Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul

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

4.25 (640 ratings by Goodreads)
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A revelatory look at the separation of church and state in America--from the New York Times bestselling author of The Great Influenza

For four hundred years, Americans have fought over the proper relationships between church and state and between a free individual and the state. This is the story of the first battle in that war of ideas, a battle that led to the writing of the First Amendment and that continues to define the issue of the separation of church and state today. It began with religious persecution and ended in revolution, and along the way it defined the nature of America and of individual liberty. Acclaimed historian John M. Barry explores the development of these fundamental ideas through the story of Roger Williams, who was the first to link religious freedom to individual liberty, and who created in America the first government and society on earth informed by those beliefs. This book is essential to understanding the continuing debate over the role of religion and political power in modern life.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 464 pages
  • 137.16 x 210.82 x 27.94mm | 294.83g
  • Penguin Books
  • United States
  • English
  • maps
  • 0143122886
  • 9780143122883
  • 1,754,484

Review quote

"This biography should be read with today's headlines in mind . . . Thoroughly researched and accessibly written . . . This is an important book because it brings back an important founding point in the development of the American character. But it also is a timely reminder that the issues that drove Williams into exile in Rhode Island are very much alive and just as perilous today."--"The Washington Times"
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About John M Barry

John 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.
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Rating details

640 ratings
4.25 out of 5 stars
5 45% (285)
4 39% (251)
3 14% (89)
2 2% (14)
1 0% (1)
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