The story of the birth of the Religious Right is a familiar one. In the 1970s, mainly in response to Roe v. Wade, evangelicals and conservative Catholics put aside their longstanding historical prejudices and theological differences and joined forces to form a potent political movement that swept across the country. In this provocative book, Neil J. Young argues that almost none of this is true. Young offers an alternative history of the Religious Right that upends these widely-believed myths. Theology, not politics, defined the Religious Right. The rise of secularism, pluralism, and cultural relativism, Young argues, transformed the relations of America's religious denominations. The interfaith collaborations among liberal Protestants, Catholics, and Jews were met by a conservative Christian counter-force, which came together in a loosely bound, politically-minded coalition known as the Religious Right. This right-wing religious movement was made up of Mormons, conservative Catholics, and evangelicals, all of whom were united--paradoxically--by their contempt for the ecumenical approach they saw the liberal denominations taking. Led by the likes of Jerry Falwell, they deemed themselves the pro-family movement, and entered full-throated into political debates about abortion, school prayer, the Equal Rights Amendment, gay rights, and tax exemptions for religious schools. They would go on to form a critical new base for the Republican Party. Examining the religious history of interfaith dialogue among conservative evangelicals, Catholics, and Mormons, Young argues that the formation of the Religious Right was not some brilliant political strategy hatched on the eve of a history-altering election but rather the latest iteration of a religious debate that had gone on for decades. This path breaking book will reshape our understanding of the most important religious and political movement of the last 30 years.
The mutual history of art, agriculture, and American identity as told through the theme of the harvest. The harvest has traditionally been a productive season, both on American farms and in its artists’ studios. Before the early nineteenth century, the ideal of the Jeffersonian yeoman, singly cultivating a subsistence plot for family use, dominated the American imagination; after World War II, the advent of big agribusiness proved less immediately attractive for artists. In We Gather Together, Charles C. Eldredge examines the period in between—when many Americans were farmers and much of America was farmland. Organized in a series of case studies each devoted to a single crop, We Gather Together initially focuses on familiar commodity crops such as corn, wheat, and potatoes, and then expands to other yields by Native American harvesters and California floriculturists, as well as winter ice cutters and coastal seaweed gatherers. This novel history of agriculture and art traces parallel developments on land and canvas, highlighting breakthroughs in each field. Artists such as Winslow Homer, Doris Lee, and Georgia O’Keeffe are joined by innovators in agriculture, whether mechanical inventors such as Eli Whitney, John Deere, and Cyrus McCormick or genetic hybridizers such as Luther Burbank, W. Atlee Burpee, and Theodosia Shepherd. Surveying an astonishing amount of material and a wide range of paintings, prints, and other artworks from the nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, We Gather Together gorgeously demonstrates how the use of agricultural metaphors permeated American visual culture. The harvest, we see here, came to signify and dominate politics, poetry, and popular culture, ultimately representing a primary facet of American identity and nationhood.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Castle and The Girls of Atomic City comes a new way to look at American history through the story of giving thanks. From Ancient Rome through 21st-century America, bestselling author Denise Kiernan brings us a biography of an idea: gratitude, as a compelling human instinct and a global concept, more than just a mere holiday. Spanning centuries, We Gather Together is anchored amid the strife of the Civil War, and driven by the fascinating story of Sarah Josepha Hale, a widowed mother with no formal schooling who became one of the 19th century’s most influential tastemakers and who campaigned for decades to make real an annual day of thanks. Populated by an enthralling supporting cast of characters including Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Sojourner Truth, Walt Whitman, Norman Rockwell, and others, We Gather Together is ultimately a story of tenacity and dedication, an inspiring tale of how imperfect people in challenging times can create powerful legacies. Working at the helm of one of the most widely read magazines in the nation, Hale published Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and others, while introducing American readers to such newfangled concepts as “domestic science,” white wedding gowns, and the Christmas tree. A prolific writer, Hale penned novels, recipe books, essays and more, including the ubiquitous children’s poem, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” And Hale herself never stopped pushing the leaders of her time, in pursuit of her goal. The man who finally granted her wish about a national “thanksgiving” was Lincoln, the president of the war-torn nation in which Hale would never have the right to vote. Illuminating, wildly discussable, part myth-busting, part call to action, We Gather Together is full of unexpected delights and uneasy truths. The stories of indigenous peoples, immigrant communities, women’s rights activists, abolitionists, and more, will inspire readers to rethink and reclaim what it means to give thanks in this day and age. The book’s message of gratitude—especially when embraced during the hardest of times—makes it one to read and share, over and over, at any time of year.
This book is about gatherings and food and about how people come together to create meaningful bonds. Discusses the role of foods and the bahaviors associated with those foods in such festive events as clambakes, barbecues, birthday parties, Seders, Halloween, and Old Folks Days, among others. Contains recipes.
The fall equinox signals the time of year when we gather our harvests and give thanks for their bounty. With accessible, lyrical prose and vibrant illustrations, this nonfiction picture book explains the science behind autumn and the social history of harvest-time celebrations. We Gather Together presents a remarkable range of cultural traditions throughout the ages and the world, many of which have influenced our contemporary Thanksgiving holiday. Simple science activities, ideas for celebrating in school and at home, and a further reading list are included in the back of the book.