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American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, And the Making of a Nation
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Bibliographic Detail
Publisher Random House Inc
Publication date March 20, 2007
Pages 421
Binding Paperback
Edition Reprint
Book category Adult Non-Fiction
ISBN-13 9780812976663
ISBN-10 0812976665
Dimensions 1 by 4.75 by 8 in.
Weight 0.70 lbs.
Original list price $17.00
Summaries and Reviews
Summary
The best-selling author of Franklin and Winston offers an incisive historical portrait of religion and politics in America, from the colonial period to the present day, and cites the need for contemporary society to embrace the principles of the Founding Fathers. Reprint. 100,000 first printing.
Amazon.com description: Product Description: NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In a fascinating book that’s perfect for Father’s Day, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jon Meacham reveals 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.

Praise for American Gospel

“In his American Gospel, Jon Meacham provides a refreshingly clear, balanced, and wise historical portrait of religion and American politics at exactly the moment when such fairness and understanding are much needed. Anyone who doubts the relevance of history to our own time has only to read this exceptional book.”—David McCullough, author of 1776

“Jon Meacham has given us an insightful and eloquent account of the spiritual foundation of the early days of the American republic. It is especially instructive reading at a time when the nation is at once engaged in and deeply divided on the question of religion and its place in public life.”—Tom Brokaw, author of The Greatest Generation

Editions
Hardcover
Book cover for 9780739326671 Book cover for 9781400065554
 
from Random House Inc (April 4, 2006)
9781400065554 | details & prices | 399 pages | 6.50 × 9.00 × 1.25 in. | 1.27 lbs | List price $23.95
About: Author 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.
Large print edition from Random House Large Print (April 4, 2006)
9780739326671 | details & prices | 604 pages | 6.00 × 8.75 × 1.25 in. | 1.60 lbs | List price $24.95
About: In American Gospel (literally meaning the "good news about America"), New York Times bestselling author Jon Meacham sets the record straight on the history of religion in American public life.
Paperback
Book cover for 9780812976663
 
The price comparison is for this edition
Reprint edition from Random House Inc (March 20, 2007)
9780812976663 | details & prices | 421 pages | 4.75 × 8.00 × 1.00 in. | 0.70 lbs | List price $17.00
About: Author 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.
CD/Spoken Word
Book cover for 9780739334379
 
With Grover Gardner (other contributor) | Unabridged edition from Random House (April 4, 2006)
9780739334379 | details & prices | 5.50 × 6.25 × 1.00 in. | 0.40 lbs | List price $32.95
About: Offers an historical portrait of religon and politics in America, and cites the need for contemporary society to embrace the principles of the Founding Fathers.

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