Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty

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Penguin, Jan 5, 2012 - History - 480 pages
10 Reviews
A revelatory look at how Roger Williams shaped the nature of religion, political power, and individual rights in America.

For four hundred years, Americans have wrestled with and fought over two concepts that define the nature of the nation: the proper relation between church and state and between a free individual and the state. These debates began with the extraordinary thought and struggles of Roger Williams, who had an unparalleled understanding of the conflict between a government that justified itself by "reason of state"-i.e. national security-and its perceived "will of God" and the "ancient rights and liberties" of individuals.

This is a story of power, set against Puritan America and the English Civil War. Williams's interactions with King James, Francis Bacon, Oliver Cromwell, and his mentor Edward Coke set his course, but his fundamental ideas came to fruition in America, as Williams, though a Puritan, collided with John Winthrop's vision of his "City upon a Hill."

Acclaimed historian John M. Barry explores the development of these fundamental ideas through the story of the man who was the first to link religious freedom to individual liberty, and who created in America the first government and society on earth informed by those beliefs. The story is essential to the continuing debate over how we define the role of religion and political power in modern American life.

 

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User Review  - ScoLgo - LibraryThing

This book tells a remarkable tale about a remarkable man living during remarkable times. If it wasn't real history, it would read as very compelling historical fiction featuring a larger-than-life ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kybunnies - LibraryThing

This book was won in the Goodreads.com First Read giveaway. This book is only available for pre-order. The release date for this book is set at January 5, 2012 This is a look at how Roger Williams ... Read full review

Contents

PROLOGUE
Part I
CHAPTER 1
CHAPTER 2
CHAPTER 3
CHAPTER 4
CHAPTER 5
CHAPTER 6
CHAPTER 20
CHAPTER 21
Part V
CHAPTER 22
CHAPTER 23
CHAPTER 24
CHAPTER 25
Part VI

Part II
CHAPTER 7
CHAPTER 8
CHAPTER 9
CHAPTER 10
CHAPTER 11
Part III
CHAPTER 12
CHAPTER 13
CHAPTER 14
CHAPTER 15
CHAPTER 16
CHAPTER 17
Part IV
CHAPTER 18
CHAPTER 19
CHAPTER 26
CHAPTER 27
CHAPTER 28
CHAPTER 29
CHAPTER 30
CHAPTER 31
Part VII
CHAPTER 32
CHAPTER 33
CHAPTER 34
AFTERWORD
Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

John M. Barry is the author of four previous books, including the highly acclaimed and award-winning Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America.

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