|# of Units:||6 CDs|
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An excellent survey of the role of what the author calls "public religion" in the United States from the earliest colonial times to the present. Meacham carefully demonstrates the reverence the Founders had for religion as a basis for religious-inspired morality in the commonwealth, while showing they went out of their way to avoid sectarianism (including any recognition of the United States as a "Christian Nation") and support toleration of all beliefs. The books has good sections on this issue in later times--particularly on Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Martin Luther King, and Ronald Reagan. He makes a sympathetic comparison of Billy Graham, who withdrew from political activity, to Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, who did not.
Excellent book; gives a clear overview of the role of religion in American history, starting with the Jamestown settlers, through the Founding Fathers, to the near present. Clarifies that to the the Founding Fathers a Creator or Transcendent Power was very much a part of their thinking, but not necessarily a Christian God.
This book is a bit long and repetitive in structure for audio--no skimming--but anyone who gets frustrated by the heated mix of religion and politics in America would be well served to hear the whole of Meacham's explanation for the balance between secularism and religion reached and maintained in the founding and playing out of American government.
I did not like the book nor agree with the message and views of the author. I do not recommend this book at all as the views seem to be from a very liberal secular person.I found his counter claims of the faith of several of our founding fathers not in keeping with other books I have read on the subject and our Great Nation founded on the very principles this author chooses to minimize. The work also did not flow very well as he seemed to get off on tangents and then got hard to follow where he was going with each chapter. One would get the idea he did not like America either and certainly not men of integrity and honesty and a love for the Lord our risen savior Jesus Christ.
Jon Meacham is the managing editor of Newsweek. Born in Chattanooga in 1969, he is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. The editor of Voices in Our Blood: America's Best on the Civil Rights Movement, Meacham lives in New York City with his wife and son.