William Dean's book begins ominously. A "distinctive spiritual culture" guided Americans in the past by speaking "for a truth, even a reality, greater than America." But "there are signs" today that this culture is dying. If it dies, then "so, in most important respects, will the American nation." All, thankfully, is not yet lost.
Randall Balmer and Lauren Winner try the impossible in Protestantism in America: to lay out in 200 pages the history and current state of American Protestantism for an audience of students and general readers presumed to have no background in the subject. It is testimony to their lively writing and unusual synthetic skills that they come close to achieving their goal.