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God and Race in American Politics: A Short History

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  35 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews

Religion has been a powerful political force throughout American history. When race enters the mix the results have been some of our greatest triumphs as a nation--and some of our most shameful failures. In this important book, Mark Noll, one of the most influential historians of American religion writing today, traces the explosive political effects of the religious inter
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 7th 2008 by Princeton University Press (first published August 18th 2008)
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Nov 22, 2015 Bob rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Summary: This text explores the interwoven story of religion, race, and politics in American history, with a concluding theological reflection.

Mark Noll makes the observation in this book, derived from his Stafford Little Lectures at Princeton University in 2006, that we have one of the most enlightened political systems in human history and yet we have failed signally in the matter of race. From our beginnings we accepted the slave trade that treated forcibly seized Africans as cargo that were
Adam Shields
Oct 08, 2013 Adam Shields rated it really liked it
Short Review: This is a good follow up to Noll's earlier The Civil War as Theological Crisis. Noll takes a step back and looks at US politics from a wide angle lens and in a surprisingly short book discusses the continued role and both Religion and Race in US politics. As always Noll is subtle with his arguments. He does not suggest that there is always an overlap with religion and racial issues, but that religion and racial issues have a continuing influence that does not always play in the sam ...more
Jan 19, 2015 Dave rated it it was amazing
Mark Noll, who claims to be a specialist in Revolutionary American religion, is in fact a great synthesizer of all American history through the lens of faith. In GOD AND RACE IN AMERICAN POLITICS, he is at his best. This is a treasure of thoughtful interpretation and a treasure trove of well-organized and annotated sources.
M Christopher
Apr 28, 2015 M Christopher rated it really liked it
Noll does a fine, if occasionally dry, job of tracing the intricate relationship between race, religion, and politics from antebellum times until the early 2000s. There are unlikely to be any surprises in this book for the careful observer of these phenomena, yet the book is well worth reading for Noll's ability to synthesize seemingly disparate streams of information into a coherent thesis. Recommended.
Dec 20, 2014 Josh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, culture
A brilliant book. I purchased this before the events in Ferguson, but only just picked it up. Noll provides a concise but masterful analysis of the connection between race and religion in American's political history.
Sep 14, 2011 Mark is currently reading it
Noll seldom seems to overreach in his historical analysis but does a phenomenal job of distilling copious amounts of information down to its necessary inferences all the while retaining nuance. thus far, this book is proving to be no different.
Jul 15, 2012 Marta rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, nonfiction
Dry. But good.

I think this is a good introduction to/summary of US racial and religious history, but its certainly not in depth.
Dec 02, 2008 Robert rated it it was amazing
One of the best books on the topic from one of America's best historians of religion.
May 30, 2013 Charles rated it liked it
Shelves: academic
Love the chapter on Southern redemption post-Reconstruction. Depressing stuff.
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Mark A. Noll (born 1946), Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, is a progressive evangelical Christian scholar. In 2005, Noll was named by Time Magazine as one of the twenty-five most influential evangelicals in America. Noll is a prolific author and many of his books have earned considerable acclaim within the academic community. The Scandal of the Evangelical ...more
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