Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith Religion in American War and Diplomacy

ISBN-10: 140007858X

ISBN-13: 9781400078585

Edition: N/A

Authors: Andrew Preston

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A richly detailed, profoundly engrossing story of how religion has influenced American foreign relations, told through the stories of the men and women—from presidents to preachers—who have plotted the country’s course in the world. Ever since John Winthrop argued that the Puritans’ new home would be “a city upon a hill,” Americans’ role in the world has been shaped by their belief that God has something special in mind for them. But this is a story that historians have mostly ignored. Now, in the first authoritative work on the subject, Andrew Preston explores the major strains of religious fervor—liberal and conservative, pacifist and militant, internationalist and isolationist—that framed American thinking on international issues from the earliest colonial wars to the twenty-first century. He arrives at some startling conclusions, among them: Abraham Lincoln’s use of religion in the Civil War became the model for subsequent wars of humanitarian intervention; nineteenth-century Protestant missionaries made up the first NGO to advance a global human rights agenda; religious liberty was the centerpiece of Franklin Roosevelt’s strategy to bring the United States into World War II. From George Washington to George W. Bush, from the Puritans to the present, from the colonial wars to the Cold War, religion has been one of America’s most powerful sources of ideas about the wider world. When, just days after 9/11, George W. Bush described America as “a prayerful nation, a nation that prays to an almighty God for protection and for peace,” or when Barack Obama spoke of balancing the “just war and the imperatives of a just peace” in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, they were echoing four hundred years of religious rhetoric. Preston traces this echo back to its source. Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faithis an unprecedented achievement: no one has yet attempted such a bold synthesis of American history. It is also a remarkable work of balance and fair-mindedness about one of the most fraught subjects in America.
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Book details

List price: $18.00
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/13/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 832
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.540
Language: English

Andrew Preston is University Lecturer in History and a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge University.

In the Beginning
Defenders of the Faith
God Is an Excellent Man of War
Wars of Permanent Reformation
The American Revelation
The Harmony of the World Confounded
Liberation Theology
Imperial Destinies
Absolutist Apostasies
The Benevolent Empire, at Home and Abroad
Manifest Destiny and Its Discontents
America's Mission
Abraham Lincoln and the First War of Humanitarian Intervention
Missionaries and the Imperialism of Human Rights
An Also Chosen People
Cuba, the Philippines, and the First Crusade
Woodrow Wilson and the Second Crusade
The Idealistic Synthesis
Onward Christian Soldiers
The Wilsonian Creed
Franklin Roosevelt and the Third Crusade
Princes of Peace and Prophets of Realism
The Simple Faith of Franklin Roosevelt
The Holocaust and the Moral Meaning of the War
Spiritual Diplomacy
The Church Unmilitant
John Foster Dulles and the Quest for a Just and Durable Peace
The Cold War and the Fourth Crusade
The Faith of Harry Truman and the Theology of George Kennan
High Priests of the Cold War: Eisenhower and the Second Coming of Dulles
The Great Schism and the Myth of Consensus
Reformation and Counterreformation
The Revolutionary Church in a Revolutionary Age
The Valley of the Shadow of Death
Get Thee Behind Me, Satan
A Judeo-Christian Foreign Policy
Ronald the Lionheart
Epilogue: The Last Crusade?
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