Moses in America,
This review is from: America's Prophet: Moses and the American Story (Hardcover)
Mr. Feiler develops a Mosaic narrative for America and starts with what he claims is the First Thanksgiving in North America instead of New England. Research has revealed that St. Augustine, the nation's oldest city, was the site of the nation's first Thanksgiving. Be that as it may the author continues his travels to historic sites weaving the importance to the founding and continued transformation of the U.S.A. was influenced by the story of Moses.
As the author tours historic sites he finds relevant ties to support his theory of Moses and how this prophet works into the very fabric of America, our country's history and it's future. As referenced above Mr. Feiler jumps to the Puritans to start his memoir of his travels with Thanksgiving and the Passover and brings us through important turning points in history to the present day.
The writing though a bit verbose is interesting and recounts history from those who live in the area the events took place and the historical records and later in the book the author is able to interview some who were actually in some way involved with the events in history he speaks of like the civil Rights Movements of the 1960's. And he follows a few steps of the underground railroad but gets the reason for the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation wrong but with good intention and probably what he was taught. The Proclamation was a necessary measure designed to deprive the Confederacy of slave labor, bring additional men into the Union Army and mainly to stop England from supporting the Confederacy.
The Emancipation Proclamation actually did not free any slaves for the Southern States did not recognize the authority of President Lincoln to govern their affairs and in the North, it was beyond the powers of the President to actually abolish slavery in any state. But it does help in Mr. Feiler's narrative as President Lincoln as the Moses of the time and takes us another step away from history.
But the author's narrative of the underground railroad is very interesting as is the symbolism he shows attached to the Liberty Bell and the Statue of Liberty and how the American People made these symbols of Liberty that are still strong to this day the world over. The famous and brave people the author picks out to tie their story into his theory are important and interesting. Some include Thomas Paine, George Washington, Harriet Tubman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abraham Lincoln, C.B DeMille, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Ronald Reagan,George W. Bush and others. The analogy of Moses even made it's way into comics such as Superman.
Of course the author relates his own families Passover celebration with us and how he will share the Exodus story with is children when they ask. His answer is a good one and so is the summation of his book. America is the promise land for many but more important is the legacy of hope for a better tomorrow. It is the author belief and hope that Moses will continue to inspire new generations to renew the story of freedom.