Lacorne is an acute yet friendly observer of US politics and culture. The parts of the book that form a straightforward essay on religion in America are wise, sympathetic, and vividly written. But his weaving of this account into the story of France's long obsession with America is fascinating in its own right, and casts light on the larger theme. Sorting through the insights and misconceptions of his predecessors is unexpectedly revealing: quite often funny, too.
Anyone interested in religion and politics in the U.S. stands to be deeply informed by Lacorne's lucid, intelligent book.
Forceful and intelligent.
it surveys its subject with grace and insight, as well as a lot of information.
(Jim Cullen Cutting Edge
It's an edifying read for someone seeking grounding in the subject as well as a user-friendly course adoption.
(Jim Cullen History News Network
This book provides a much welcomed viewpoint from outside our ongoing religious squabbles in American politics. Lacorne admirably avoids oversimplification while remaining eminently readable.
A fascinating and noteworthy study of American religion.
(Eldon J. Eisenach Journal of American History
On a shelf groaning with books on politics and religion, Denis Lacorne's study will stand out for its distinct perspective and erudition.
(Thomas E. Buckley American Historical Review
The book is quite thorough, considering the substantial historical period being covered. Examples--from legal cases to travel narratives, public school curricula changes to political pulpits--are expertly chosen, and the resulting exploration is as concerned with the specifics of the topics as it is a general commentary on broad overarching concepts.
(Saliha Chattoo Studies in Religion
Suitable for college-level political history and religion holdings alike
a fine scholarly assessment and history, this is a recommendation for any college-level collection!
(Midwest Book Review
Denis Lacorne is the best European observer of American politics and culture I know. Extraordinarily knowledgeable and sympathetic, he sees through simple-minded myths about America and is attentive to connections we miss. Religion in America, which concerns the non-contradiction between Enlightenment and Protestantism in the American imagination, confirms what I've long suspected: that Lacorne understands us better than we understand ourselves.
(Mark Lilla, Columbia University, author of The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West
Drawing upon Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America (1835) and attempting to avoid simplistic clichés of American religion, French political scientist Denis Lacorne brilliantly argues that religion has played an ongoing role in the American republic because it has blended Enlightenment skepticism, American pragmatism, and religious innovation and entrepreneurialism over the past two centuries. He cogently engages widespread misconceptions among French intellectuals and Europeans about the role of religion in American public life and points to the ironic and contradictory impulses within American and French political life. His book reads like a modern Tocqueville, and it is highly recommended!
(Gastón Espinosa, Claremont McKenna College, author of Religion and the American Presidency: George Washington to George W. Bush with Commentary and Primary Sources
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