What the Boss Likes – a new book, One Nation Under Gods

one nationA new book, One Nation, Under Gods by Peter Manseau, is one of the best books I have read in a long time.  Mr. Manseau reviews the history of religion in the United States of America from 1492 (with some info on religion in North America before the Europeans came) up to the present day.  It is a very easy-to-read book, despite being full to the brim with facts.

I think I am fairly well versed in history but this opened my eyes to many more new facts.  I never knew that Cotton Mather (yes, *that* Cotton Mather) advocated for an early form of vaccination, a fair number of the Africans brought to the US were Muslims,  slave owners wavered between teaching Christianity to their slaves and forbidding it, that Thomas Jefferson wrote a favorable letter to a Seneca (a Native American tribe) religious leader, a Muslim slave might be the origin of the black colored kachina in Zuni folklore, Hindu leaders were giving speeches in the US in the 1800s, etc.

I’m only half way through the book.  🙂

This book does a lovely job in dismissing the delusion of some American Christians that the US was only established by their version of Christianity and is only for them and them alone.  It does treat religion fairly, showing its benefits and does not hold back at all at showing its warts.  Everyone should read this book if they want to know the deliciously complicated religious history of America.  It is more than worth the price of admission.

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6 responses to “What the Boss Likes – a new book, One Nation Under Gods

  1. The idea that America is a ‘Christian nation’ always seemed hilarious to me. From an outside perspective, America looked like a melting pot, a nation of immigrants filled with various different groups. That’s why American literature tend to be so diverse.

    I’m planning on one day getting into the know of American history. This seems like something necessary.

    • This book would be fantastic for getting a good overview of US history in general too. I’m amazed on how well the author writes and connects things together. It reminds me of Guns, Germs and Steel but not nearly the slog that GGS was.

  2. Sounds like a super book, but hoping the average Christian Fundamentalist read it, to ”enlighten them” is likely to elicit responses that include words and phrases such as, Liberal, Atheist, Leftist, and the old stalwart, “Why do atheists hate God?”

  3. Pingback: Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a review of “One Nation, Under Gods” | Club Schadenfreude

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