|Book Name:||The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels|
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#1 BESTSELLER IN THE NEW YORK TIMES • Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jon Meacham helps us understand the current state of American politics and life by looking back at critical moments in our history when hope won over fear and division.
Our current climate of partisan anger is not new, and in The Soul of America, Meacham shows how what Abraham Lincoln called the “better angels of our nature” have always won out. Lincoln and other presidents, like Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson, are shown in surprising ways. The courage of critical activists like 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 hearing. He writes about the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the start of the Lost Cause, as well as the backlash against immigrants during the First World War and the rise 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 Each of these tense moments in our country’s history has been shaped by the struggle to lead the country to look forward instead of backward and to choose hope over fear. This is a fight that is still going on.
Even though the American story hasn’t always or even often been heroic, we’ve always been able to keep going because we believe things will get better. In this uplifting book, Meacham says, “The good news is that we’ve been through the darkness like this before.” Lincoln’s better angels have always found a way to win.
The Soul of America gets high marks.
“Meacham has become one of the most serious and well-thought-out American biographers and historians. Meacham gives readers a long-term view of American history and a reason to think that the soul of America is ultimately one of kindness and care, not anger and paranoia. Lastly, Meacham gives us advice on how to find our better selves: get into the arena, fight against tribalism, respect facts and use reason, find a critical balance, and remember the past. He’s given us a wonderful way to do it.” —USA Today.
“This is a brilliant, interesting, important, and, most of all, timely book.”
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Author(s): Jon Meacham
Publisher: Random House, Year: 2018