One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America by Kevin M. KruseThe provocative and authoritative history of the origins of Christian America in the New Deal era
We’re often told that the United States is, was, and always has been a Christian nation. But in One Nation Under God, historian Kevin M. Kruse reveals that the belief that America is fundamentally and formally Christian originated in the 1930s.
To fight the “slavery” of FDR’s New Deal, businessmen enlisted religious activists in a campaign for “freedom under God” that culminated in the election of their ally Dwight Eisenhower in 1952. The new president revolutionized the role of religion in American politics. He inaugurated new traditions like the National Prayer Breakfast, as Congress added the phrase “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance and made “In God We Trust” the country’s first official motto. Church membership soon soared to an all-time high of 69 percent. Americans across the religious and political spectrum agreed that their country was “one nation under God.”
Provocative and authoritative, One Nation Under God reveals how an unholy alliance of money, religion, and politics created a false origin story that continues to define and divide American politics to this day.
Rolsky on Kruse, 'One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America'
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Or why the Pledge of Allegiance to the most revered symbol of the nation includes an explicit declaration of confidence in the Almighty? These now utterly commonplace markers of public piety were almost all created during the same decade — the s. Their initial enthusiasts, as described by the Princeton historian Kevin M. Kruse, were conservative Protestant ministers and businessmen who hoped Americans would not take their handiwork for granted. They believed the nation badly needed a religious awakening to reverse the depredations of a godless federal state.
Kevin M. New York: Basic Books, Reviewed by L.
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