The American Bible-Whose America Is This?: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation

The American Bible-Whose America Is This?: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation

by Stephen Prothero


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062123459
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/08/2013
Pages: 533
Sales rank: 1,107,381
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Stephen Prothero is the New York Times bestselling author of Religious Literacy and God Is Not One and a professor of religion at Boston University. His work has been featured on the cover of TIME magazine, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, NPR, and other top national media outlets. He writes and reviews for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, The Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Salon, Slate, and other publications. Visit the author at or follow his tweets @sprothero.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1


The Exodus Story 18

"A Model of Christian Charity" (1630) John Winthrop 34

Common Sense (1776) Thomas Paine 52

The Declaration of Independence (1776) 73

The Blue-Back Speller (1783-) Noah Webster 98


The Constitution (1787) 108

Brown v. Board of Education (1954) 129

Roe v. Wade (1973) 146


Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) Harriet Beecher Stowe 162

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) Mark Twain 181

Atlas Shrugged (1957) Ayn Rand 199


"The Star-Spangled Banner" (1814) Francis Scott Key 214

"God Bless America" (1938) Irving Berlin 226

"This Land Is Your Land" (1940) Woody Guthrie 236


"Remember that time is money" (1748) Benjamin Franklin 244

"God helps those who help themselves" (1758) Benjamin Franklin 246

"Give me liberty or give me death" (1775) Patrick Henry 248

"Remember the ladies" (1776) Abigail Adams 250

"Ain't I a woman?" (1851) Sojourner Truth 252

"With malice toward none, with charity for all" (1865) Abraham Lincoln 254

"I will fight no more forever" (1877) Chief Joseph 256

"The business of America is business" (1925) Calvin Coolidge 258

"I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people" (1932) Franklin Delano Roosevelt 260

"Ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country" (1961) John F Kennedy 262

"evil empire" (1983) Ronald Reagan 264


"Civil Disobedience" (1849) Henry David Thoreau 268

Farewell Address (1961) Dwight Eisenhower 284

"I Have a Dream" (1963) Martin Luther King Jr. 294

The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965) Malcolm X 308


Gettysburg Address (1863) Abraham Lincoln 330

Vietnam Veterans Memorial (1982) Maya Lin 346


First Inaugural Address (1801) Thomas Jefferson 358

First Inaugural Address (1933) Franklin Delano Roosevelt 372

"The Speech" (1964) Ronald Reagan 389


The Pledge of Allegiance (1892,1954) 408


Farewell Address (1796) George Washington 420

"Letter to the Danbury Baptists" (1802) Thomas Jefferson 452

"Letter from Birmingham Jail" (1963) Martin Luther King Jr. 462

Epilogue 483

Acknowledgments 490

Notes 491

Credits 517

Index 519

What People are Saying About This

Jon Meacham

“In these pages Stephen Prothero has brilliantly captured the American spirit-a spirit that has always seen us through hours of division and disagreement. With Prothero’s expert analysis, these texts should spark civil conversation, informed debate, and intelligent discussion.”

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The American Bible-Whose America Is This?: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am enjoying the author Stephen's treatment of key books, speeches, and songs that make the cultural backbone of the American experience. Structured around Biblical themes, Stephen builds our fundamental beliefs through excerpts of original work plus supplemental references, reviews and reflections by key leaders from past to present. I recommend it for anyone wanting to structure a better understanding around their American experience.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago