|Publisher:||Random House Inc|
|Publish Date:||Nov 2012|
|Number of Pages:||815|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||1.3|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||5.25 x 8.0 x 1.5|
|In the Beginning||p. 15|
|Defenders of the Faith||p. 19|
|God Is an Excellent Man of War||p. 31|
|Wars of Permanent Reformation||p. 46|
|The American Revelation||p. 71|
|The Harmony of the World Confounded||p. 77|
|Liberation Theology||p. 88|
|Imperial Destinies||p. 103|
|Absolutist Apostasies||p. 109|
|The Benevolent Empire, at Home and Abroad||p. 122|
|Manifest Destiny and Its Discontents||p. 135|
|America's Mission||p. 155|
|Abraham Lincoln and the First War of Humanitarian Intervention||p. 161|
|Missionaries and the Imperialism of Human Rights||p. 175|
|An Also Chosen People||p. 198|
|Cuba, the Philippines, and the First Crusade||p. 207|
|Woodrow Wilson and the Second Crusade||p. 233|
|The Idealistic Synthesis||p. 239|
|Onward Christian Soldiers||p. 253|
|The Wilsonian Creed||p. 275|
|Franklin Roosevelt and the Third Crusade||p. 291|
|Princes of Peace and Prophets of Realism||p. 297|
|The Simple Faith of Franklin Roosevelt||p. 315|
|The Holocaust and the Moral Meaning of the War||p. 327|
|Spiritual Diplomacy||p. 342|
|The Church Unmilitant||p. 365|
|John Foster Dulles and the Quest for a Just and Durable Peace||p. 384|
|The Cold War and the Fourth Crusade||p. 411|
|The Faith of Harry Truman and the Theology of George Kennan||p. 417|
|High Priests of the Cold War: Eisenhower and the Second Coming of Dulles||p. 440|
|The Great Schism and the Myth of Consensus||p. 465|
|Reformation and Counterreformation||p. 497|
|The Revolutionary Church in a Revolutionary Age||p. 501|
|The Valley of the Shadow of Death||p. 520|
|Get Thee Behind Me, Satan||p. 539|
|A Judeo-Christian Foreign Policy||p. 559|
|Ronald the Lionheart||p. 574|
|Epilogue: The Last Crusade?||p. 601|
In this extensive study, Preston (American & international relations history, Univ. of Cambridge, UK; The War Council: McGeorge Bundy, the NSC, and Vietnam) moves elegantly from Congregational colonialism's war with the Pequot through post-9/11 involvement in Afghanistan, tracing how American imperatives have been tinged with religious zeal. He cogently manages the breadth of his topic by use of such concepts as "Christian Republicanism", a persistent anti-Catholic strain, and serial U.S. "crusades" that started in Cuba and the Philippines in 1898 and have persisted in interventions ever since.
Preston reminds us that while religion is only a single component in America's relationship with the world, it plays a distinct role in that relationship. Historically, religion has helped aggregate the claims of government and the opposition. Preston tells his story through individuals: devout American Presidents, zealous missionaries, and original thinkers such as James R. Mott and Reinhold Niebuhr. While Preston avoids commenting on current political issues, his book is relevant to questions such as the debates between libertarians and social conservatives. He sees the recent surge in Christian fundamentalism and evangelism as rooted in the McCarthy era.
Verdict: Such a broadly conceived book not only will provoke controversy but also will appeal to readers beyond students of American history and religion.
-Zachary T. Irwin, Pennsylvania State Univ., Erie
(c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Winner of the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction
Finalist for the Cundhill Prize in History
A richly detailed, profoundly engrossing story of how religion has influenced American foreign relations, told through the stories of the men and women—from presidents to preachers—who have plotted the country’s course in the world.
Ever since John Winthrop argued that the Puritans’ new home would be “a city upon a hill,” Americans’ role in the world has been shaped by their belief that God has something special in mind for them. But this is a story that historians have mostly ignored. Now, in the first authoritative work on the subject, Andrew Preston explores the major strains of religious fervor—liberal and conservative, pacifist and militant, internationalist and isolationist—that framed American thinking on international issues from the earliest colonial wars to the twenty-first century. He arrives at some startling conclusions, among them: Abraham Lincoln’s use of religion in the Civil War became the model for subsequent wars of humanitarian intervention; nineteenth-century Protestant missionaries made up the first NGO to advance a global human rights agenda; religious liberty was the centerpiece of Franklin Roosevelt’s strategy to bring the United States into World War II.
From George Washington to George W. Bush, from the Puritans to the present, from the colonial wars to the Cold War, religion has been one of America’s most powerful sources of ideas about the wider world. When, just days after 9/11, George W. Bush described America as “a prayerful nation, a nation that prays to an almighty God for protection and for peace,” or when Barack Obama spoke of balancing the “just war and the imperatives of a just peace” in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, they were echoing four hundred years of religious rhetoric. Preston traces this echo back to its source.
Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith is an unprecedented achievement: no one has yet attempted such a bold synthesis of American history. It is also a remarkable work of balance and fair-mindedness about one of the most fraught subjects in America.
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