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God's Own Country: Religion and Politics in the USA Paperback – 12 Jun 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (12 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340909277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340909270
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,459,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


An essential read. (Guardian)

With a Presidential election coming up, Bates's observations provide a fascinating, sometimes disturbing, backdrop to the good fight ahead [US elections]. (Independent)

Bates's account of American religious life is detailed, accurate and engaging... (Church Times)

This tour of the wilder shores of US evangelism engages seriously with its ideas.... (Financial Times Magazine)

This is the best book on the religious politics of the USA thats come out for years. Once again, Stephen Bates gets it right. (Rev'd Dr Giles Fraser)

[Stephen Bates] is one of the most perceptive observers of religion in America -- on either side of the Atlantic. (Mark I. Pinsky, author of The Gospel According to the Simpsons)

Insightful, knowledgeable and at times a bit frightening . . . Bates reveals a social and political force with influence on the world stage that cannot be ignored. (Canon Dr Judith Maltby, University of Oxford)

I could not wait for this book to come out and it does not disappoint. (The Times Online)

Bates drove across the Bible Belt to write this book and packs it with a journalist's eye for detail and a good story ... It's a remarkable achievement; vivid, eloquent and vital for anyone wishing trying to understand the soul of the most powerful nation on earth. (Observer, Stephen Pritchard)

intriguing material (Sunday Tribune)

A fascinating insight into the history and political influence of the Religious Right in the USA (UC Magazine)

Book Description

In this new controversial book, Stephen Bates, the Guardian's religious affairs correspondent, investigates the influence of religion on US politics. How has it come to play such an important role and how it will affect the future of the world's superpower as momentum grows to elect a new president?

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"God's Own Country" is an engaging and insightful book written by an Englishman tracing the history of American Christianity from the founding of the country until today. Stephen Bates writes with real clarity and occasional touches of humour, making a subject that might feel hard going always interesting. Subjects include tracing the idea of the separation of religion and state through America's history, the creation vs evolution debate, the links between politics and religion, the Moral Majority, issues of abortion and homosexuality and George W Bush's own personal faith. With his British viewpoint the author explains some of the weirder aspects of modern day American religiosity in an amusing and clear style and yet his affection for America also comes through.

This book is not a dry and objective text book but more of a warm and fascinating journey through America's history and its life today. It shows some of the excesses of American Christians in their attempts to link religion and state but also some of the other people in US history and the present time who work to be voices of reason across the pond.
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Format: Paperback
Stephen Bates's book is an essential read for anybody trying to understand the American religious mindset. As an English alien he is looking on the issues outside enough, so also a Finn like me can also follow things and understand what it is all about.
Book is a troubling tread though, as the American fundamentalist narrow mindedness can really be dumbfounding for a European at times.
The book is also an expose of an exotic phenomena for us Europeans, but I don't think Stephen Bates is just drooling on the stupidity of the Americans, but to my mind he brings out a quite balanced view on how the Religious Right really works.
Stephen Bates is the Religious Affairs Correspondent for the venerable Guardian and this position has opened many doors for him that would be unreachable for many.
He meets many of the leading figures of the Moral Majority and many other American organizations and feels quite comfortable with them even if exposing quirks in their thinking a moment later.

Jaakko Wallenius
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Read this book. Beautifully written. Easy to read . Mr. Bates has done a great job. I shall see what else he has written and buy it or them.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book in order to understand the role of religion in the USA 17 Sept. 2012
By Suntsu - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
It is not just a great book but an essential read if you are interested in USA politics or for that matter for how USA citizens and some of their leaders think.
The author gives historic background on many aspects of the development of various religious branches of Christianity, and empowers his arguments with examples from more recent examples of religious leaders.
Does ridicule the "believers" but gives a in depth context of how religious extremism has influence modern USA society.
To the reader that knows little about the USA society and its addiction to religion it will be a true open eyeer
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