One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America

One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America

by Kevin M. Kruse

Paperback(First Trade Paper Edition)

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The provocative and authoritative history of the origins of Christian America in the New Deal era

We're often told that the United States is, was, and always has been a Christian nation. But in One Nation Under God, historian Kevin M. Kruse reveals that the belief that America is fundamentally and formally Christian originated in the 1930s.

To fight the "slavery" of FDR's New Deal, businessmen enlisted religious activists in a campaign for "freedom under God" that culminated in the election of their ally Dwight Eisenhower in 1952. The new president revolutionized the role of religion in American politics. He inaugurated new traditions like the National Prayer Breakfast, as Congress added the phrase "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance and made "In God We Trust" the country's first official motto. Church membership soon soared to an all-time high of 69 percent. Americans across the religious and political spectrum agreed that their country was "one nation under God."

Provocative and authoritative, One Nation Under God reveals how an unholy alliance of money, religion, and politics created a false origin story that continues to define and divide American politics to this day.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465097418
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 05/03/2016
Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 188,705
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Kevin M. Kruse is a professor of history at Princeton University and the author or coeditor of five books, including Fault Lines and the award-winning White Flight. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Table of Contents


Part I: Creation
1. “Freedom Under God”
2. The Great Crusades: Prayer and Politics in Postwar America

Part II: Consecration
3. “Government Under God”
4. Pledging Allegiance
5. Pitchmen for Piety

Part III: Conflict
6. "Whose Religious Tradition?"
7. “Our So-Called Religious Leaders"
8. “Which Side Are You On?"


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