Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Anti-American Exceptionalism

The American Revolution still looms large in public debate. Depending on the speaker, it is either the source of our most cherished ideals or our most pernicious inequities. Small wonder, then, that historians tend to convey its significance in thundering pronouncements, alternating between soaring . . . . Continue Reading »

A Royalist and Whig Revolution?

It was appropriate that I read Eric Nelson’s The Royalist Revolution this summer while on a research trip to Great Britain, since the book is a study of political ideas that bounced between England and her colonies and the effects they had on the shape of the new American nation. Continue Reading »

Founding Pastor

In 1775, a group of American soldiers raided George Whitefield’s five-year-old grave in Newbury, Massachusetts. Hoping that his relics would secure their protection in battle, they extracted a clerical collar and wristbands from the ­celebrated preacher’s remains and divided the cloth among themselves. The staunchly Protestant Whitefield no doubt rolled in his grave when they returned him to his resting place. Continue Reading »

1642 and All That

The Cousins' Wars:  Religion, Politics, Civil Warfare, and the Triumph of Anglo-America.By Kevin Philips.Basic. 651.pp. $32. Perceptive students of the 1996 presidential election have noticed an uncanny trend that links geography, religion, and politics. Take the nine regions into which the . . . . Continue Reading »

Populist Protestantism

The Democratization of American Christianity by nathan hatch yale university press, 312 pages, $25 In 1802 a flamboyant Baptist preacher named John Leland presented a twelve-hundred pound “mammoth cheese” to Thomas Jefferson at a White House ceremony. Molded in a cider press from the milk of . . . . Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles