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Washington's God: Religion, Liberty, and the Father of Our Country [Hardcover]

By Michael Novak (Author) & Jana Novak (Author)
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Item description for Washington's God: Religion, Liberty, and the Father of Our Country by Michael Novak & Jana Novak...

A leading conservative thinker offers the first in-depth look at the religious life of our country's greatest founding father, George Washington

Washington has long been viewed as the patron saint of secular government, but in Washington's God, Michael Novak and his daughter, Jana, reveal that it was Washington's strong faith in divine Providence that gave meaning and force to his monumental life. Narrowly escaping a British trap during the Battle of Brooklyn, Washington didn't credit his survival to courage or tactical expertise; he blamed himself for marching his men into certain doom and marveled at the Providence that delivered them. Throughout his career, Washington held fast to the conviction that America's liberty was dependent on our faithfulness to God's will and our trust in Providence.

Washington's God, shows Washington not only as a man of resource, strength, and virtue, but also as a man with deeply held religious values. This new presentation of Washington-as a man whose religion guided his governance-will bring him into today's debates about the role of faith in government and will challenge everything we thought we knew about the inner life of the father of our country.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Basic Books
Pages   320
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.3" Width: 6.3" Height: 1.3"
Weight:   1.3 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 31, 2006
Publisher   Basic Books
ISBN  046505126X  
ISBN13  9780465051267  

Availability  0 units.

More About Michael Novak & Jana Novak

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Michael Novak is a cofounder and former publisher of Crisis magazine, and a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal, National Review, and Forbes. He has written more than 25 books, including The Fire of Invention: Civil Society and the Future of the Corporation (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997). Novak lives in Washington DC. Brian C. Anderson is a research associate in social and political studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and the author of Raymond Aron: The Recovery of the Political (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997).

Michael Novak currently resides in Washington, in the state of District Of Columbia. Michael Novak was born in 1968.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Historical > United States > General
3Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Historical > United States
4Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Presidents & Heads of State
5Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Religious
6Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > People, A-Z > ( W ) > Washington, George
7Books > Subjects > History > Americas > General
8Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > Colonial Period > General
9Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > General
11Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality

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Reviews - What do customers think about Washington's God: Religion, Liberty, and the Father of Our Country?

Good but not great  Jan 27, 2008
I chose this book because I had been reading some shorter biographies on George Washington and I became interested in the "truth" about his faith. This book hits on some interesting points but the writing style is very choppy (the author constantly goes back and forth in time) and the style of narrative just didn't draw this reader in. David McCullough's epic volume on John Adams - as long and detailed as it is - proves that an author can provide tremendous detail and still keep the reader wanting to turn the page to learn more. Still, for some strong evidence that George Washington was no passive deist, but actually had a compelling Christian faith, one can turn to Washington's God as a good source of information.
This is a Load  Oct 26, 2007
Novak & daughter make repeated assumptions that are in no way indicated by the historical record, and at most, his and his fellow Christian Revisionist Historian's wishful thinking are the only basis for this tome. To conclude that a man that does not even USE the word Jesus, in one SINGLE instance in ANY of his known documents, or writings, is a Christian, is disingenuous, and has a political, rather than religious overtone. Save your money, would be my advice, and skip this as the pure propaganda that it most certainly is.
Was George Washington a Christian?  Oct 1, 2007
Was George Washington a deist or a Christian? It is an important question, as Washington was not only the first president but the most respected of all of America's founding fathers.

In their book, "Washington's God," Michael and Jana Novak investigate Washington's public and private life to answer this question. The evidence is mixed:

Toward the view that Washington was a deist: Washington rarely referred to Jesus Christ (although he did write a letter to the Delaware Indians and recommend the religion of Jesus Christ), but instead he preferred the term "Providence," or generic terms like "the Author of our Blessed Religion." Washington regularly refused to take communion at church. When asked point-blank if he believed in Jesus Christ, he would not answer the question. When he died, he did not ask for a minister, and simply said, "'Tis well."

Toward the view that Washington was a Christian: Washington was a member of the Anglican church, which he attended regularly, including overseeing business of his local church. He agreed to be godfather to eight children, something the less religious Thomas Jefferson refused to do. He spoke of "Providence" in Christian terms, not deist terms. A deist believes God is like a watchmaker who makes the world and then is not involved; Washington instead spoke of divine Providence intervening and bringing together the events that led to his victory in the American Revolution. His reluctance to explicitly state his faith in Jesus Christ can be understood as typical for an Anglican who is more reserved about public expressions of faith. Nevertheless, there are reports of him privately praying during the war, and he insisted on having chaplains in the Continental Army. After his death, Martha Washington spoke of it as a Christian death.

On balance, Novak concludes that while he was very private about his faith, George Washington was, indeed, a Christian. He notes that Washington believed in religious liberty and opposed a state church, but Washington supported an accomodationist view of church and state that allows for public expresssions of general faith in the public square, without an endorsement of any particular denomination.
In depth review of a hard question  Jul 3, 2007
The Novaks take on the tough question: Was George Washington a Christian or a Deist? With a thorough approach in an historical context, this work is a must read for anyone looking for this answer or who wants to explore an interesting side of our first President.
George Washington The Christian Man  Mar 12, 2007
An outstanding book that shows clearly that the father of our country was a Christian and not the deist that revisionists would have us believe. For anyone interested in what made up the character of George Washington, this book is a must. Washington's own words and the words of those who knew him speak volumes.

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