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Lecture

Frances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America

- Fully Registered

Monday, April 10, 2017 - 6:30 PM
| Open to the Public | Members' Room | $15 per person | advance registration required

This groundbreaking book from Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Frances FitzGerald is the first to tell the powerful, dramatic story of the evangelical movement in America—from the Puritan era to the 2016 presidential election.

The evangelical movement began in the revivals of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, known in America as the Great Awakenings. A populist rebellion against the established churches, it became the dominant religious force in the country. During the nineteenth century white evangelicals split apart dramatically, first North versus South, and then at the end of the century, modernist versus fundamentalist. After World War II, revivalist preacher Billy Graham tried to gather all Protestants under his big tent, but the civil rights movement and the social revolution of the Sixties drove them apart again. By the 1980s Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and other televangelists had formed the Christian right. Protesting abortion and gay rights, they led the South into the Republican Party. For thirty-five years they were the sole voice of evangelicals to be heard nationally, but eventually a younger generation proposed a broader agenda of issues including climate change, gender equality, and immigration reform.

Evangelicals have in many ways defined the nation. They have shaped our culture and our politics. Frances FitzGerald’s narrative of this distinctively American movement is a major work of history, piecing together the centuries-long story for the first time.

Frances FitzGerald is the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Bancroft Prize, and a prize from the National Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is the author of Fire in the Lake: the Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam; America Revised: History School Books in the Twentieth Century; Cities on a Hill: A Journey through Contemporary American Cultures; Way Out in the Blue: Reagan, Star Wars and the End of the Cold War; and Vietnam: Spirits of the Earth. She has written for the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Harper’s, the New York Review of Books, the Nation, Rolling Stone, and Esquire.

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