Making a (Religious Book) List, Checking it Twice...
|(crossed arms look like 1/2 my family|
at our recent holiday dinner)
Hedstrom's book has so much to offer historians and religious studies scholars.
- Those interested in the complicated and shifting category of "religion" and "religious" will find when trade book publishers created separate "religion" categories.
- Those interested in the mainline and religious liberalism will get another taste of how they may have lost the pew wars, but won the culture wars
- Those who want to know more about the National Council of Christians and Jews (a group I had never even heard of five years ago, but that seem to be taking the scholarly world by storm) can find them here
- Those who want to see another side of "spiritual but not religious" and ways mystical and psychological values inundated American religiosity will find some positive thinking here
- For those who want to experiment (not in reality, but in imagination) with LSD, you can find it about midway through the book.
- And for those who want to know more about books during wartime, there is a great analysis of "Books as Weapons" during WWII
|James K. Hosmer Special Collections|
One amazing reviewer at amazon had this to say: "I'm thrilled that I followed the "reading guidelines" of some of these liberal Protestants: I bought the book; I read it pen in hand; and it definitely changed how I think about America's historical character."
What I most enjoyed about Hedstrom's book is that he studied what we often take for granted: the process of book publishing. He exposes, for instance, the men (and they are almost all men) behind the fashioning of what books are published, marketed, and put on lists. There are stories and meanings within those lists - just as the end-of-the-year ones now rolling throughout the blogosphere.