More Books I'm Excited About

Mark Edwards

Just came across this forthcoming must-read, must-own yesterday: David Hollinger is republishing his recent OAH Presidential address on ecumenical Protestants, along with a number of other essays featuring new introductions, a new preface, and a can't miss new epilogue.  After Cloven Tongues of Fire: Protestant Liberalism in Modern American History (Princeton April 2013) is already garnering significant praise from E. J. Dionne and many others.

Finally, I'd like to recommend an edited collection by Andrew Bacevich, The Short American Century: A Postmortem (Harvard, 2012).  Besides boasting an all-star line-up, it also features a new essay by Christian Critics (Cornell 2000) author Eugene McCarraher on the "eschatology of corporate business."  Good stuff.


Curtis J Evans said…
Although I think it has been mentioned on this site before, I'd like to mention again Jill Gill's "Embattled Ecumenism: The National Council of Churches, The Vietnam War, and the Trials of the Protestant Left." In one sense, it is a rich narrative of the way the NCC moved from an almost uncritical stance toward the US government (what she calls its adherence to the "American way of life") to a very critical posture as the US became more deeply involved in Vietnam. So this is an additive narrative of the anti-Vietnam groups or movements on the 1960s (additive in that the NCC is an additional religious character she thinks historians should take seriously). However, a much larger story is told as well: the way in which liberal Protestants, through the example of the NCC, struggled with issues of access to the White House when they harshly condemned as immoral various acts of the government, how to witness to Christian faith when no apparent influence was being had or results were evident, and how organizations like the NCC, while trying to reach out in some ways to lay members of churches, were increasingly alienated from the laity and criticized by mostly secular youth as part of the establishment (even when it becoming increasingly alienated from the halls of power because of its moral stance on a number of issues). It is a really good book in broader conversations about the long 1960s, the rise of conservatism, and the decline of the mainline. With her extended epilogue and appendix, Gill does not quite know when to end, which I see as a good thing given her many insights. But thanks for "heads up" on these two works, Mark.
Mark T. Edwards said…
Thanks for this reminder, Curtis. Gill's work is indeed impressive and revealing. I wish I had known about it while I was tidying up my own manuscript.

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