Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics after the Religious Right

Princeton University Press
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The religious and political winds are changing. Tens of millions of religious Americans are reclaiming faith from those who would abuse it for narrow, partisan, and ideological purposes. And more and more secular Americans are discovering common ground with believers on the great issues of social justice, peace, and the environment. In Souled Out, award-winning journalist and commentator E. J. Dionne explains why the era of the Religious Right--and the crude exploitation of faith for political advantage--is over.

Based on years of research and writing, Souled Out shows that the end of the Religious Right doesn't signal the decline of evangelical Christianity but rather its disentanglement from a political machine that sold it out to a narrow electoral agenda of such causes as opposition to gay marriage and abortion. With insightful portraits of leading contemporary religious figures from Rick Warren and Richard Cizik to John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Dionne shows that our great religions have always preached a broad message of hope for more just human arrangements and refused to be mere props for the powers that be. Dionne also argues that the new atheist writers should be seen as a gift to believers, a demand that they live up to their proclaimed values and embrace scientific and philosophical inquiry in a spirit of "intellectual solidarity."


Written in the tradition of Reinhold and H. Richard Niebuhr, Souled Out will help change how we think and talk about religion and politics in the post-Bush era.

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About the author

E. J. Dionne Jr. is a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, a regular political analyst on National Public Radio, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a professor at Georgetown University. His books include the best-selling Why Americans Hate Politics (Simon & Schuster), which won the Los Angeles Times book prize and was nominated for the National Book Award.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Oct 12, 2009
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Pages
264
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ISBN
9781400828289
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Political Process / General
Religion / Religion, Politics & State
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Winner of the Lincoln Prize

Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Abraham Lincoln's political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president.

On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry.

Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war. That Lincoln succeeded, Goodwin demonstrates, was the result of a character that had been forged by experiences that raised him above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. He won because he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.

It was this capacity that enabled Lincoln as president to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union and winning the war.

We view the long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as Lincoln copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen, and his raucous cabinet. He overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through.

This brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history.
One of our most visible, trenchant, and witty political commentators, the author of the bestselling Why Americans Hate Politics, offers a tough critique of President George W. Bush and the Democratic opposition on the eve of a landmark presidential election -- and points to a way out of cynicism and defeatism.
With passion, clarity, and humor, E. J. Dionne describes today's political atmosphere as the bitterest he can remember. Never have Democrats been as frustrated by their inability to move the debate. The party of Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Clinton, Dionne says, is lost in pointless feuds, outdated strategies, and old arguments. Democrats have lost track of what they stand for so they don't know what they're fighting for and besides, they've forgotten how to fight back.
In describing how Democrats, moderates, and liberals have failed to match Republicans and conservatives in commitment, resourcefulness, and clarity, Dionne invents what is likely to become a popular parlor game among the politically committed. In "The Wrong Stuff," he lists ten futile arguments -- big versus small government, for example -- that Democrats keep having with themselves. "The Right Stuff" focuses on ten arguments they should start making about taxes, business, and the role of government.
Dionne zeroes in on how a floundering Bush administration used September 11 to politicize national security issues for partisan advantage. Enraged but intimidated by ruthless opponents, the Democratic party failed to find its voice on security issues and was soundly beaten in 2002.
Drawing on some lessons from the 2004 primary campaigns, Dionne argues that anger and frustration have in fact awakened progressives to the need for innovation in organizing, in approaching an increasingly conservative media, and in formulating politically useful and plainly stated ideas. Learning from the conservative movement's successes, liberals have begun the work of reconstruction.
The politics of revenge, Dionne argues persuasively, can give way to something better: a progressive patriotism built on hope and optimism about America's role in the world and its capacity to renew social justice at home.
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