In his new book American Gospel (Random House), Jon Meacham (managing editor of Newsweek)
offers an interesting look at more than two centuries of religious
influence on the making and shaping of the American nation. Those who
want to baptize all the founding fathers as evangelical Christians
will be disappointed, as will those on the opposite side who want to
pretend that Christian faith was not a significant influence in the
founding of the nation. Meacham celebrates the “public religion” (as
Franklin coined it) that he sees as the predominant religious
influence throughout American history, yet unlike many more liberal
writers he also celebrates the influential role that religion has
played in that history. While we may differ on some interpretations,
readers will still find much to enjoy (and learn) in Meacham’s
well-written volume.

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