One Nation, Under Gods: A New American History

One Nation Under Gods A New American History A groundbreaking new look at the story of AmericaAt the heart of the nation s spiritual history are audacious and often violent scenes But the Puritans and the shining city on the hill give us just on

  • Title: One Nation, Under Gods: A New American History
  • Author: Peter Manseau
  • ISBN: 9780316100038
  • Page: 223
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A groundbreaking new look at the story of AmericaAt the heart of the nation s spiritual history are audacious and often violent scenes But the Puritans and the shining city on the hill give us just one way to understand the United States Rather than recite American history from a Christian vantage point, Peter Manseau proves that what really happened is worth a close, frA groundbreaking new look at the story of AmericaAt the heart of the nation s spiritual history are audacious and often violent scenes But the Puritans and the shining city on the hill give us just one way to understand the United States Rather than recite American history from a Christian vantage point, Peter Manseau proves that what really happened is worth a close, fresh look.Thomas Jefferson himself collected books on all religions and required that the brand new Library of Congress take his books, since Americans needed to consider the twenty gods or no god he famously noted were revered by his neighbors Looking at the Americans who believed in these gods, Manseau fills in America s story of itself, from the persecuted witches at Salem and who they really were, to the persecuted Buddhists in WWII California, from spirituality and cults in the 60s to the recent presidential election where both candidates were for the first time non traditional Christians.One Nation, Under Gods shows how much there is to the history we tell ourselves, right back to the country s earliest days Dazzling in its scope and sweep, it is an American history unlike any you ve read.

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  • Peter Manseau

    Peter Manseau Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the One Nation, Under Gods: A New American History book, this is one of the most wanted Peter Manseau author readers around the world.

  • 594 Comments

  • This was quite interesting. I have it as an audio book, which makes it difficult to go back and check details, so I can't offer much by way of review. The author's point is that America has been, since its earliest days, a religious melting pot. He starts with the beliefs of the Taino, a native people of the Caribbean at the time of Columbus's visit, and works forward in time. Lots on good stuff here. For instance, apparently, many Africans brought to this country as slaves were Muslims, and sla [...]


  • The author tells a series of stories from 1492 until today, and he tells the stories so well that if I were to pick a random year, I could tell you which story the author told and also tell you the chapter that came before and the chapter that came after. He tells his story so well that I can in my mind recreate the book from the first chapter to the last and not miss a chapter in the telling. Within each story the author will put the story into the context of the time and then tie the pieces to [...]


  • After reading "One Nation, Under Gods: A New American History" it is hard to escape the conclusion that America as a society came into existence as distinctly Christian. It also becomes clear that America as a nation has been religiously diverse since its creation. Standing between these apparent contradictions is the fact that America's founding documents were carefully crafted to protect that diversity and to a certain extent promote pluralism. Mansaeau's history chronicles that diversity and [...]


  • This book has a cover quote by Reza Aslan, which is why I picked it up. And it definitely does remind me of Aslan’s work: good history and gripping narrative. By the end of it, you’ll understand the history behind some events that have become cultural mythology (and tend to get used as rhetoric), and you’ll have leveled up your skills at trolling Fox News watchers.Manseau’s main point: the United States was never the “Christian nation” FOX News would have you believe, and it’s alwa [...]


  • A secular and at times philosophical examination of the impact religions have had on the conquest and development of the United States. It takes a broad look at how various non-Christian beliefs have shaped the country and the way they altered Christian belief and Eurocentric cultural norms even while being oppressed, sometimes to the point of obliteration.


  • This novel provides factual documented information detailing America's religious hypocrisy since the Puritans arrived on the shores belonging to an indigenous people who they identified as heathens soulless savages who need their religion to save their souls.The foundation of American Christian's is rooted in escaping the persecution of England, yet to arrive upon a continent to spread the word of their religion while never understanding the people, their language, or their religion already in p [...]


  • It's taken me almost a year to finish this book. That's not a reflection on the quality of the book at all, but it does speak to the fact that there's so much stuff packed in here that I had to read it very, very slowly in order to absorb everything and give each section the attention it deserved. I learned a lot from this book, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about America's peculiar relationship with religion.


  • This was exactly the kind of book I like best -- solid scholarship written in a very readable style; new information that's been hiding in plain sight; a story that enriches rather than diminishes my view of the complexity of the world. I loved learning more about Tituba and the ways in which the practices that got her accused of witchcraft (charges she successfully defeated, unlike many of her unluckier sisters in Salem) were drawn from African and Native American syncretistic traditions. I lov [...]


  • Wow, what a fantastic read and timely too in these times of religious and ethnic hatred with violence and perpetual mistrust.Peter Manseau has done a wonderful historical rendering of colonization of America both ethnic, religious and cultural starting fro the Spanish to British and French with race relations with the natives and their traditions and later migrant influence from other traditions including Jewish, Chinese, Japanese, Indians with their own customs, religions, conflicts and history [...]


  • This book didn’t as much challenge the conventional notion that America was a primarily a Christian nation at its founding, I think if you read between the lines in the story you can see the author acknowledges this. The book was rich with well researched stories of how people of other faiths were in America prior to Christians arriving and how people of these other faiths fought for their piece of the American dream and were many times persecuted for it. It also shows in some detail how polit [...]



  • Very good insights into the religious diversity that was America with the arrival of the first people from the Old World. Note that I didn't say Europe.People knowledgeable about the early recorded history of the Americas know that one of the survivors of the Narvaez expedition, along with Cabeza de Vaca, was the Moorish slave Estevanico. who later guided Father de Niza's exploration of today's Arizona and New Mexico beforee either being killed by the Zuni or becoming part of their culture. Mans [...]


  • Even at over 400 pages, this book seems "thin."It's because Manseau has chosen such a broad lens through which to examine American history--from deism, through atheism, to Islam, Hinduism, and every other religious idea to percolate here. It's just amazing.Most interesting to me was the way Islam has been a part of America almost since the beginning, since many of Columbus's sailors were former Jews and Muslims hiding under a veneer of Christianity in order to escape the Inquisition. The way tha [...]


  • I received this book for free through First Reads. This book was an enjoyable and, having come from a high school that taught limited history, highly informative read. During my school teachings my history lessons were most remembered for having to memorize which events occurred on which dates, without any explanation or discussion on their actual significance. More specifically, this book's true intrigue is in how many of the most storied men and women in history have influenced, been effected [...]


  • ONUG profiles a series of individuals from pre-colonization to the late 60s to tell the story of religion in the United States. These personal stories are used to give a sense of the religious climate in their given time. For the most part, Manseau seeks to give attention to mostly unheard of characters rather than the headliners of American religious history. This is done not to necessarily to subvert all we know about American religion, while showing that America has always been a multi-religi [...]


  • I picked this one up on the recommendation of a former therapist.Manseau tells the religious history of our nation from a perspective seldom seen before. The Founding Fathers were not as religious as the Right would have us believe, and that lack of uniformity transformed this country into the melting pot it is today. I always dig into these histories looking for references to historical atheism, but the only stuff I found here pertains to the early colonial days, circa the 1720s."Among the char [...]


  • America is often described as a Christian nation and painted with broad strokes as a country built on Puritan beliefs, but Peter Manseau makes it clear that there is much more behind our religious history.In chronological sections, starting before the arrival of Columbus, One Nation, Under Gods follows the rise and fall of religions in the colonies and United States. While some stories, like those of Anne Hutchinson and the Salem Witch Trials, are familiar others are more surprising. Manseau cha [...]


  • What an eye-opener this book will be to those who think we, as a nation, was founded on Christianity and are to be a Christian nation today. This scholarly yet very readable book will show historically the influence and importance of varied religious and cultural groups from the 1490s-2009. Notes are located at the end of the book rather than at the bottom of the page or end of the chapter. The index has proven helpful especially when a teen lamented having to give an oral report in class about [...]


  • This was deceptively digestible. Each chapter covers a particular instance of religious difference ranging from early colonial times to our own more relatively tolerant ones. It may as well be called a history of American syncretism. Whether discussing Cotton Mather's unintentional forays into African religious practices by way of smallpox inoculation, the influence of Islam on slave religion, the role of Chinatowns in the introduction of Buddhism to the US public, Manceau in his erudite way ill [...]


  • A very entertaining read on a topic I haven't seen much about. Some deep research on the simple premise that America has been a very religiously diverse place since long before it was a modern country. My particular favorites were the chapters about Cotton Mather (his fight for smallpox inoculation, and the unintentional crisis of faith it led to) and Jefferson's Library (his donation to kickstart the Library Congress, and the proto-culture war that broke out over the collection's content). I di [...]


  • This is a history of the effect that religion has had on the United States, going back to the time of Columbus. The author takes the tack of telling the story through specific individuals and then relating these individuals to greater social trends. The primary point that the author is trying to make is that the claim that "America was founded as a Christian nation" with the implication that it was an evangelical brand of Christianity to boot misses much of the richness of what really happened. [...]


  • Potpouri of vignettes of very different stands in the tapestry of religious history in the U.S. from colonization to the present. Lots of major and minor religions and religious movents on display from the Pilgrims, the native american religions, LDS, various Christianities, Judaisms, Islams, Hinduisms, Budhisms, New Ages and secularists. A multicolored mixture. The watchword for this book is plural and pluralism.


  • This was a very good description of the various religions housed in this country. I would've preferred if it hadn't read so much like a textbook. However, there were many interesting tidbits including Thomas Jefferson's belief that we would all be Unitarians in a very short period of time after his death. Also, the fact that many Sikhs married Mexicans because neither were allowed to marry anglos and they were both considered in the classification of brown people so they intermarried.


  • Fact heavy, information light, as hard as I tried, I simply could NOT force myself to finish this book. If one finds ones self intrigued by the book's (I believe missed) targeted concept, one would be well advised to find a library copy to read first.


  • Fantastic book about the development of religious diversity in the United States, but I wish he could have pulled back to a wider scope. These are more like unrelated vignettes throughout the history of the country. 3+/4-


  • Well written history of religion in the Colonies and the U.S making particular note of the contributions of the varieties of religions, Christians, and non-believers in knitting together the fabric of our country.


  • Through stories of various individuals from early America up to today, Manseau presents a picture of religious diversity that has shaped this country.




  • Reading history is not always interesting, unless written by an author like Peter Manseau. Well worth reading.


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