Why Liberals Win (Even When They Lose Elections): How America's Raucous, Nasty, and Mean

Why Liberals Win (Even When They Lose Elections): How America's Raucous, Nasty, and Mean "Culture Wars" Make for a More Inclusive Nation

by Stephen Prothero

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Overview

Why Liberals Win (Even When They Lose Elections): How America's Raucous, Nasty, and Mean "Culture Wars" Make for a More Inclusive Nation by Stephen Prothero

In this timely, carefully reasoned social history of the United States, the New York Times bestselling author of Religious Literacy and God Is Not One places today’s heated culture wars within the context of a centuries-long struggle of right versus left and religious versus secular to reveal how, ultimately, liberals always win.

Though they may seem to be dividing the country irreparably, today’s heated cultural and political battles between right and left, Progressives and Tea Party, religious and secular are far from unprecedented. In this engaging and important work, Stephen Prothero reframes the current debate, viewing it as the latest in a number of flashpoints that have shaped our national identity. Prothero takes us on a lively tour through time, bringing into focus the election of 1800, which pitted Calvinists and Federalists against Jeffersonians and “infidels;” the Protestants’ campaign against Catholics in the mid-nineteenth century; the anti-Mormon crusade of the Victorian era; the fundamentalist-modernist debates of the 1920s; the culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s; and the current crusade against Islam.

As Prothero makes clear, our culture wars have always been religious wars, progressing through the same stages of conservative reaction to liberal victory that eventually benefit all Americans. Drawing on his impressive depth of knowledge and detailed research, he explains how competing religious beliefs have continually molded our political, economic, and sociological discourse and reveals how the conflicts which separate us today, like those that came before, are actually the byproduct of our struggle to come to terms with inclusiveness and ideals of “Americanness.” To explore these battles, he reminds us, is to look into the soul of America—and perhaps find essential answers to the questions that beset us.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061571312
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/03/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 666,738
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.00(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 www.stephenprothero.com or follow his tweets @sprothero.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Culture Wars Cycle 1

Chapter 1 The Jefferson Wars 23

Chapter 2 Anti-Catholicism 55

Chapter 3 The Mormon Question 99

Chapter 4 Prohibition and Pluralism 139

Chapter 5 The Contemporary Culture Wars 183

Conclusion: Will the Culture Wars Ever End? 239

Acknowledgments 265

Notes 267

Index 319

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