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Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When…
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Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections): The…

by Stephen Prothero

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An optimistic book, a good read right after Brexit,

I think he cherry picks his examples but I can't think of a contrary example, one where conservatives rolled back a social advance.

Very like Pinker's Better Angels of our Nature ( )
  Janientrelac | Jun 25, 2016 |
In Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars... Stephen Prothero presents a very well researched and argued thesis. By choosing 5 instances of a culture war, one being the rather long current war, Prothero demonstrates that each follow the same general outline. The first two steps represent the peak of the 'war', namely the firing of the first shot by conservatives and a response from liberals.

One important thing he addresses is that conservative and liberal are fluid labels and neither represents religion, tradition or constitutionality exclusively. To quote Prothero from an interview:

"Truth be told, both sides have tradition on their side. Both can appeal to certain religious or political or constitutional traditions to support their views. But over time, we view our traditions in a more inclusive way."

Conservatives are exclusive while liberals are inclusive. This is why all of the lost conservative movements have been heavily instigated and maintained by those with privilege, change and an inclusive new culture will, they believe, diminish their perceived rightful dominance.

There are points in the book which will annoy a reader on either side of the conservative/liberal divide but there is a great deal to be learned here for anyone willing to engage and think about the material. There will be points of contention yet the facts are not being stretched in order to arrive at some predetermined conclusion. They are presented and interpreted.

I would recommend this for anyone concerned with today's contentious "debates" about what should count as American or not. Additionally this will appeal to those who like history, social/cultural history and American History, as well as politics and religion in America.

Reviewed from a copy made available through Goodreads First Reads. ( )
  pomo58 | Feb 19, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061571296, Hardcover)

In this timely, carefully reasoned social history of the United States, the New York Times bestselling author of Religious Literacy and God Is Not One places today’s heated culture wars within the context of a centuries-long struggle of right versus left and religious versus secular to reveal how, ultimately, liberals always win.

Though they may seem to be dividing the country irreparably, today’s heated cultural and political battles between right and left, Progressives and Tea Party, religious and secular are far from unprecedented. In this engaging and important work, Stephen Prothero reframes the current debate, viewing it as the latest in a number of flashpoints that have shaped our national identity. Prothero takes us on a lively tour through time, bringing into focus the election of 1800, which pitted Calvinists and Federalists against Jeffersonians and “infidels;” the Protestants’ campaign against Catholics in the mid-nineteenth century; the anti-Mormon crusade of the Victorian era; the fundamentalist-modernist debates of the 1920s; the culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s; and the current crusade against Islam.

As Prothero makes clear, our culture wars have always been religious wars, progressing through the same stages of conservative reaction to liberal victory that eventually benefit all Americans. Drawing on his impressive depth of knowledge and detailed research, he explains how competing religious beliefs have continually molded our political, economic, and sociological discourse and reveals how the conflicts which separate us today, like those that came before, are actually the byproduct of our struggle to come to terms with inclusiveness and ideals of “Americanness.” To explore these battles, he reminds us, is to look into the soul of America—and perhaps find essential answers to the questions that beset us.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 04 Aug 2015 16:31:24 -0400)

"In this timely, carefully reasoned social history of the United States, the New York Times bestselling author of Religious Literacy and God Is Not One places today's heated culture wars within the context of a centuries-long struggle of right versus left and religious versus secular to reveal how, ultimately, liberals always win.Though they may seem to be dividing the country irreparably, today's heated cultural and political battles between right and left, Progressives and Tea Party, religious and secular are far from unprecedented. In this engaging and important work, Stephen Prothero reframes the current debate, viewing it as the latest in a number of flashpoints that have shaped our national identity. Prothero takes us on a lively tour through time, bringing into focus the election of 1800, which pitted Calvinists and Federalists against Jeffersonians and "infidels;" the Protestants' campaign against Catholics in the mid-nineteenth century; the anti-Mormon crusade of the Victorian era; the fundamentalist-modernist debates of the 1920s; the culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s; and the current crusade against Islam.As Prothero makes clear, our culture wars have always been religious wars, progressing through the same stages of conservative reaction to liberal victory that eventually benefit all Americans. Drawing on his impressive depth of knowledge and detailed research, he explains how competing religious beliefs have continually molded our political, economic, and sociological discourse and reveals how the conflicts which separate us today, like those that came before, are actually the byproduct of our struggle to come to terms with inclusiveness and ideals of "Americanness." To explore these battles, he reminds us, is to look into the soul of America--and perhaps find essential answers to the questions that beset us"--… (more)

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