Description : #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • 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. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • The Christian Science Monitor • Southern Living 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 Lincoln and other presidents, including 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 Ku 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 against Jim Crow. Each of these dramatic hours in our national life have been shaped by the contest to lead the country to look forward rather than back, to assert hope over fear—a struggle that continues even now. While the American story has not always—or even often—been heroic, we have been sustained by a belief in progress even in the gloomiest of times. In this inspiring book, Meacham reassures us, “The good news is that we have come through such darkness before”—as, time and again, Lincoln’s better angels have found a way to prevail. Praise for The Soul of America “Brilliant, fascinating, timely . . . With compelling narratives of past eras of strife and disenchantment, Meacham offers wisdom for our own time.”—Walter Isaacson “Gripping and inspiring, The Soul of America is Jon Meacham’s declaration of his faith in America.”—Newsday “Meacham gives readers a long-term perspective on American history and a reason to believe the soul of America is ultimately one of kindness and caring, not rancor and paranoia.”—USA Today
Description : ". . . extraordinarily far-reaching. . . . highly accessible." -Notes "No one has written this way about music in a long, long time. Lucid, insightful, with real spiritual, political, intellectual, and emotional grasp of the whole picture. A book about why music matters, and how, and to whom." -Dave Marsh, author of Louie, Louie and Born to Run: The Bruce Springsteen Story "This book is urgently needed: a comprehensive look at the various forms of black popular music, both as music and as seen in a larger social context. No one can do this better than Craig Werner." -Henry Louis Gates, Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University "[Werner has] mastered the extremely difficult art of writing about music as both an aesthetic and social force that conveys, implies, symbolizes, and represents ideas as well as emotion, but without reducing its complexities and ambiguities to merely didactic categories." -African American Review A Change Is Gonna Come is the story of more than four decades of enormously influential black music, from the hopeful, angry refrains of the Freedom movement, to the slick pop of Motown; from the disco inferno to the Million Man March; from Woodstock's "Summer of Love" to the war in Vietnam and the race riots that inspired Marvin Gaye to write "What's Going On." Originally published in 1998, A Change Is Gonna Come drew the attention of scholars and general readers alike. This new edition, featuring four new and updated chapters, will reintroduce Werner's seminal study of black music to a new generation of readers. Craig Werner is Professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin, and author of many books, including Playing the Changes: From Afro-Modernism to the Jazz Impulse and Up Around the Bend: An Oral History of Creedence Clearwater Revival. His most recent book is Higher Ground: Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield, and the Rise and Fall of American Soul.
Description : Cultural Complexes and the Soul of America explores many of the cultural complexes that comprise the collective psychic-filtering system of emotions, ideas, and beliefs that possess the United States today. With chapters by an international selection of leading authors, the book covers ideas both broad and specific, and presents unique insight into the current state of the nation. The voices included in this volume amplify contemporary concerns, linking them to themes which have existed in the American psyche for decades while also looking to the future. Part One examines meta themes, including history, purity, dominion, and democracy in the age of Trump. Part Two looks at key complexes including race, gender, the environment, immigration, national character, and medicine. The overall message is that it is in wrestling with these complexes that the soul of America is forged or undone. This highly relevant book will be essential reading for academics and students of Jungian and post-Jungian ideas, politics, sociology, and American studies. It will also be of great interest to Jungian analysts in practice and in training, and anyone interested in the current state of the US.
Description : Four experts on the American presidency examine the three times impeachment has been invoked—against Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton—and explain what it means today. Impeachment is a double-edged sword. Though it was designed to check tyrants, Thomas Jefferson also called impeachment “the most formidable weapon for the purpose of a dominant faction that was ever contrived.” On the one hand, it nullifies the will of voters, the basic foundation of all representative democracies. On the other, its absence from the Constitution would leave the country vulnerable to despotic leadership. It is rarely used, and with good reason. Only three times has a president’s conduct led to such political disarray as to warrant his potential removal from office, transforming a political crisis into a constitutional one. None has yet succeeded. Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 for failing to kowtow to congressional leaders—and, in a large sense, for failing to be Abraham Lincoln—yet survived his Senate trial. Richard Nixon resigned in August 1974 after the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment against him for lying, obstructing justice, and employing his executive power for personal and political gain. Bill Clinton had an affair with a White House intern, but in 1999 he faced trial in the Senate less for that prurient act than for lying under oath about it. In the first book to consider these three presidents alone—and the one thing they have in common—Jeffrey A. Engel, Jon Meacham, Timothy Naftali, and Peter Baker explain that the basis and process of impeachment is more political than legal. The Constitution states that the president “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” leaving room for historical precedent and the temperament of the time to weigh heavily on each case. This book reveals the complicated motives behind each impeachment—never entirely limited to the question of a president’s guilt—and the risks to all sides. Each case depended on factors beyond the president’s behavior: his relationship with Congress, the polarization of the moment, and the power and resilience of the office itself. This is a realist view of impeachment that looks to history for clues about its potential use in the future.
Description : Tom Hayden explores the losses wrought by Irish American conformism, in his own life and beyond. When David Trimble claimed recently that Irish republicans needed house-training, I felt the echo of my master's voice down through the ages, that of the Vikings, the British, and the WASPs, and knew why I am Irish. Now and then someone has to defecate on the master's rug. Tom Hayden first realized he was 'Irish on the inside' when he heard civil rights marchers in Northern Ireland singing 'We Shall Overcome' in 1969. Though his great-grandparents had been forced to emigrate to the US in the 1850s, Hayden's parents erased his Irish heritage in the quest for respectability. In this passionate book he explores the losses wrought by such conformism. Assimilation, he argues, has led to high rates of schizophrenia, depression, alcoholism and domestic violence within the Irish community. Today's Irish-Americans, Hayden contends, need to re-inhabit their history, to recognize that assimilation need not entail submission. By recognizing their links to others now experiencing the prejudice once directed at their ancestors, they can develop a sense of themselves that is both specific and inclusive: 'The survival of a distinct Irish soul is proof enough that Anglo culture will never fully satisfy our needs. We have a unique role in reshaping American society to empathize with the world's poor, for their story is the genuine story of the Irish.'
Description : The dramatic untold story of the Weavers, the hit-making folk-pop quartet destroyed with the aid of the United States government--and who changed the world, anyway Following a series of top 10 hits that became instant American standards, the Weavers dissolved at the height of their fame. Wasn't That a Time: The Weavers, the Blacklist, and the Battle for the Soul of America details the remarkable rise of Pete Seeger's unlikely band of folk heroes, from basement hootenannies to the top of the charts, before a coordinated harassment campaign at the hands of Congress's House Un-American Activities Committee and the emergent right-wing media saw them unable to find work and dropped by their label while their songs still hovered on Billboard's lists. Turning the black-and-white 1950s into vivid color, Wasn't That a Time uses the Weavers to illuminate a dark and complex period of American history. Emerging while a highly divided populace was bombarded and further divided by fake news--and progressive organizations and individuals found themselves repressed under the pretenses of national security--the Weavers would rise, fall, and rise again. With origins in the radical folk collective the Almanac Singers and the ambitious People's Songs, both pioneering the use of music as a transformative political organizing tool, the singing activists in the Weavers set out to change the world with songs as their weapons. Using previously unseen journals and letters, unreleased recordings, once-secret government documents, and other archival research, veteran music journalist and WFMU DJ Jesse Jarnow uncovers the immense hopes, incredible pressures, and daily struggles of the four distinct and often unharmonious personalities at the heart of the Weavers. With a class and race-conscious global vision of music that now make them seem like time travelers from the 21st century, the Weavers would transform material from American blues singer Lead Belly ("Goodnight Irene"), the Bahamas ("Wreck of the John B"), and South Africa ("Wimoweh") into songs that remain ubiquitous from rock clubs to Broadway shows. Featuring quotes about the Weavers' influence from David Crosby, the Beach Boys' Al Jardine, and the Byrds' Roger McGuinn, Wasn't That a Time explores how the group's innocent-sounding harmonies might be heard as a threat worthy of decades of investigation by the FBI--and how the band's late '50s reformation engendered a new generation of musicians to take up the Weavers' non-violent weaponry: eclectic songs, joyous harmonies, and the power of music.
Description : "In Search of Soul explores the meaning of "soul" in sacred and profane incarnations, from its biblical origins to its central place in the rich traditions of black and Latin history. Surveying the work of writers, artists, poets, musicians, philosophers and theologians, Alejandro Nava shows how their understandings of the "soul" revolve around narratives of justice, liberation, and spiritual redemption. He contends that biblical traditions and hip-hop emerged out of experiences of dispossession and oppression. Whether born in the ghettos of America or of the Roman Empire, hip-hop and Christianity have endured by giving voice to the persecuted. This book offers a view of soul in living color, as a breathing, suffering, dreaming thing"--Provided by publisher.
Description : In this new short story collection, John Edgar Wideman blends the historical and the imaginary, the personal and the political, to invent complex, charged stories about love, death and struggle. With a cast of real and fictional characters as diverse as Frederick Douglass, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Wideman’s own family, it is a journey through the soul of America. In ‘JB & FD’ Wideman imagines conversations between white anti-slavery crusader John Brown and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. In ‘Williamsburg Bridge’ a man contemplates his life as he sits on the edge of the bridge, meaning to jump. In ‘Maps and Ledgers’ a brother and sister ponder their father’s killing of another man. In these and the other stories in this collection, Wideman navigates an extraordinary range of subject and tone. He delivers individual narratives both emotionally precise and intellectually stimulating, and an extended meditation on family, history and loss. American Histories demonstrates a master at his absolute best.
Description : This unique book challenges the widely held beliefs that the Catholic Church in Latin America is under siege and that Catholicism is steadily losing ground to Pentecostalism. In marked contrast to the churches of North America and Europe, the Catholic Church in Latin America enjoys remarkable vitality and a high level of confidence. Since the 1960s the church has been undergoing a spiritual transformation, with a 400 percent increase in clergy, religious, and a corps of laity, many of whom serve as its 1.1 million religious catechists.
Description : What holds America together? In this classic work, Russell Kirk describes the beliefs and institutions that have nurtured the American soul and commonwealth. Beginning with the Hebrew prophets, Kirk examines in dramatic fashion the sources of American order. His analytical narrative might be called “a tale of five cities”: Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and Philadelphia. For an understanding of the significance of America at the dawn of a new century, Russell Kirk’s masterpiece on the history of American civilization is unsurpassable. This edition includes a new foreword by the distinguished historian Forrest McDonald.