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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, by Jon Meacham Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (720 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:
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The American Gospel–literally, the good news about America–is that religion shapes our public life without controlling it. In this vivid book, New York Times bestselling author Jon Meacham tells the human story of how the Founding Fathers viewed faith, and how they ultimately created a nation in which belief in God is a matter of choice.

At a time when our country seems divided by extremism, American Gospel draws on the past to offer a new perspective. Meacham re-creates the fascinating history of a nation grappling with religion and politics–from John Winthrop’s “city on a hill” sermon to Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence; from the Revolution to the Civil War; from a proposed nineteenth-century Christian Amendment to the Constitution to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call for civil rights; from George Washington to Ronald Reagan.

Debates about religion and politics are often more divisive than illuminating. Secularists point to a “wall of separation between church and state,” while many conservatives act as though the Founding Fathers were apostles in knee britches. As Meacham shows in this brisk narrative, neither extreme has it right. At the heart of the American experiment lies the God of what Benjamin Franklin called “public religion,” a God who invests all human beings with inalienable rights while protecting private religion from government interference. It is a great American balancing act, and it has served us well.

Meacham has written and spoken extensively about religion and politics, and he brings historical authority and a sense of hope to the issue. American Gospel makes it compellingly clear that the nation’s best chance of summoning what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature” lies in recovering the spirit and sense of the Founding. In looking back, we may find the light to lead us forward.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by 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 by 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 by 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 by (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. "

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