NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR â¢ The Christian Science Monitor â¢ Southern Living
Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the âbetter angels of our natureâ have repeatedly won the day. Painting surprising portraits of Lincoln and other presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and illuminating the courage of such influential citizen activists as Martin Luther King, Jr., early suffragettes Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt, civil rights pioneers Rosa Parks and John Lewis, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Army-McCarthy hearings lawyer Joseph N. Welch, Meacham brings vividly to life turning points in American history. He writes about the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the birth of the Lost Cause; the backlash against immigrants in the First World War and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s; the fight for womenâs rights; the demagoguery of Huey Long and Father Coughlin and the isolationist work of America First in the years before World War II; the anti-Communist witch-hunts led by Senator Joseph McCarthy; and Lyndon Johnsonâs crusade against Jim Crow. Each of these dramatic hours in our national life have been shaped by the contest to lead the country to look forward rather than back, to assert hope over fearâa struggle that continues even now.
While the American story has not alwaysâor even oftenâbeen heroic, we have been sustained by a belief in progress even in the gloomiest of times. In this inspiring book, Meacham reassures us,Â âThe good news is that we have come through such darkness beforeââas, time and again, Lincolnâs better angels have found a way to prevail.
Praise for The Soul of America
âBrilliant, fascinating, timely . . . With compelling narratives of past eras of strife and disenchantment, Meacham offers wisdom for our own time.ââWalter Isaacson
âGripping and inspiring, The Soul of America is Jon Meachamâs declaration of his faith in America.ââNewsday
âMeacham gives readers a long-term perspective on American history and a reason to believe the soul of America is ultimately one of kindness and caring, not rancor and paranoia.ââUSA Today
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