Rock Solid: Americas Embrace of the Ten Commandments

Hardcover | May 15, 2017

byJenna Weissman Joselit

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The Ten Commandments need no introduction - what more is there to know about the divine dos and don'ts? According to Jenna Weissman Joselit's imaginative and vivid account, there's a lot more to this ancient biblical code than Moses and Mount Sinai. Situating the Ten Commandments within thecontext of modern America, Rock Solid takes the reader on a sweeping journey through history to reveal the surprising influence of the scriptural directives on the formation of America's national identity.Stripped of their sanctified context in the unpredictable terrain of the New World, the Commandments readily attracted intense, heated public debates, sending shockwaves through religious and secular cultures alike. When an exceedingly ancient version of the Ten Commandments - or so it was claimed -turned up on a boulder in central Ohio on the eve of the Civil War, they provoked wonder, pride and a whiff of mystery, too. In a different instance, the presence of a circularly shaped Ten Commandments in a stained glass window nearly split one New York synagogue congregation asunder. Still otherstories explore what happened when the Decalogue became the darling of Hollywood in the hands of director Cecil B. DeMille, or, in an equally startling turn, a handmaiden to therapy.Rich in story and inhabited by a lively cast of characters whose ranks include forgers and filmmakers, architects and archaeologists, ordinary citizens and politicians, Rock Solid compels us to take a closer look at the Ten Commandments and see them afresh. Through a series of deftly renderedvignettes, this compelling account recasts the cultural impact of the Ten Commandments in American society not as a legal code or theological imperative, but as a fertile repository of American history with a defining impact on the country's cultural imagination to the current day.

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The Ten Commandments need no introduction - what more is there to know about the divine dos and don'ts? According to Jenna Weissman Joselit's imaginative and vivid account, there's a lot more to this ancient biblical code than Moses and Mount Sinai. Situating the Ten Commandments within thecontext of modern America, Rock Solid takes t...

Jenna Weissman Joselit is the Charles E. Smith Professor of Judaic Studies and Professor of History at the George Washington University. She is the author of several books on American daily life in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including The Wonders of America, winner of the National Jewish Book Award in History, and A Perfec...

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Kobo ebook|Dec 3 2007

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see all books by Jenna Weissman Joselit
Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:May 15, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190253193

ISBN - 13:9780190253196

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