In a fascinating and revelatory book, Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell objectively examine the impact of religion on American life and how religious attitudes have changed in recent decades.
American Grace takes its findings from two of the largest, most comprehensive surveys ever conducted on religion and public life in America, plus in-depth studies of diverse congregations—among them a megachurch, a Mormon congregation, a Catholic parish, a reform Jewish synagogue, and an African American congregation.
From abortion to gay marriage to feminism, this book shows how religion has influenced politics in America—and vice versa. The discoveries are often unexpected: The most politicized churches tend to be liberal, not conservative, congregations. Faith matters less to Americans than their communities of faith. Most Americans marry outside their religion. And nearly half of all Americans change their religion at some point during their lifetime.
Robert D. Putnam won huge acclaim for Bowling Alone and Better Together. Together with coauthor David E. Campbell, Putnam brings his distinctive brand of in-depth research and analysis to religion in America.
"An essential resource for anyone trying to understand twenty-first-century America." ---Booklist Starred Review
"This surprising, absolutely fascinating, and ultimately uplifting portrait of the changing role of religion in American life deserves the widest possible audience. It is a triumph." ---Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals
"Robert Putnam and David Campbell have produced an original and thought-provoking work." ---Jon Meacham, author of American Gospel
"American Grace is an instant canonical text." ---Cornel West, Center for African American Studies, Princeton University
"A monumental and insightful sociological analysis of the current religious climate and how it developed. Highly recommended." ---Library Journal Starred Review
"A welcome balm, offering a reasoned discussion of religion and public life." ---Wall Street Journal
"The most successfully argued sociological study of American religion in more than half a century." ---San Francisco Chronicle
"The answers offered by Putnam and Campbell deserve the attention of everyone concerned about America's future cohesion." ---The New York Times
"Written in an easy-to-digest, journalistic style, American Grace is...packed with fun facts." ---The Washington Post
"Putnam and Campbell (with their researcher, Garrett) have done the public a great service in not only producing their own mammoth survey of American religion but also drawing from many prior statistical studies, enabling readers to track mostly gradual change over time." ---Publishers Weekly