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The Faiths of the Founding Fathers

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2006

    Thorough and Revealing Exploration of the Founding Fathers

    Faiths of the Founding Fathers by David Holmes immediately establishes itself as a more scholarly work than Jon Meacham¿s more contemporary fare, The American Gospel. The language, writing style, and historical overview set a confident tone early on with a detailed look at the various churches and religion groups that were scattered around the original Colonies. Holmes guides the reader as if he was giving a religious tour of colonial America. Several pages are devoted to explaining the Anglican traditions in America and one of the most in-depth treatments of Deism I¿ve ever seen in a book. As the title suggests, Holmes focuses intensely on the religious faiths of six principle founding figures: Franklin, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe. Holmes carefully describes the religious upbringing of each figure, the nature and extent of their church attendance, (even noting which particular churches they attended), as well as key religious opinions or writings they made. Logically, Holmes uses the actual actions and works of the Founders to judge their religion opinions and not merely the associations they kept on paper or in public. Holmes also examines the religion traditions and participating of the Founder¿s wives and families for further clues to the faiths of the Founding Fathers. In a later chapter in the book, Holmes also provides a concise summary of his findings. Finally, Holmes go on to profile modern presidents such as Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II. Holmes's book provides a level of detail to this topic that no other book provides. I highly recommend it.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2006

    Simply the best book that I have read in years

    'The Faiths of the Founding Fathers' by David Holmes is simply the best book that I have read in years. It fully complements works by the famed historians Joseph Ellis and David McCullough. Holmes' book begins by surveying the religious landscape in the mid- and late 18th century. He then takes a closer look at the personal theology of the men most instrumental in the founding of the US: Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, Madison, Monroe, etc. What is more, he also writes about their daughters and wives. These short biopics serve to remind us that leading politicians were not merely influenced by wars and rulers and philosophy and literature, but also by their personal religious beliefs. Historians will appreciate Holmes' use of primary source material (eg, Franklin's epitaph) and detailed endnotes. In sum, this book is well-researched, well written, engaging, and comprehensive. I highly recommend it to all reader audiences.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2010

    Interesting and Easy Read

    An incredibly fascinating read. This book will certainly catch your attention and hold it. Holmes does a fairly good job explaining the different sects of Christianity at the time of the Revolution. The amount of information he gives about different people and belief systems is somewhat inconsistent, but everything he does provide is presented well. It seems that he is a bit biased-he wants to make the point that the Founders were not heavily influenced by Christianity. This is generally correct, but at times it feels as though he is trying to force it down your throat, rather than present the facts and let the reader decide for himself. All in all though certainly a worthwhile purchase--especially for some of the great quotes he throws in.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2006

    Religious Leanings of the Founders Calmly Explained

    The Faiths of the Founding Fathers has enriched my life. I fancied myself knowledgeable about American history until reading this book. I needed that humbling and enlightening experience. David L. Holmes calmly explains the religious climate of the Founders' age, then he methodically examines the religious leanings of key figures--as well as those of their immediate family members. I can now appreciate the complexity and the evolution of their beliefs as well as the range of religious views held in that distant era. If you want to learn more about the religious inclinations of the Founders, then buy this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2006

    so many faiths back then

    This book should be required reading for every high schooler in the US. Our founding fathers were not die hard trinitarians who shoved transubstantion down the throats of their associates! I never new this, my respect for these men who managed to put the early documents of our country together through cooperation and mutual tolerance has hit new highs! I was also unaware that Catholics were not the majority, or at least one of the main groups. They dominate everything today, to the extent that censureship has returned with the Da Vinci Code, one of a long list of books banned by the Papists starting with Thomas Paynes Common Sense if I remember correctly. So many faiths merged from back then. So many groups changed. This book was truely eye opening. Easy reading and fun, I recommend this book to all of those who want to know the truth in an era of mixed religious views in America. Paul Swanson

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012

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