The major proposition of the Soul of America is that America consists in a set of beliefstruthsthat bind us together. Its what makes us Americans. And without that belief, no Constitution, no laws, no whatever, except the point of a sword, can keep us together. Truth has moral implications. But truth in American culture has become negotiable. Herein lies the real cultural crisis of America. Gilligan's Book Is Required Reading For Everyone Who Cares About America's Future John Gilligan has given us a book for the ages. This work is a compilation of essays he authored over several decades that were published in his local newspaper the Peoria Journal Star. The essays are reader-friendly, packed with historical facts and insights, and written by someone who clearly has great love for his country. The essays progress in three sections from the founding of our country, to our current cultural and political problems, to what it means to be a patriot in our country today. Gilligan is concerned that the American people have lost sight of the beliefs and principles that animate our Declaration of Independence. He discusses civic virtue and the common good. He notes that America is the first people in history to form a nation from a diversity of racial, ethnic, and religious groups under the motto, E Pluribus Unum, unity in diversity, and with the underlying fundamental belief that all men are created equal. But can this nation so conceived endure? In the second section of his book, Gilligan maps out the philosophical, cultural, and political changes that challenge Americas survival: cultural relativism, spiritual cynicism, political apathy, self-indulgence, personal violence, racial and ethnic hatreds, and a general blurring of the distinction between right and wrong. He questions whether there is any longer a unity in the diversity and wonders whether we, as a country, have veered so far from our founders lofty and noble precepts that we have passed the point of no return. He rejects this notion, however, and in the last section of his book Gilligan discusses what it means to be patriotic in todays society. He writes about the American project, and argues that if Americas problems are to be solved, the heavy lifting must start in the local communities. Each citizen must take responsibility for his or her actions if America is to thrive and continue to fulfill the goals and dreams of her founders. This is a wonderful little book that encourages us to reflect on the essence of America, the great experiment all of us are blessed to be a part of, and what we might do to keep America great. It is required reading for everyone who cares about the soul of America.
the soul of america
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Healing That Reaches Beyond the Self In this landmark work, Marianne Williamson reminds us that there is a point in everyone's spiritual journey where the search for self-awareness can turn into self-preoccupation. All of us are better off when contemplation of holy principles is at the center of our lives. But it is in applying those principles in our lives that we forge the true marriage between heaven and earth. In the compassionate but clear-eyed prose that has won her so many avid readers, Williamson shows us that the principles which apply to our personal healing also apply to the healing of the larger world. Calling on Americans to turn the compassion in our hearts into a powerful force for social good, Williamson shows us how to transform spiritual activism into a social activism that will in turn transform America into a nation seriously invested in the hope of every child and in the potential of every adult.
What were the culture wars all about? Through the 1980s and 1990s, politics, art, media, schools, and the culture at large were roiled by seemingly unending public battles over gender, race, sexuality, music, and religion.A War for the Soul of America is the first full-scale intellectual history of this period, tracing the histories and influences of key figures, institutions, publications, and alliances--from the Moral Majority and the NEA Four to Madonna and William F. Buckley. Hartman argues that these conflicts were not cynical sideshows that obscured larger economic and political revolutions; rather, he sees them as the key ways in which Americans came to terms with changing demographics, communities, and conceptions of American identity. Hartman's balanced and fair-minded assessment of the time before Fox News and Lady Gaga will change the way you look at public controversies of all kinds.
A Change is Gonna Come chronicles more than forty years of black music: from the hopeful, angry refrains of the Freedom movement to the slick pop of Motown; from Woodstock and the 'Summer of Love' to Vietnam and the race riots; from disco inferno to the Million Man March. This is an insightful and riveting study which looks at the place black music occupies in social history, its battle for the desegregation of popular music and its contribution to social change outside the recording studio
To Redeem the Soul of America looks beyond the towering figure of Martin Luther King, Jr., to disclose the full workings of the organization that supported him. As Adam Fairclough reveals the dynamics within the Southern Christian Leadership Conference he shows how Julian Bond, Jesse Jackson, Wyatt Walker, Andrew Young, and others also played a hand in the triumphs of Selma and Birmingham and the frustrations of Albany and Chicago. Joining a charismatic leader with an inspired group of activists, the SCLC built a bridge from the black proletariat to the white liberal elite and then, finally, to the halls of Congress and the White House.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • The Christian Science Monitor • Southern Living Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the “better angels of our nature” have repeatedly won the day. Painting surprising portraits of Lincoln and other presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and illuminating the courage of such influential citizen activists as Martin Luther King, Jr., early suffragettes Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt, civil rights pioneers Rosa Parks and John Lewis, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Army-McCarthy hearings lawyer Joseph N. Welch, Meacham brings vividly to life turning points in American history. He writes about the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the birth of the Lost Cause; the backlash against immigrants in the First World War and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s; the fight for women’s rights; the demagoguery of Huey Long and Father Coughlin and the isolationist work of America First in the years before World War II; the anti-Communist witch-hunts led by Senator Joseph McCarthy; and Lyndon Johnson’s crusade against Jim Crow. Each of these dramatic hours in our national life have been shaped by the contest to lead the country to look forward rather than back, to assert hope over fear—a struggle that continues even now. While the American story has not always—or even often—been heroic, we have been sustained by a belief in progress even in the gloomiest of times. In this inspiring book, Meacham reassures us, “The good news is that we have come through such darkness before”—as, time and again, Lincoln’s better angels have found a way to prevail. Praise for The Soul of America “Brilliant, fascinating, timely . . . With compelling narratives of past eras of strife and disenchantment, Meacham offers wisdom for our own time.”—Walter Isaacson “Gripping and inspiring, The Soul of America is Jon Meacham’s declaration of his faith in America.”—Newsday “Meacham gives readers a long-term perspective on American history and a reason to believe the soul of America is ultimately one of kindness and caring, not rancor and paranoia.”—USA Today
Most American heroes aren't in our history books, nor do they have monuments erected in their honor. Their names aren't in the headline news or memorialized in song. The true hero is simply someone who makes a difference-large or small-in the lives of others.
Explores the decline in religious influence in American universities, discussing why this transformation has occurred.
As debates rage over the place of faith in our national life, Tocqueville’s nineteenth-century crediting of religion for shaping America is largely overlooked today. Now, in Republicanism, Religion, and the Soul of America, Ellis Sandoz reveals the major role that Protestant Christianity played in the formation and early period of the American republic. Sandoz traces the rise of republican government from key sources in Protestant civilization, paying particular attention to the influence of the Bible on the Founders and the blossoming of the American mind in the eighteenth century. Sandoz analyzes the religious debt of the emergent American community and its elevation of the individual person as unique in the eyes of the Creator. He shows that the true distinction of American republicanism lies in its grounding of human dignity in spiritual individualism and an understanding of man’s capacity for self-government under providential guidance. Along the way, he addresses such topics as the neglected question of the education of the Founders for their unique endeavor, common law constitutionalism, the place of Latin and Greek classics in the Founders’ thought, and the texture of religious experience from the Great Awakening to the Declaration of Independence To establish a unifying theoretical perspective for his study, Sandoz considers the philosophical underpinnings of religion and the contribution that Eric Voegelin made to our understanding of religious experience. He contributes fresh studies of the character of Voegelin’s thought: its relationship to Christianity; his debate with Leo Strauss over reason, revelation, and the meaning of philosophy; and the theory of Gnosticism as basic to radical modernity. He also provides a powerful account of the spirit of Voegelin’s later writings, contrasting the political scientist with the meditative spiritualist and offering new insight into volume 5 of Order and History. Republicanism, Religion, and the Soul of America concludes with timely reflections on the epoch now unfolding in the shadow of Islamic jihadism. Bringing a wide range of materials into a single volume, it confronts current academic concerns with religion while offering new insight into the construction of the American polity—and the heart of Americanism as we know it today.