs have developed since, including their undaunted pacifism and why they have been so successful in business.