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Download American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation Audiobook, by Jon Meacham Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.57 out of 53.57 out of 53.57 out of 53.57 out of 53.57 out of 5 3.57 (30 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jon Meacham Narrator: Grover Gardner Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2006 ISBN: 9780739334386
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In American Gospel (literally meaning the "good news about America"), New York Times bestselling author Jon Meacham sets the record straight on the history of religion in American public life. As Meacham shows, faith --meaning a belief in a higher power, and the sense that we are God's chosen people-- has always been at the heart of our national experience, from Jamestown to the Constitutional Convention to the Civil Rights Movement to September 11th. And yet, first and foremost, America is a nation founded upon the principles of liberty and freedom. Every American is free to exercise his own faith or no faith at all. And so a balance is struck, between public religion and private religion; and religious belief is distinct from morality. As Meacham explains, the well-known "wall" between church and state has always separated private religion from the business of the state, yet religious belief is part of the basic foundation of government. Brilliantly articulating an argument that links the Founding Fathers to an insightful contemporary point of view, American Gospel renews our understanding of history, and what public religion has meant in America, so that we can move beyond today's religious and political extremism toward a truer understanding of the place of faith in American society.


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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tiffany | 1/28/2014

    " fun to read what our founding fathers thought about religion and government. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Danny | 1/17/2014

    " Has some interesting anecdotes, but the bland centrism gets old quickly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather the Hillbilly Banjo Queen | 1/8/2014

    " I have enjoyed reading about the faith of our founding fathers and thought it would be a good read for many people who aren't sure what separation of church and state means. And that little over-used phrase (separation of church and state) was in a letter written by Jefferson, but is nowhere to be found in the constitution or other official papers. I found that piece of information quite interesting. It could have been shorter, but it was still good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 (a)lyss(a) | 1/1/2014

    " It was a cool book to read. Great insight and beautiful way of interpretting the constitution. Also was awesome to see how the founding fathers would feel about certain issues in big goverment today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Johnston | 12/27/2013

    " Interesting book about the role of religion and faith in the founding fathers view of the creation of the constitution and its democratic institutions. Argues that while Christian belief was a bedrock for almost all the founders, that they did not intend for the country to be a "Christian Democracy" as some have claimed. Instead, the book argues, the founders completely understood and bought into the idea that religious freedom and diversity must be maintained for the country to achieve its greatest aspirations. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 R.J. | 12/27/2013

    " A topic i was very interested to read about but dull dull dull "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Glenn | 12/22/2013

    " An insightful survey of the thin wall separating church and state throughout our nation's existence, and how 'One nation under God' has managed to keep a safe distance from sectarian influence. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul | 12/5/2013

    " Great book on a great subject--religion and public life in America. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chrislyn | 11/27/2013

    " Good read...explains the foundation of religion in american history "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gina | 11/7/2013

    " Excellent book! This should be required reading for all high school history students. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 10/28/2013

    " Meacham does a great job of putting religion in perspective in the political history of the American Experiment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caroline | 10/11/2013

    " Read in preperation for my AP US Histoy class. Well organized and thought out, uses historical documents effectively. Interesting view of American History through the lense of religion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Agnes Karas | 10/1/2013

    " Excellent study of religion and our founding fathers. Highly recommend it...half the book consists of letters and writings of the founding fathers supporting the author's views. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 GFWTRES | 9/13/2013

    " Well documented account of the tension and interplay of religion in the founding of the United States, and a counterpoint to facile arguments positing America as a Christian nation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martin Whatwouldthefoundersthink | 5/9/2013

    " I don't like the author much, but his book was ok, and fairly balanced. His conclusions were mostly sound, if some of his examples weak (especially more modern ones). I reviewed the book here. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Annemarie Donahue | 7/19/2012

    " Just once I wish an historian would study the Treaty of Tripoli so we can (once and for all) stop pretending that America was "founded on christianity". Freaking foolish, and very dangerous. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff | 3/11/2012

    " Nice work on the separation of church and state that the founding fathers intended "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 2/5/2012

    " Wonderful historical account of the role of religion in American politics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily Ann Meyer | 10/11/2011

    " Pretty interesting overview of the intersection of religion and politics through US history - that said it was also a relatively cursory overview and rather disappointing inasmuch as it ended with Regan, except for a passing reference to Jerry Falwell & Pat Robertson's diatribes regarding 9/11. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adam Sommer | 9/11/2011

    " Very nice middle of the road examination of the real role of Christianity in our Nations most powerful office and its influence on the founders. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonathan | 7/23/2011

    " Great insight into the founding fathers and their mixed views on religion. They were not all devout christian men nor were they agnostics or atheists, many of them grappled with questions about god much they way we still do. Wonderful defense of the middle ground in the religious debate. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dav8d777 | 5/21/2011

    "
    Fantastic yet troubling book about the nation's 7th president. Jackson represented a type of patriotism that was by turns heroic and calloused, but it was always deadly. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David | 4/25/2011

    " too much personal, not enough politics "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Owen | 4/23/2011

    " An exhausting and thorough analysis of one of America's greatest and defining presidents. Also noted is his reprehensible attitude towards Native Americans and perception of slavery, both products of his cultural upbringing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bank | 4/20/2011

    " Being a great fan of Old Hickory, i was really disappointed in this book . It spent far too much time exploring the political intrigues of his administration to the neglect of his many accomplishments which shaped this country. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ian | 4/19/2011

    " Really enjoyed this one. Andrew Jackson is a fascinating character - the quintessential American self-made man with amazing qualities and damnable flaws. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emma | 4/12/2011

    " Concentrated too much on the soap opera aspect of his presidency. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roxane | 4/7/2011

    " I just started reading this Andrew Jackson biography the other day, and it's very good. I like Meacham's writing style--and Jackson himself seems to be an charming and rakish figure, as portrayed by Meacham, who will be fun to read about. I'm at about page 35 at this point. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 4/2/2011

    " Seems like American History skips over this period quickly. But if Lincoln liked Jackson, I think I will. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane | 3/13/2011

    " It was a good book. I really didn't know much about Jackson prior to reading this book other than 'you either love him or hate him'. A very complex man indeed. "

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About the Author
Author Jon Meacham

Jon Meacham is the author of several bestselling books, including Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, a #1 New York Times bestseller named one of the best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review, Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Seattle Times, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Meacham received the Pulitzer Prize for American Lion, his bestselling 2008 biography of Andrew Jackson. Executive editor and executive vice president of Random House, he is also a contributing editor to Time magazine, a former editor of Newsweek, and has written for the New York Times and Washington Post, among other publications. He is a regular contributor on Meet the Press, Morning Joe, and Charlie Rose. A Fellow of the Society of American Historians, Meacham serves on the boards of the New York Historical Society, Churchill Centre, and McCallie School. He is a former trustee and regent of Sewanee: The University of the South, and has served on the vestries of St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and Trinity Wall Street church in New York City. Born in Chattanooga in 1969, he was educated at The McCallie School and at Sewanee: The University of the South, where he was salutatorian and Phi Beta Kappa. He began his career as a reporter at Chattanooga Times. He and his wife live with their three children in Nashville and Sewanee.

About the Narrator

Grover Gardner (a.k.a. Tom Parker) is an award-winning narrator with over eight hundred titles to his credit. Named one of the “Best Voices of the Century” and a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, he has won three prestigious Audie Awards, was chosen Narrator of the Year for 2005 by Publishers Weekly, and has earned more than thirty Earphones Awards.