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Gardella (world religions, Manhattanville Coll.) has written one of 2007's most provocative and original books on spirituality. Angels, once the impersonal bearers of God's will, have mutated steadily into clichéd and honey-sweet decorative accessories in every American home. This wide-ranging book both surveys the immense range of angelic and pseudoangelic images and places them in a thoughtful historical and national context. Gardella suggests, with good reason, that angels have transformed into a symbol of a future of fulfilled dreams and are perhaps even the most potent metaphor for American culture. Highly recommended.