American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation - eBook  -     By: Jon Meacham
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American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation - eBook

Random House / 2007 / ePub

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Product Description

The Christian Right often portrays the founding fathers as strong men, the Christian Founders whom we should revere in patriotic duty. The left sees them as something quite less than that. Presenting a nuanced view rooted in the quotes and primary documents of the founders themselves-and tied in neatly with the current conservative vs. liberal fears-Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Meacham brings readers into a world more fascinating than any stereotype. Noting the Founders complex personal lives, ambiguities, paradoxes between letters and practice, and their expansive views upon liberty, American Gospel moves beyond the past to how religion has played out in America and its current status today. 421 pages, softcover, with extensive appendices and index.

Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Random House
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 9781588365774
ISBN-13: 9781588365774
Availability: In Stock

Publisher's Description

The American Gospel–literally, the good news about America–is that religion shapes our public life without controlling it. In this vivid book, New York Times bestselling author Jon Meacham tells the human story of how the Founding Fathers viewed faith, and how they ultimately created a nation in which belief in God is a matter of choice.

At a time when our country seems divided by extremism, American Gospel draws on the past to offer a new perspective. Meacham re-creates the fascinating history of a nation grappling with religion and politics–from John Winthrop’s "city on a hill" sermon to Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence; from the Revolution to the Civil War; from a proposed nineteenth-century Christian Amendment to the Constitution to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call for civil rights; from George Washington to Ronald Reagan.

Debates about religion and politics are often more divisive than illuminating. Secularists point to a "wall of separation between church and state," while many conservatives act as though the Founding Fathers were apostles in knee britches. As Meacham shows in this brisk narrative, neither extreme has it right. At the heart of the American experiment lies the God of what Benjamin Franklin called "public religion," a God who invests all human beings with inalienable rights while protecting private religion from government interference. It is a great American balancing act, and it has served us well.

Meacham has written and spoken extensively about religion and politics, and he brings historical authority and a sense of hope to the issue. American Gospel makes it compellingly clear that the nation’s best chance of summoning what Lincoln called "the better angels of our nature" lies in recovering the spirit and sense of the Founding. In looking back, we may find the light to lead us forward.

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