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Roger Williams: Prophet of Liberty
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Roger Williams: Prophet of Liberty (Lives and Legacies)

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  50 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Roger Williams chronicles the life of one of the most remarkable forefathers in American history. A true revolutionary, this devout Puritan championed Native American rights; wrote treatises on equal rights, flag desecration, and the separation of church and state; established the first American settlement based on total religious toleration--and he lived more than a centu ...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published May 10th 2001 by Oxford University Press, USA
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Aaron
May 26, 2013 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always been interested in the Roger Williams, who is the founding father of the state in which I live (Rhode Island). He is one of those interesting figures of history that left a legacy while also having major points of their lives, such as birth and death, lost to time. This was a short, but interesting, work by a professor emeritus of the University of California at Riverside.

Williams was an Englishman who went to Oxford to become a minister before making his way to the Massachusetts
...more
Tyson Peveto
Jan 14, 2011 Tyson Peveto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting short read on Roger Williams. Williams was the father (at least in America) of the concept of religious freedom. He started the city of Providence, got the charter for Rhode Island, and founded the first Baptist church in America. He befriended the Indians, wrote about them, and actually purchased land from them for Providence. He believed in the liberty of conscience for all men, no matter of what religion or even lack of religion. He also was a staunch advocate of the complete sepa ...more
Mark Zockoll
Aug 09, 2015 Mark Zockoll rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having been referred to me, this book became a priority to begin. After beginning it, the priority became completing it as quickly as possible. Edwin Gaustad writes compellingly concerning Williams even without a plethora of biographical data. More to the point the author relates Williams understanding of "the liberty of conscience" in a readily accessible way. I was intrigued to find that my Baptist roots follow a course through Rhode Island more so than Massachusetts.
John
Apr 03, 2015 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-history
This is a wonderful first-read on the life of Roger Williams. It is well-researched without being overly academic. Great book!
Mary
Roger Williams was pretty much America's original lefty loony fringe. Biographers don't know many facts about his life, but a good bit of his published work and correspondence have survived and that's what this slender biography builds on. The main focus is on his struggle to establish a civil government with true freedom of religion - or even to get people to understand that this was something worth having and would not lead to a complete breakdown of public order. There's a nice chapter at the ...more
Leroy Seat
Oct 28, 2009 Leroy Seat rated it it was amazing
Even though it is listed as "juvenile literature," I thought that this was a great book. There were definitions of some difficult words, which I did not need, and there were quite a few pictures, which only enhanced the well-written prose, but the life and work of Williams is by no means "dumbed down."

Roger Williams has long been one of my heroes, and after reading this book I am even more appreciative of his beliefs about religious freedom and his efforts to insure religious freedom in Rhode I
...more
Kathleen Slocum
Sep 11, 2015 Kathleen Slocum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Engrossing book about the origins of the separation of church and state in America. Loved the section detailing the influence of both Francis Bacon and Sir Edward Coke on Roger Williams ideas.
Jason Dikes
A nice short biography of America's first Baptist. More than that, the idea of religious liberty that seems so American to us started with Williams. However, Williams felt that church and state should be separate in order to protect the "garden" of the church from the "wildneress" of the state.
Matthew
a nice, short introduction to the fascinating founder of rhode island. it seems to have been written for a younger reader though. maybe high school or freshmen in college. he explains simple concepts like a dowry or what a 'tract' of land is. rather strange. but a nice intro to the man nonetheless. i'm going to seek out a more substantial biography now.
Mark Woodland
Jul 28, 2011 Mark Woodland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately, only Rhode Islanders and early Colonial history buffs are likely to read this book. It's a good portrayal, though, of the founder of the Providence colony, and how the principles that Willaims and his followers lived by affected later American Revolutionary thinking, especially where the freedom of religion was concerned.
Samantha Sutton
Sep 24, 2010 Samantha Sutton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now that I live in Rhode Island, I figured I should learn about its venerated founder. What an interesting man!
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Other Books in the Series

Lives and Legacies (1 - 10 of 11 books)
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  • Walt Whitman
  • Churchill: The Unexpected Hero
  • Isaac Newton
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • T. S. Eliot
  • William Faulkner
  • Theodor Seuss Geisel (Lives and Legacies)
  • Henry Ford

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