Item description for Prayer in America: A Spiritual History of Our Nation by Moore...
Overview Examines the role of prayer in every aspect of American life, from the early colonial days to the present, bringing together an assortment of American hymns, patriotic anthems, arts, and literature that reflects the prayer lives of Americans.
A stirring chronicle of the spiritual life of a nation, "Prayer in America" shows how the faith of Americans--from the founding fathers to corporate tycoons, from composers to social reformers, from generals to slaves--was an essential ingredient in the formation of American culture, character, commerce, and creed. "Prayer in America" brings together the country's hymns, patriotic anthems, arts, and literature as a framework for telling the story of the innermost thoughts of the people who have shaped the United States we know today. Beginning with Native Americans, "Prayer in America "traces the prayer lives of Quakers and Shakers, Sikhs and Muslims, Catholics and Jews, from their earliest days in the United States through the aftermath of 9/11, and the 2004 presidential election. It probes the approach to prayer by such diverse individuals as Benjamin Franklin, Elvis Presley, Frank Lloyd Wright, J. C. Penney, P. T. Barnum, Jackie Robinson, and Christopher Columbus. It includes every president of the United States as well as America's clergy, immigrants, industrialists, miners, sports heroes, and scientists. "Prayer in America" shows that without prayer, the political, cultural, social, and even economic and military history of the United States would be vastly different from what it is today. It engages in a thoughtful, timely examination of the modern debate over public prayer and how the current approach to prayer bears deep roots in the philosophies of the country's founding fathers, a subject which remains distinct from the debate over church and state.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.92" Width: 6.05" Height: 1.32" Weight: 1.73 lbs.
Release Date Sep 18, 2007
ISBN 0385504047 ISBN13 9780385504041
Availability 0 units.
More About Moore
JAMES P. MOORE, JR., teaches at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. A former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce, he sits on a number of corporate and nonprofit boards. He resides in Washington, D.C.
Reviews - What do customers think about Prayer in America: A Spiritual History of Our Nation?
A Rare Flowering Aug 14, 2006
I must have been living in a cave all this time. I just stumbled upon this book and found it to be absolutely incredible. I then came to the website to see what others had to say and loved to read how much this single volume has maent to so many. Count me as one of them.
I found the author's writing style to be very inviting. I felt as though he were talking just to me rather than to some big general audience in some impersonal way. The material in this book is stunning. I loved the vignettes that were interspersed with the prayer life of America since the earliest times. Honestly, this book is just stunning.
I am an Asian-American, born and raised in Japan. I came to the United States originally to study and now am a successful businesswoman who finds herself shuttling between both countries. I found in this book the chance to understand Americans in a more intimate way. Thank you to Mr. Moore, the author, for this incredible gift to me and to so many others.
I just wish that my parents, who speak no English, could read this book. Through it they would learn why I have come to have an affection for the American people - a very different impression than the one in the world media these days.
Comfort in Time of War Jul 26, 2006
I have been beside myself over the way our government has been behaving in the Middle East. Over dinner last night my friends echoed the same concerns and misgivings.
It was then that I told them about One Nation Under God. This is a book that I finished a few weeks ago and loved from the very start. It gave me a perspective that I really did not have about the incredible spirituality of our country since before its inception. It is masterfully written.
Coincidentally I picked up the July issue of St. Anthony's Messenger and found the same opinion, which I have attached. Thank you to James Moore for this extraordinary contribution to our country for years to come.
IF ASKED to describe the United States, would the first adjective to jump into your head be "prayerful"? After perusal of James P. Moore, Jr.'s book, it would seem that no other description is as accurate.
From the Native American inhabitants to the modern era of immigrants practicing myriad religions, we Americans have been a praying people. Moore is neither a historian nor a clergyman but a professor at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He has produced an impressive study of the effects of prayer on virtually all facets of American life.
In 16 chapters, Moore thoroughly documents his text with excerpts from the writings of the individuals chronicled or those of firsthand witnesses, which necessitates 34 pages of Notes and a 15-page Index. Readers will find no legends here.
Early explorers were deeply religious and mandated how their crews would pray daily. Christopher Columbus was a member of the Secular Franciscan Order, as were his sponsors, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. In Jamestown, Virginia, in 1610 a law was passed that all residents should attend morning and evening prayer services, enumerating the punishments to be leveled for absence.
The Founding Fathers, Moore writes, used prayer as "a coalescing tool to bring together widely disparate colonies, communities, and churches." At the First Continental Convention, after the report of a British incursion in Boston, the delegates prayed "for America, for Congress, for the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and especially for the town of Boston." John Adams wrote in his diary that the prayer and emotions expressed were "as permanent, as affectionate, as sublime, as devout, as I have ever heard offered up to Heaven."
Every president has acknowledged the existence of a higher power in his inaugural address; admittedly with varying degrees of belief and, possibly, for ulterior motives. But all presidents, sooner or later, would call upon and acknowledge this power to aid in carrying the heavy burden of office.
John Carroll, the first Roman Catholic bishop in the United States, inaugurated prayers for the country's leaders to be recited after Mass on Sundays to allay suspicions that Catholics were loyal only to the pope. Carroll composed a special prayer on the occasion of President Washington's birthday in 1794. Carroll was foresighted enough to request permission of the Holy See to use English for all Mass prayers to help integrate Catholic immigrants.
Publishing in the United States began with The Bay Psalm Book; a hymnal was the first songbook. These overtly religious writings were followed by uniquely American poetry, prose, drama, art, dance and architecture executed by talented people using their expertise to praise the Almighty.
The Jazz Singer, the story of a Jewish cantor, was the first talking movie. The first American opera to be written and staged was George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, which has songs like "Oh Doctor Jesus" and "Oh Lawd, I'm on My Way."
The chapter entitled "The Dreamers: The Legacy of Slavery" alone is worth the price of the book. Dealing largely with Frederick Douglass, a slave who was able to buy his freedom and work for the release of other slaves, the narrative is spellbinding in detailing the role that prayer played individually and communally in the life of a slave.
Many unique spirituals were introduced to the country and the world in 1871 by the touring Jubilee Singers of Fisk University, and the response was overwhelming. Andrew Ward, music biographer, has said the spirituals "not only declared faith but carried news, raised protests, expressed grief, asked questions, made jokes, lubricated a slave's never-ending toil."
Many industrialists felt called upon to aid the religious cause: Andrew Carnegie purchasing 7,000 organs for churches and schools, the J.C. Penney Foundation providing funds for care of retired ministers and Church workers. Military leaders encouraged prayer and often led by personal example.
Most of us will have lived through the events recounted in the last five chapters, culminating in the second inauguration of George W. Bush, but there are still personal and often touching new insights here into the personalities behind the media reports. Yes, Moore exhibits some political favoritism, but seven years of research utilizing and reproducing primary resources on prayer from virtually every religious sect is a blockbuster publishing event. This historical compilation is as readable and accessible as a novel.
Masterful History Jun 15, 2006
I just want to put my two cents in and let readers know what a joy this book was for me to read. Honestly, it is one of a handful of the best histories of America I have read, and I have read hundreds over my lifetime. The author interweaves spirituality and history in a very straightforward way. While endearing, it never becomes sappy or over the top in any way. I intend to see that firends and fmaily get copies as gifts. It's that good and relevant for a wide swath of people. Congratulations to the author and publisher.
The True America Jun 5, 2006
These days it is tough to pick up the newspaper or turn on the television. The problems around the world and the mistakes that our government seems to keep making have made me anything but optomistic. In reading One Nation Under God, however, I must admit that I felt as though I was buoyed in my faith in our country and its people. I am not a church goer and consider myself to be more liberal certainly than conservative. What I found in Mr. Moore's book was a refrshing take on America that did not deny the heritage of any single group.
One Nation Under God is a refreshing, extremely well written take on America's "soul." I hope the author will consider writing other books in the future. I was enchanted by this work - from sports heroes to the down and out of our society. Bravo!
A Magic Carpet Ride May 10, 2006
Loved this book from start to finish. Everyone should revel in what this author has put together. One Nation Under God will have a long shelf life.