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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, by John M. Barry Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (204 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:
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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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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