Meacham is managing editor of Newsweek, and subsequently it is perhaps not surprising that this reads like nothing so much as an extended news-magazine op-ed piece--vaguely pluralistic, moderately researched, mostly meatless middle-of-the-road pseudo-philosophical claptrap. Extensive additional quoting and analysis in the end notes appears to be either unneeded padding or undigested parts of the argument that should have been thought through and incorporated in the body of the book.
In a time when discussions on religon and politics has split America in half; Jon Meachem has taken the high rode and explains how, to some extent, everyone is right. Religon was expected to play a vital role in the day-to-day life of America, but that religon was a central focus on God and not to one particular religon. Meachem is masterful in bringing out the arguments in how the Founding Fathers wanted God to be a unifying focus of our lives, but were able to avoid the … more
When I read the riveting prose of "American Gospel" my second thought was, "This is sure to infuriate diehards on both sides of the "religion in America" debate. If Amazon reviews are any indication, my second thought was correct. Fortunately, "experts" on "both sides" such as David McCullough and Elaine Pagels, hardly naive historians, offer a more balanced assessment. My first thought? "God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation" is a well-written and well-research … more