The American Bible by Stephen Prothero

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The goal of the Bible is no small thing: Prothero wants nothing less than to raise the level of public discourse and civility.
-Fifty Books Project


Bestselling author Stephen Prothero addresses the question of "Whose America is this," by exploring American political discourse and the significant texts that make up the living history of the American people.

American politics is broken because we have forgotten how to talk with one another. Instead of arguing on behalf of of our nation, we argue on behalf of our party.

The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation reacquaints us with the oft-quoted (and misquoted) speeches, songs, and sayings that animate our politics, inspire social action, and drive our debates about who is—and is not—a real American. It reconnects us with a surprising tradition of civility that manages to be both critical of Americans shortcomings and hopeful for positive change.

To explore these "scriptures," is to revisit what Americans have said about liberty and equality and to revitalize our ongoing conversation about the future of the American experiment.


About Stephen Prothero

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Stephen Prothero is the New York Times bestselling author of Religious Literacy and God Is Not One, and a professor of religion at Boston University. His work has been featured on the cover of Time magazine, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Daily show with Jon Stewart, National Public Radio, and other top national media outlets. He writes and reviews for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Salon, Slate, and other publications.
Published June 5, 2012 by HarperOne. 544 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, History. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The American Bible
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on Jul 11 2012

The book should be required reading just for putting in one place so many historic pieces that are more opined over than actually read.

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The Washington Post

Reviewed by Stephen L. Carter on Jul 13 2012

His scripture comprises a set of essays, speeches and fiction that, in his judgment, have largely influenced the United States’ self-image.

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Huffington Post

Reviewed by Daniel Burke on Jul 04 2012

Like the Declaration of Independence, this almost consecrated canon inspires endless commentary about what it means to be American, and what "America" means.

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The United Methodist Reporter

Reviewed by David N. Mosser on Jul 24 2012

For although it is not a book about biblical interpretation or a North American hermeneutical methodology, it can, like the original Bible, offer one a glimpse of the best humanity can muster.

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Fifty Books Project

Reviewed by Brent Waggoner on Jun 29 2012

The goal of the Bible is no small thing: Prothero wants nothing less than to raise the level of public discourse and civility.

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