"A book well worth reading, both in terms of its insights into American politics and as an example of how to read texts carefully." -- Politics and Religion
"[A] thoughtfully and carefully crafted book...Holland's command of the literature and critical analysis of the texts are truly impressive." -- Library Journal
" Bonds of Affection is an exemplary piece of scholarship. It is thoughtfully conceived and rigorously argued. Readers will be impressed by the exceptional breadth and depth of knowledge displayed, as well as by the author's philosophical sophistication and interpretative skills. Matthew S. Holland is a rising star in the field of American political thought." -- Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University
"Matthew Holland reminds us of a concept we are in danger of forgetting: civic affection and the role it played in the forming of our union. Although we may never meet face to face, citizens are united by bonds that go beyond self-interest -- that is Holland's thesis -- and he elaborates it with careful historic analysis. An interesting and moving work." -- Jean Bethke Elshtain, Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics, The University of Chicago and author of Democracy on Trial
"In this insightful and elegantly written book, Matthew Holland recovers a tradition of 'civic charity' that transcends the one-sided 'individualism' of modern liberal theory and practice. He richly illuminates the philosophical statesmanship of Winthrop, Jefferson, and Lincoln and reflects deeply on the 'bonds of affection' that bind and elevate human beings. This is an important scholarly contribution as well as an aid to American self-understanding." -- Daniel J. Mahoney, Assumption College
"Holland offers a fresh new reading of standard Lincoln texts, especially of the Second Inaugural, which is quite an accomplishment given the voluminous scholarship deconstructing Lincoln texts. His argument for 'civic charity' in public life will challenge Lincoln scholars to think again about accommodations between the secular and the sacred in the meaning and intent of Lincoln's words." -- Bryon Andreasen, research historian, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum
"Argues persuasively that ideas of Christian love and charity have played a much larger role in American political thought than usually suggested. Matthew S. Holland earns our trust in telling this compelling story because of his meticulous scholarship, employment of multiple angles of vision in the close reading of historical texts, and a lucid writing style that seamlessly brings together the there and then with the here and now." -- Ronald C. White Jr., author of The Eloquent President: A Portrait of Lincoln Through His Words
Matthew S. Holland is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Brigham Young University.