832 pages, 8.01 × 5.18 × 1.4 in
November 7, 2012
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 067697743X
ISBN - 13: 9780676977431
From the Publisher
A richly detailed, profoundly engrossing story of how religion has influenced American foreign relations, told through the stories of the men and women—from presidents to preachers—who have plotted the country’s course in the world.
Ever since John Winthrop argued that the Puritans’ new home would be “a city upon a hill,” Americans’ role in the world has been shaped by their belief that God has something special in mind for them. But this is a story that historians have mostly ignored. Now, in the first authoritative work on the subject, Andrew Preston explores the major strains of religious fervor—liberal and conservative, pacifist and militant, internationalist and isolationist—that framed American thinking on international issues. From George Washington to George W. Bush, from the Puritans to the present, from the colonial wars to the Cold War, religion has been one of America’s most powerful sources of ideas about the wider world. Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith is a bold synthesis of American history and also a remarkable work of balance and fair-mindedness about one of the most fraught subjects in America.
About the Author
ANDREW PRESTON is a Senior Lecturer in History and Fellow of Clare College at Cambridge University. He has been a Fellow at the Cold War Studies Centre at the London School of Economics, and has previously held professorships in History and International Studies at Yale University, the University of Victoria, and The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. In addition to several journal articles and book chapters, Preston is the author of The War Council: McGeorge Bundy, the NSC, and Vietnam (Harvard University Press, 2006) and co-editor, with Fredrik Logevall, of Nixon in the World: American Foreign Relations, 1969-1977 (Oxford University Press, 2008).
“[A] monumental study. . . . Preston describes how America’s religion has been far more intimately intertwined with its statecraft and foreign policy than is generally understood. . . . This is not the new master narrative of America, but it is close enough.” —The Wilson Quarterly“Neither pedantic nor superficial. [Preston] is the rare scholar who can educate a non-academic audience in the complexity of an important subject. Preston cuts through a confusion that often surrounds America foreign policy, by laying bare the unusual moral history behind it, a history that begins with the Puritans and proceeds in the grooves illuminated in this beautifully written book.” —The New Republic“In his comprehensive exploration of the relationship between religion and American statecraft, Andrew Preston makes one point clear: there is no understanding the latter without giving careful attention to the former. . . . [A] masterful work of history. . . Preston writes crisply, has an eye for the pungent quotation, and does not shy away from bold judgments. The result is a feisty, engaging, and provocative text.” —Andrew Bacevich, Commonweal “A unified field theory of American foreign relations capturing the play of personality and politics, passion and hypocrisy—all written with a style that further distinguishes [Preston] in a domain as deficient in literary grace as in candour. . . . Preston excels in portraits of the people at the heart of the matter, from the Puritans to Barack Obama. No