Customer Reviews for

American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 13 of 11 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The most significant American history of 2008

    I couldn't put this book down. The discussion of America's private and public religion and religious style is topical and the author goes back to the colonial period to analyze several significant steps in the development of our American religious outlook. My husband recommended it to me and I have recommended it to everyone I know who enjoys American history, religious history, or wants to know more about how private and public religion interact in today's America. It is a balanced look, including both Christian, Jewish and other perspectives, and uses historical research to put each facet of the journey into perspective. The book does not choose one religion over another and the author is careful to delineate between public representations of religion and the course of private religion in this country. I feel it is a must-read in the changing religious and political climate of early 21st century America.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2010

    See our country in a new light.

    I read this book on my Nook. It seems that the last third of the book did not fit the nook profile. I'll have to visit Barnes & Noble for an explanation.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2007

    Almost Perfect

    Jon Meacham's American Gospel is one volume every American household should have on the bookshelf. He rises to protect the center--the strength--of American polity rather than support (or bash) one side or the other in the continuing debate over whether The United States is a Christian country founded on Christian principles -- or not. And that's where he takes a stand: in the center ableit, not a safe place to be. There are no Golden Cows in the text. Meacham's analysis, synthesis and evaluation of the historical record, from John Winthrop to Ronald Reagan, is almost perfect, but not quite: There could have been more attention given to Hugo Black's 'Everson' decision which, in effect, resurrected the 'Wall', a Jeffersonian idea which to this day remains a most nebulous and confusing concept. Many Americans don't understand the context of Black's opion relevant to Jefferson's involvement, i.e., his letter to the Danbury Baptist Assn. Black points to Jefferson, in his 1947 Everson opinion, as being the absolute authority on the First Amendment yet Jefferson was no where near the Constitutional Convention, much less near the process of coming up with a Bill of Rights, of which, '...Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .' became 'The Clause' celeb, so to speak. Although Jefferson wrote many letters stating his opinion on the process of the Convention to his friend and protege James Madison on a regular basis, Jefferson was more occupied with the process of pursuing one Maria Cosway somewhere between Paris and Versailles during his mission in France. It may seem trivial, but it's no small matter: the 'Wall' still sparks mindless arguements that solve nothing -- the very theme that embodies Meacham's message. And it's a good mesaage! Other than that, the book is well structured, fluid, eminently informative, and readable. I enjoyed it. Couldn't put it down! I learned a thing or two.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2006

    Interesting book

    I always enjoy reading books that make me think about the way I feel about life in the United States today. This book is a good read for anyone with an open mind.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2006

    Good

    It's always interesting to read that our founding fathers, who thought up separation of church and state, were very religious men indeed.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 16, 2009

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 13 of 11 Customer Reviews
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