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Liberty, the God That Failed: Policing the Sacred and Constructing the Myths of the Secular State, from Locke to Obama Paperback – June 5, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 726 pages
  • Publisher: Angelico Press (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621380068
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621380061
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Chris Ferrara's book most persuasively demonstrates that negative liberty is an idol and that liberalism is the last of the ideologies. Indeed he shows that it was the basic ideology hidden behind all the others." --John Milbank, University of Nottingham, author of Theology and Social Theory

"Highly readable and an intellectual landmark in Catholic ecclesiastical history. It should be read by everyone concerned with Christian theology and its political shaping of the society we live in." --Graham Ward, Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Oxford

"An absolutely epochal achievement--one of the finest historical studies I have ever read. Every true son of an America still waiting to be transformed in Christ owes the author a boundless debt of gratitude." --John Rao (D.Phil., Oxford); Associate Professor of History, St. John's University

"I've hardly been able to put it down since I opened it. The narrative is compelling from beginning to end and a pleasure to read. Rich in learning and insight, Liberty, the God That Failed is a tour de force--a marvelous achievement!" --Patrick McKinley Brennan, John F. Scarpa Chair in Catholic Legal Studies, Villanova University

"Ferrara is a one-man army against the juggernaut of secular Liberalism and the Leviathanian state, and in Liberty, the God That Failed, he has struck a decisive blow." --Thaddeus Kozinski, author of The Political Problem of Religious Pluralism

About the Author

Christopher A. Ferrara is an attorney and President and Chief Counsel of the American Catholic Lawyers Association, Inc., specializing in First Amendment and civil rights law. He is the author of hundreds of articles and six books, including the widely acclaimed The Church and the Libertarian, a defense of Catholic social teaching, and The Great Facade, a co-authored study of changes in the Church since Vatican II, now considered one of the best treatments of the subject ever written.

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Customer Reviews

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And choose they must.
Jeffrey Rubin
The breadth and depth of the research and the author's ability to assimilate and synthesize so much information is astounding.
JanSobieski
Mr. Ferrara has done us a great service with "Liberty The God That Failed".
DCD

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Brian Mccall on June 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is a magnum opus exploring American history and the intellectual history of the ideas which shaped that history. Mr. Ferrara explodes many of the politically correct myths about our history and is not afraid to tell it like it is: the good, the bad and the ugly. The book can serve many purposes. Ferrara's conversational style makes the book very readable for a wide variety of audiences from high school American history students to academics. It is an excellent introduction to American history from its origins in English history through Reconstruction after the Civil War. Unlike typical histories which have been censored by the reigning politically correct zeitgeist, this book contains documented facts you will not find collected in any other volume. Beyond political and cultural history, this book is a masterwork of intellectual history. Ferrara explains the deep impact the ideas of the moderate Enlightenment, headed up by Locke and Montesquieu, had on the development of America's dominant intellectual paradigm. Far from promiting freedom of religion as is commonly believed, this paradigm created one of the most powerful state controlled religions in history, the Religion of the god Liberty. Complete with a set of dogmas, priestly cast, high holy days and rituals, this religion of Liberty has demanded the sacrifice of countless innocent lives to feed the hunger of the god Liberty. If you want to live in a deluded bubble believing only the fairy tale version of our history and then wonder dumbfoundedly how things have gotten so bad don't read this book. it will shatter your illusion!
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Rubin on July 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've long considered Christopher Ferrara one of the best Catholic thinkers writing today, but with Liberty: The God That Failed, he enters a class all his own.

This is a monumental achievement. With frankly polemical intent but judicious fairness, Ferrara brings together history, philosophy and theology to demonstrate that the so-called "Spirit of `76" -- Liberty -- was born in the Protestant Revolution, bred in the Enlightenment, and given its ultimate political expression in our (Lockean) Declaration of Independence and our ( literally) "godless Constitution." The American Revolution, far from being a "conservative" expression of the "moderate" Enlightenment, as many modern conservatives would have it, in fact represented a radical rejection of all religious influence over government, and directly inspired the even bloodier French Revolution (not to mention, in surprising ways, the Civil War). The ironic end result is an atheistic (in all but name) super-state that purports to represent the "will of the people" but which in fact recognizes no authority above its own -- in stark contrast with the supposed Catholic "tyrannies" of pre-Reformation Christendom, which explicitly recognized Christian principles as limits to and guides for their authority. The situation that both Catholic and Protestants find themselves in today -- powerless before the whims of Supreme Court justices and giant bureaucracies like the HHS -- is no accident; it is in our nation's very DNA.

This is a long book, but necessarily so: in order to debunk the many "golden legends" about the true nature and history of Liberty - that our Founders were in any way Christian, for instance -- Ferrara must adduce, and answer, the views of many who would disagree with him.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By JanSobieski on August 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Liberty the God That Failed" is quite simply one of the most influential books I've read since "The Conservative Mind" which I read over 35 years ago. The breadth and depth of the research and the author's ability to assimilate and synthesize so much information is astounding. Of the author's three works I've read, this is his best, his magnum opus.

I've always been of a conservative bent but have found the formulaic answers provided by the tea party and establishment conservatives largely disappointing and incomplete. The authors that have helped shape my world view include Richard Weaver, Russell Kirk, Hilaire Belloc, R.L. Dabney, Dostoevsky, Walter Scott and Eric von Kuehnelt-Leddihn to name but a few. I am, at heart, a reactionary yearning for time honored answers, approaches and sensibilities.

This modern world in which we live actively conspires to defeat an apprehension of the root causes of our civilizational decline. The intellectual tools we've been afforded are woefully inadequate to the task of analysis. Our intellectual machinery has been fouled by our educations, the popular culture and the media. This book serves as a powerful antidote to the prevailing zeitgeist. For those of us who do not have the time, commitment or, frankly, the gifts this author possesses, Ferrara's book can do that which only a few authors manage. His book will provide you with insights and perspectives that will enable you to see beyond the Matrix.

Ferrara's book is refreshing and contrarian and provides an emancipating perspective you are not likely to find elsewhere. However, bear this in mind: Ferrara pays obeisance to certain prevailing orthodoxies with which I disagree.
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