The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America by Frances FitzGerald

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Read The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America Online Free - “A page turner…We have long needed a fair-minded overview of this vitally important religious sensibility, and FitzGerald has now provided it.” —The New York Times Book Review

“FitzGerald’s brilliant book could not have been more timely, more well-researched, more well-written, or more necessary.” —The American Scholar

This groundbreaking book from Pulitzer Prize­–winning historian Frances FitzGerald is the first to tell the powerful, dramatic story of the Evangelical movement in America—from the Puritan era to the 2016 presidential election.

The evangelical movement began in the revivals of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, known in America as the Great Awakenings. A populist rebellion against the established churches, it became the dominant religious force in the country.

During the nineteenth century white evangelicals split apart dramatically, first North versus South, and then at the end of the century, modernist versus fundamentalist. After World War II, Billy Graham, the revivalist preacher, attracted enormous crowds and tried to gather all Protestants under his big tent, but the civil rights movement and the social revolution of the sixties drove them apart again. By the 1980s Jerry Falwell and other southern televangelists, such as Pat Robertson, had formed the Christian right. Protesting abortion and gay rights, they led the South into the Republican Party, and for thirty-five years they were the sole voice of evangelicals to be heard nationally. Eventually a younger generation of leaders protested the Christian right’s close ties with the Republican Party and proposed a broader agenda of issues, such as climate change, gender equality, and immigration reform.

Evangelicals have in many ways defined the nation. They have shaped our culture and our politics. Frances FitzGerald’s narrative of this distinctively American movement is a major work of history, piecing together the centuries-long story for the first time. Evangelicals now constitute twenty-five percent of the American population, but they are no longer monolithic in their politics. They range from Tea Party supporters to social reformers. Still, with the decline of religious faith generally, FitzGerald suggests that evangelical churches must embrace ethnic minorities if they are to survive.

Title : The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1439131333
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 752 pages


Austin rated it ★★★★☆

May 01, 2017

Finally I made myself take on a book that I didn't expect to enjoy (I am challenging myself to read 5, so had to get into it). And I took it on by the horns, in the topic I find perhaps the most obnoxious and perplexing in alternation: American Evangelicalism. This movement, or philosophy, is her...

Michael rated it ★★★★★

August 05, 2017

I was familiar with the bulk of what is covered in this new book. But I give it props for being a thoroughly researched, balanced treatment of the subject. The writing is also quite fluid for a subject that could easily be a textbook instead. Back in the 70's, I recall author and evangelist Franci...

Steve rated it ★★★★★

June 23, 2017

Evangelical reviewer here. A riveting overview of the major ideas and figures in Evangelical history from 1740 to present. The author is not an evangelical, but gives a comprehensive and factually accurate description of us, the good and the bad. A couple criticisms. First, the latter half of the...

Darby rated it ★★★★☆

June 24, 2017

Very thorough, detailed look at the history of the American evangelical church's involvement in political action. Written from a fairly secular perspective, though not heavily ideologically biased. As more or less of an evangelical myself, I found the story of these Christians' involvement in poli...

Christopher rated it ★★★☆☆

May 31, 2017

(Reviewer's Note: I just wrote a more in depth review of this book on my weekly book blog. If you like this review and would like to read more, click on the following link: ) If you ask your average American what an Evangelical is, they will probably identi...

Mary Ronan rated it ★☆☆☆☆

July 18, 2017

American Evangelicals. The Great Awakening, tent revivals, Holy Rollers, slave preachers, millennialists, Southern Baptists, Pentecostals. Dwight Moody, Oral Roberts, Father Divine, Aimee Semple McPherson, Bob Jones, Billy Graham, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, Billy Sunday, Peter Marshall, Sweet Dad...

Jared rated it ★★★☆☆

June 21, 2017

The first half is a really great book, the second half bogs down. This is not so much due to Fitzgerald's writing, however, as it is to the historical narrative shift of evangelicalism as revivalistic and culturally responsive movement to evangelicalism as political reactionary and morally compro...

Blaise rated it ★★★★☆

June 27, 2017

A well researched book, tracking the history of the group of denominations tending to be grouped under the term Evangelicals. The narrative is of a stop-start transformation of some elements of the various movements to incorporate political activism and the results thereof. A great number of well...

Kate rated it ★★★★★

June 10, 2017


Colton rated it ★★★★★

July 26, 2017

One of the best books on American Christianity I've ever read that shows the grip the religion has had on the country from its foundation to the modern day. For better or worse, Christianity has long entwined itself into the fabric of America. The author was able to make early 1800s fundamentalis...

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