History – straight history . . . not my typical reading material, but this tome came highly recommended, by an equally avid reader whose opinion I respect. she noted Barry’s gift for narrative, how he could take an otherwise dry timeline and tell the story – of nations, government, movements, and individuals. I’m widely read in the area of evangelical Christianity, and thanks to my current position, I’m immersed in the worlds of politics and law. John M. Barry’s most recent book, Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty, plays to all three wheelhouses. But it is a MUST read for anyone who wants to better understand the rise of the ultra-conservative, Tea Party movement, where it comes from and what it eventually leads to.
Narrative is definitely Barry’s strong suit. He has an especial gift for conveying the nuances of character in just a couple of sentences, and his ability to distill complicated events into clear prose allows the reader to grasp more details than they normally would. He is the perfect author to take on a subject most Americans think they understand, revealing patterns and truths that have been missed by most.
So why should Americans take the time to read about a period of long-past history thy haven’t thought about since their schooldays? Because this look back at the earliest beginnings of our nation will bring current day issues and headlines into sharp focus. What happened at the dawn of our democracy has EVERYTHING to do with today’s Godless Liberal vs Tea Party Patriot dichotomy.
Pick up Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul for a clear look at both where we have come from and where we are headed.