George W. Bush has brought the question of religion back into American political life in a way that it has not been for decades. From the 2000 election through the challenges America has faced in the wake of September 11, Bush's personal faith -- and his conviction about the importance of religion in our national life -- have won him lasting admiration from the right, while attracting fury and scorn from the left.
Now, presidential scholar Paul Kengor, the author of the acclaimed God and Ronald Reagan, reconstructs the spiritual journey that carried George W. Bush to the White House -- from the death of his sister, which shaped his character, through the conversion experience that changed his life. He offers the most thorough and careful reading of President Bush's public statements about God, Jesus Christ, and the sense of confidence, perspective, and mission that his faith has given him. Kengor devotes special attention to Bush's efforts to highlight America's tolerance of all faiths -- especially, in light of potential tensions after 9/11, his extraordinary support for Muslim-Americans. He investigates whether the invasion of Iraq was precipitated by a specific religious mission on the part of the president. And he outlines the most up-to-date account of the role of religion in the 2004 election, from John Kerry's squabbles with the Catholic Church to Bush's own remarks about the "higher father" to whom he looks for guidance in times of trial.
Matching detailed new research with thoughtful analysis, God and George W. Bush is the definitive look at the spiritual life of this American president.