american history

Books

The Twilight of the American Enlightenment, by George M. Marsden

Spring books

In our gridlocked civic life, the secular ideals of the Enlightenment and the unbending stance of the religious right are both the blame, George Marsden argues.

Books

The past is now

Margaret Bendroth and John Fea both contend that Christians need to encounter the past in all its complexity and humanity.

Books

That old-time skepticism

Amanda Porterfield details the degree of rationalist skepticism in 1790s America—and its demise in the face of a Protestant counterattack.

Books

The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History, edited by Paul Harvey and Edward J. Blum

Spring books

There are probably few reference books that vacationers will drag down to the beach this summer. And though I make a living in academia, there aren’t many works of reference that I want to read from cover to cover. I love history because I love stories, storytelling and engrossing narratives—not because I’m taken with the facts, figures and dates that populate reference books.

Books

Portrait of a nation

Sociologist Claude Fischer is unhappy with historians' failure to provide a grand narrative of American history.

Books

The Cousins' War, by Kevin Phillips

The 20th century has ended much as it began, with ethnic hostilities in the Balkans, sectarian violence in China, a change of power in South Africa, "reform" in Russia and economic power in the hands of the U.S.