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One Nation Under God How Corporate America Invented Christian America Kevin M Kruse 2015 :: The Progressive Torrents Community
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One Nation Under God How Corporate America Invented Christian America Kevin M Kruse 2015


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7.73 MB

Date/time added:

2015-05-07 22:43:15

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in, church membership soared to an all-time high of 69%. For the first
time, Americans began to think of their country as an officially
Christian nation.
During this moment, virtually all Americans—across the religious and
political spectrum—believed that their country was “one nation under
God.” But as Americans moved from broad generalities to the details of
issues such as school prayer, cracks began to appear. Religious leaders
rejected this “lowest common denomination” public religion, leaving
conservative political activists to champion it alone. In Richard
Nixon’s hands, a politics that conflated piety and patriotism became
sole property of the right.
Provocative and authoritative, One Nation Under God reveals how the
unholy alliance of money, religion, and politics created a false origin
story that continues to define and divide American politics to this
The New Republic
“A deftly detailed history of Christianity’s service to capitalism in
the United States.”
The American Prospect
“Fascinating, vividly drawn portraits of many players in this drama.”
Religion in American History
“An eminently readable book, chock-full of lively and entertaining
“Engagingly traces the rise of the Christian Right as a political force
in America.... One Nation Under God is an important book. We —
Christians and Americans — need to understand our history.... In One
Nation Under God Kruse offers us a potent reminder of where we have
come from, and, perhaps more importantly, how far we still have to go.”
“A thorough and fascinating treatment of a little known thread of U.S.
National Memo
“A new, meticulous, and vital historical account that should be read by
anyone who still scratches their head over whether the Tea Party is a
religious movement, or wonders how the idealized conception of America
as a ‘Christian nation’ was constructed.... Essential reading for
anyone who wants to understand that uniquely American alliance between
God and mammon.”
Shelf Awareness for Readers
“A detailed history of the roots of the campaign arguing that the
United States is a Christian nation.”
“A lucid narrative…”
“[An] engaging history of modern religious nationalism…briskly narrated
and richly detailed…”
Library Journal, Editors Spring Picks
“Kruse addresses how corporations used clergymen in their PR war
against Roosevelt’s New Deal and how evangelist Billy Graham helped
Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon use religion as the ‘lowest-common
denominator’ to unite the public. I’ve yet to finish it, but I can
already tell this will be an informative, insightful read.”
Kirkus, starred review
“In a book for readers from both parties, Kruse ably demonstrates how
the simple ornamental mottoes ‘under God’ and ‘In God We Trust,’ as
well as the fight to define America as Christian, were parts of a
clever business plan.”
Library Journal, starred review
“Thorough and thought-provoking scholarship.... Kruse reveals the
marketing machine behind American godliness with authority, insight,
and clarity. He illustrates key turning points along the way to provide
a cohesive picture of a well-powered movement. He hands us the agenda
behind the Pledge of Allegiance, ‘in God we trust,’ and other
cornerstones of American patriotism. In short, he exposes the PR man
behind the pious curtain.”
E.J. Dionne, Jr., author of Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics
after the Religious Right
“Much has been written about the religious right, but Kevin Kruse has
written a breakthrough book by describing the movement’s pre-history in
the 1930s and 1950s—and in fascinating detail. Engagingly written, One
Nation Under God will provoke many arguments, but it will require all
sides to come to terms with facts and events largely buried in our
collective memory until Kruse bravely set out to challenge our
Jon Butler, Professor Emeritus of American Studies, History, and
Religious Studies at Yale University
“Kevin M. Kruse’s startling One Nation Under God reveals the
extraordinary Cold War politics that put under God in Americas
Pledge of Allegiance, In God We Trust on U.S. stamps, and Cecil B.
DeMilles The Ten Commandments on Hollywood’s biggest movie list. The
political warriors for a Christian America made the Puritans look
like pikers, and Kruse dissects their successes and foibles with grace,
glowing research, and more than a little humor. A compelling read!”
Andrew Preston, author of Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith:
Religion in American War and Diplomacy
“In this riveting book, Kevin Kruse combines the history of religion
with the history of capitalism to craft an original interpretation
about America’s religious identity. Revisionist in the best sense—bold,
daring, and intelligent—it will change how we think about the American
Ari Kelman, author of the Bancroft Prize-winning A Misplaced Massacre
“In this brilliant and iconoclastic book, Kevin M. Kruse shows how an
unholy alliance of greedy businessmen, venal clergy, and conservative
politicians exploited American spirituality for partisan gain. Kruse’s
research is extraordinary, his prose vivid, his argument profound. One
Nation Under God is essential reading for anyone interested in
understanding contemporary culture in the United States.”
Lizabeth Cohen, author of Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in
America, 1919-1939
“Prepare yourself for a startling and important discovery: ‘Christian
America’ is not a legacy of the nation’s founders or a construct of the
Cold War Era. Rather, as Kevin Kruse so powerfully shows, it was the
deliberate invention of conservative corporate leaders who allied with
like-minded clergymen in the 1930s to fight the antichrist they most
feared: Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Kruse convincingly argues that
the rise of the religious right over the next decades grew out of these
anti-liberal politics, not the other way around. ‘Church and state’ in
America has rarely had a better historian than Kruse.”
Ira Katznelson, author of Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of
Our Time
“Certain to be controversial, One Nation Under God persuasively reveals
how business opponents of the New Deal joined forces with crusading
ministers to place religious piety at the core of the American story.
The book’s redolent account of this underestimated mid-century point of
inflection compels a reassessment of how and when the United States
came to be regarded as a consecrated Christian nation.”
Sean Wilentz, Bancroft Prize-winning author of The Rise of American
“The claim that the United States was founded and then flourished as a
Christian nation turns out to be an all-American fraud, disseminated in
the 1950s and after by an odd combination of reactionary businessmen,
well-meaning political leaders, cranks, cynics, and dupes. Kevin M.
Kruse’s calm and devastating book more than debunks the fraud; it
offers brilliant insight into our politics, then and now.”
About the Author
Kevin M. Kruse is a professor of history at Princeton University and
the author or co-editor of four books, including the award-winning
White Flight. Kruse lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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