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Religion in America: A Political History (Religion, Culture, and Public Life) Hardcover – August 2, 2011
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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. (Financial Times)
Anyone interested in religion and politics in the U.S. stands to be deeply informed by Lacorne's lucid, intelligent book. (Booklist)
Forceful and intelligent. (Kirkus Reviews)
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. (Library Journal)
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 identifies two competing narratives defining the American identity. Associated with the Founding Fathers and reflected in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers, an essentially secular line of reasoning is predicated on separating religion from politics to preserve political freedom from overpowering church interests. The second narrative is based on the premise that religion is a fundamental part of the American identity and emphasizes the importance of New England Puritans in the original settlement of America. Lacorne examines the role of religion in the making of these narratives and how key historians, philosophers, novelists, and intellectuals situate religion in American politics. New material addresses the role of religion in the 2012 United States presidential election.