Wednesday, April 30, 2014
The New "Books and Culture" is Here
Eric Miller's review of Peter Hales's Outside the Gates of Eden: The Dream of America from Hiroshima to Now. Miller writes:
However [John] Winthrop may hover over Hales' story, his own vision and hope are most decisively inspired by the classic Emersonian ideals: the spontaneous discovery of an inward connection to a greater reality; a harmonic convergence of self and society; above all, a religious confidence that The Self Knows, and that our true enemy is the enemy of the self. Will these ideals be enough to save us from the mighty surges of history Hales with such acuity uncovers? Many of us, still poised at that watchtower, listening to that howling wind, find ourselves looking for rescue from another direction. Still: Read this book
Todd Ream and Drew Moser's review of Randall Balmer's Redeemer; The Life of Jimmy Carter. Ream and Moser write:
Redeemer is a biography of Jimmy Carter that has little to do with Jimmy Carter in critical places. As the story advances, it reads at times more like an account of the rise of the Moral Majority in evangelical America, with Carter cast as an almost accidental antagonist. The book's epigraph sketches its narrative and theological arc and its fundamentally ironic perspective: He came unto his own, and his own received him not, John 1:11 (King James Version)." But Balmer's irony isn't calculated to elicit cheap sneers; it grows out of the tangle of American history. And if his book isn't entirely satisfying as a biography, he does succeed--in contrast to previous biographers--in rightly portraying Jimmy Carter's Christianity as the driving force behind his political and personal life
We did an interview with Balmer last week about this book.
I am sure these reviews will appear soon on the B&C website. Stay tuned.
I should also add that there is an ad on page 18 for the 29th Biennial Meeting of the Conference on Faith and History to be held on September 25-27 at Pepperdine University. Learn more about the conference here. Though the ad does not provide details, and the conference program has not been released, I can spill some of the beans and let you know that the following historians/authors/friends of this blog will be speaking in various capacities over the course of the weekend: Charles Marsh, Daniel Williams, Lendol Calder, Allen Guelzo, John Wigger, Jim LaGrand, Colleen McDannel, Thomas Albert Howard, Margaret Bendroth, Beth Barton Schweiger, Jay Case, Eric Miller, Chris Gehrz, Jonathan Den Hartog, Timothy Hall, Christopher Shannon, Darren Dochuk, Mark Noll, Molly Worthen, David Bebbington, Shirley Mullen, Jana Riess, Mike Kugler, Randall Stephens, Ed Blum, Randall Balmer, Jonathan Yeager, Bill Trollinger, Tracy McKenzie, Brad Gundlach, Warren Throckmorton, Paul Contino, John Wilson, Don Yerxa, and Wilfred McClay.
See you in Malibu.