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Under God

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  84 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
In Under God, Garry Wills, one of our liveliest and most eminent political observers, moves through the tapestry of American history, illuminating the instances where American politics and American religion have collided.

Beginning with the 1988 presidential contest, an election that included two ministers and a senator accused of sin, Wills surveys our history to show the
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Paperback, 448 pages
Published November 15th 1991 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1990)
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Erik Graff
Dec 11, 2014 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Garry Wills is a safe bet when he writes about U.S. history, religion or classical antiquity--all of which he is expert in addressing. Thie book, amounting to a series of essays about the role of religion in the USA from colonial times through 1990, is an example of the creative fusion this polymath achieves when discussing two of his areas of expertise (not to mention occasional references to biblical Greek and the patristics).

Although Catholic, Wills is ecumenical in his approach and recognize
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Duncan
Nov 16, 2016 Duncan rated it liked it
More a collection of essays on topics related to religion and American politics than a cohesive argument. Some of the essays are pretty good, others--the ones about Gary Hart and Michael Dukakis in particular--are skippable. The best of them are probably the ones about Jefferson and Madison, and the sections about Jesse Jackson and William Jennings Bryan are very good as well.
Martin Bihl
In the interest of full disclosure, i have to admit that i'm a big fan of Garry Wills. i may not always agree with him, and i may not always understand the finest points of his arguments, but i always respect his rigor, his curiousity, his search for truth, and his his integrity.

Even though this is, ostensibly, a single work on god, politics, morality and america, it really reads like thirty-odd essays on these topics, linked together by theme or argument. as such, they can be read sequentially
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Bob Breckwoldt
Oct 21, 2012 Bob Breckwoldt rated it really liked it
One nation under God? Religion has never been far from the surface of American life and politics. This book was written about the personalities and the issues of the 1988 U.S. election. Many of the personalities are no longer part of the election process. In this it is a valuable history resource. But in many ways it hasn't dated. The recognition of the influence of such figures as the pseudo intellectual guru, Francis Schaeffer; the agonising of religious politicians as they wonder how far can ...more
Jacquelyn Courtrell-Washington
I am reading this because it is apropos to these dubious political times in which we find ourselves. So far it has been an good read for historical background for what we are being put through on the battlefield of religious politics. Sometimes it is like reading a book for seminary but, more interesting.
Carolyn
Aug 27, 2016 Carolyn marked it as did-not-finish
I really (REALLY) love the tone this book is written in--the perfect balance between conversational and academic.

But it's a big heavy hardback that I'm not going to carry on the bus and my class for this semester has already started, let alone teachers reporting tomorrow for work, and I just can't finish it right now.

I'll pick it up again someday though, for sure.
Barbara
Sep 24, 2008 Barbara rated it really liked it
I didn't know anything about Garry Wills when I read this. This book argues that despite the fact that we are the country with specific laws separating church and state, we are also the country with the most problems keeping them separated.
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Steve Kierstead
Dec 30, 2010 Steve Kierstead rated it really liked it
Typically insightful.
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Garry Wills is an author and historian, and a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books. In 1993, he won a Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction for his book Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America, which describes the background and effect of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863.

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