In this first, serious biography of Hiram Edson, historian Brian Strayer explores the significance, or not, of the role this little understood Adventist pioneer played in helping distraught Millerites make sense of their bitter 1844 disappointment.  His helpful canvas of the wide range of contesting interpretations of Edson’s post-disappointment “cornfield” insight is particularly helpful.  With his careful eye for illuminating facts, Strayer provides a study rich in anecdotal detail and a sympathetic insider’s perspective that not only gives readers new insights into the intriguing life of this committed early believer but also a fresh sense of the sometimes exotic texture of the religious experience of post-disappointment Adventism.