Ryken, Leland. Worldly Saints: The Puritans As They Really Were. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986.
The title of this volume doesn’t indicate that the Puritans were worldly in the negative biblical sense. The pairing with “saints” is the tip-off. Ryken’s point is that the Puritans lived in the created world—in the world of work, marriage, family, money, education, and social action—as saints. Thus stereotypes of the Puritans as a dour, cloistered people are incorrect.
In seeking to correct the record Ryken surveys Puritan views on the topics listed above as well as on their views of the Bible, preaching, and worship. Two concluding chapters look at faults to avoid and strengths to learn from.
The book is full of primary source material and suggestions for further reading. It would be a good place to start in learning about the Puritans. The book is not perfect. I wondered at times about its appeal to Milton as a Puritan or if there was perhaps a greater diversity of views among the Puritans in certain areas that were being elided for the sake of summary (for instance, I think the Puritan view of revolution, the Civil War, and the Restoration may have been more varied). But these quibbles aside, this is a book well worth reading.