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Download Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty Audiobook, by John M. Barry Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.31 out of 54.31 out of 54.31 out of 54.31 out of 54.31 out of 5 4.31 (13 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John M. Barry Narrator: Richard Poe Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2012 ISBN: 9781464008191
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Prizewinning and New York Times bestselling author John M. Barry has penned numerous works on a variety of historical subjects. Here Barry offers a revelatory look at how Roger Williams shaped the nature of religion, political power, and individual rights in America.

For four hundred years, Americans have wrestled with and fought over two concepts that define the nature of the nation: the proper relation between church and state and between a free individual and the state. These debates began with the extraordinary thought and struggles of Roger Williams.

This is a story of power, set against Puritan America and the English Civil War. Williams’ interactions with King James, Francis Bacon, Oliver Cromwell, and his mentor Edward Coke set his course, but his fundamental ideas came to fruition in America, as Williams, though a Puritan, collided with John Winthrop’s vision of his “City upon a Hill.”

Acclaimed historian John M. Barry explores the development of these fundamental ideas through the story of the first man to link religious freedom to individual liberty, the man who created in America the first government and society on earth informed by those beliefs. The story is essential to the continuing debate over how we define the role of religion and political power in modern American life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “John Barry’s Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul establishes Williams as a brave thinker and also a deft political actor…Mr. Barry puts Williams squarely among our great political thinkers, crediting him with bringing liberal democracy to the American colonies.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Barry now turns his meticulous hand to the origins of two fundamental and perpetual American fixations: the conflict between church and state and that between the power of the state and the conscience of the citizen…As Barry shows well and often prophetically, the national soul formed out of that drama remains a troubled, and occasionally tortured, one.”

    Washington Post

  • “Absorbing.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “A gifted author.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A top-notch intellectual biography.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for History

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Crystal | 1/17/2014

    " Required reading for even the most casual student of US history and culture "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Banholzerc | 1/9/2014

    " Gives a strong sense of what a profound effect the revolutionary thoughts of some of our forefathers had in creating the United States of America. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gloria-jean | 1/6/2014

    " I think it should be required reading in all high school history classes!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John E | 1/4/2014

    " I wish I could give this book a higher review. It is a story that all American and other lovers of religious liberty should know. The struggles that Williams went through personally to define and defend religious liberty were profoundly affecting and greatly increased my opinion of Williams. Reading this book was a struggle though. Unlike his other books I have read, Barry has difficulty telling this story. The writing was dense and the use of extended quotations with original sixteenth-century spelling made for a difficult read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorin Barber | 12/24/2013

    " I loved what I learned from this book. Roger Williams was I guy I'd always heard of but knew little about. The book spent a bit too much time on the details of his trials (real trials). It didn't read like a novel but I'm sure glad I read it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Frances | 11/28/2013

    " I liked the start... then it was just too deep. Does make me want to re-read about American History. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joseph Haletky | 10/28/2013

    " The author is a college classmate of mine from Brown University in Providence, RI., and I grew up in the Boston area. Thus, both author and subject were of interest to me. Very well written story of one of the more overlooked Founding Fathers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda Genevieve | 9/29/2013

    " Really excellent. Not much of a non-fiction person, let alone historical non-fiction but I really enjoyed this. Will totally open your eyes to how this all started...this being America "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marcia Forecki | 8/3/2013

    " This book is not an easy read, but it is fascinating and sheds light on the earliest English colonists and what kind of society they wanted to make. The parallels with the debate over separation of church and state going on in the 21st Century with those of the 17th Century are fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ted | 4/2/2013

    " The book greatly enhanced my understanding of the founding of the New England colonies and Williams' great contribution to America's concept of freedom of religious conscience. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob Battle | 4/12/2012

    " A good biography of Roger Williams who was much more than just the founder of Rhode Island. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jay Litman | 3/8/2012

    " Fantastic. Barry clearly demonstrates that the souls of all countries are inextricably linked. Every Rhode Islander should read this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve Goble | 1/26/2012

    " An excellent history of a key figure in American history, one who deserves more attention. I especially recommend this to anyone who believes Christianity should hold some exalted position in U.S. government, or that David Barton makes sense in any way. "

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About the Author
Author John M. BarryJohn M. Barry is the author of the New York Times bestselling The Great Influenza and the prizewinning history Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America. He divides his time between New Orleans, Louisiana, and Washington, D.C.
About the Narrator

Richard Poe has worked extensively in movies, television, and on Broadway. He is best known for his portrayal of Gul Evek in three different Star Trek series: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager. He has narrated dozens of audiobooks and earned eleven AudioFile Earphones Awards.