The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels

Title: The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels
Published by: Random House
Release Date: May 8th 2018
Genre:
Pages: 416
ISBN13: 9780399589812

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear.

Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the "better angels of our nature" have repeatedly won the day. Painting surprising portraits of presidents including, besides Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and illuminating the courage of such influential citizen activists as 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 hearings lawyer Joseph N. Welch, Meacham brings vividly to life turning points in American history. He writes about the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the birth of the Lost Cause; the backlash against immigrants in the First World War and the resurgence of the Klu 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 to finish the fight against Jim Crow. In each of these dramatic, crucial turning points, the battle to lead the country to look forward rather than back, to assert hope over fear, was joined, even as it is today.

While the American story has not always been heroic, and the outcome of our battles never certain, in this inspiring book Meacham reassures us, "the good news is that we have come through darkness before"--as, time and again, Lincoln's better angels have found a way to prevail.

Advance praise for The Soul of America

"This is a brilliant, fascinating, timely, and above all profoundly important book. Jon Meacham explores the extremism and racism that have infected our politics, and he draws enlightening lessons from the knowledge that we've faced such trials before."--Walter Isaacson

"Jon Meacham has done it again, this time with a historically rich and gracefully written account of America's long struggle with division in our immigrant nation and the heroic efforts to heal the wounds. It should be in every home and on every student's desk."--Tom Brokaw

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