The American Bible

The American Bible : How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation

3.87 (110 ratings by Goodreads)
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The New York Times bestselling author of Religious Literacy and God Is Not One presents a provocative crash course in the great "American scriptures"--those texts that have both divided and defined our understanding of what it is to be American. Stephen Prothero gives readers an exciting and user-friendly introduction to American cultural history in The American Bible. Highlighting the touchstones of our collective cultural legacy, from Thomas Paine's Common Sense to Maya Lin's Vietnam Veterans Memorial; from the speeches of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan to the novels of Mark Twain and Ayn Rand, and beyond, Prothero's stirring and provocative handbook peels back the curtain on the inner workings of what makes America tick.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 533 pages
  • 172.72 x 218.44 x 35.56mm | 861.82g
  • HarperOne
  • United States
  • English
  • 0062123459
  • 9780062123459
  • 1,374,594

Review quote

"In The American Bible," Prothero has turned his considerable talents to assembling a version of the American canon. The author s prose is, as usual, spritely, informed and incisive. --Washington Post"
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Back cover copy

Bestselling author Stephen Prothero addresses the question of "Whose America is this," by exploring American political discourse and the significant texts that make up the living history of the American people.

American politics is broken because we have forgotten how to talk with one another. Instead of arguing on behalf of of our nation, we argue on behalf of our party.

The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation reacquaints us with the oft-quoted (and misquoted) speeches, songs, and sayings that animate our politics, inspire social action, and drive our debates about who is--and is not--a real American. It reconnects us with a surprising tradition of civility that manages to be both critical of Americans shortcomings and hopeful for positive change.

To explore these "scriptures," is to revisit what Americans have said about liberty and equality and to revitalize our ongoing conversation about the future of the American experiment.
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Rating details

110 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 28% (31)
4 44% (48)
3 19% (21)
2 5% (6)
1 4% (4)
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