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  • Title : Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections)

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  • ISBN: 0061571296

  • Number of Pages: 264 pages


Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections) Description

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 coun 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 Get A CopyKindle Store Online StoresAudibleBarnes NobleKoboApple iBooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoHalf.comAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Hardcover, 264 pages Published January 5th 2016 by HarperOne first published April 28th 2015 More Details ISBN 0061571296 ISBN13 9780061571299 Other Editions 6 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars Even When They Lose Elections , please sign up

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Lists with This Book Jack Daws Condolarthian Roadtrip to Destruction 23 books 1 voter BitchesRead 100 books 1 voter More lists with this book Community Reviews showing 1 30 filter sort default Rating Details 0 copy ratingGraph.clone j rating_details_tip_graph.remove copy.attr id , rating_details_tip_graph copy.find script.remove j rating_details_tip.prepend copy May 12, 2016 Louise rated it really liked it Shelves us policy In 2006, S.T Joshi explained why conservatives were so shrill in The Angry Right Why Conservatives Keep Getting It Wrong With FDR s unchristian Social Security a popular program, birth control widely available and most public places successfully integrated, he showed how conservative anger stems from losing.Now, Stephen Prothero poses that it isn t the losing that makes conservatives angry, it s the changes that drive them to start the war and he firmly says its conservatives who start t In 2006, S.T Joshi explained why conservatives were so shrill in The Angry Right Why Conservatives Keep Getting It Wrong With FDR s unchristian Social Security a popular program, birth control widely available and most public places successfully integrated, he showed how conservative anger stems from losing.Now, Stephen Prothero poses that it isn t the losing that makes conservatives angry, it s the changes that drive them to start the war and he firmly says its conservatives who start the culture wars After the war the issue that is won becomes part of the norm and the conservatives act as though they never objected and liberals rarely get any credit for their work and foresight First he gives an historically grounded narrative showing that conservatives emotionally react once they see too much of a change that upsets their view of the world By the time they react they are essentially fighting a lost cause Another factor is that by its nature a culture war involves a principle of including who is in the American family and allowed its freedoms Reaction against changes that favor expanded freedom and inclusion go against the weight of US legal foundations and the general national DNA Recent acts in one of today s culture wars prove Prothero s point After the conservative Supreme Court has weighed in on gay marriage and state wide referenda reflect growing support for the gay community, North Carolina s governor is totally blindsided His state is losing billions in business revenue and federal aid over a rest room non issue drama When conservatives pushed this legislation, like their Indiana counterparts, they did it in reactive anger They had no idea that the issue was settled for most in the nation.The longest portions of the book show the history of primarily religious issues He exhaustively quotes the anti Jefferson charging him with deism along with being a Francophile , anti Catholic and anti Mormon diatribes, showing them to be poisonous than today s culture war rhetoric He writes of the fight over alcohol which was led by religious leaders Interesting to me, were how these wars ended Jefferson was elected the Catholic community grew and integrated the Mormons made an official statement banning polygamy World War I helped usher in the 18th Amendment and the depression helped usher it out.The section on today s culture wars was too breezy While liberal successes are clear, Prothero does not discuss the big loss sensible gun control Leaving this out leaves out a discussion of how money can distort the debate The conservative think tanks and their access to media can and have changed the playing field and Prothero s thesis that in America liberty continues to expand may not survive as conservative reactive institutions become entrenched in the political landscape While the book is weighed down in demonstrating how vitriolic the past culture wars were, there is a lot of food for thought I recommend this book for those interested in this topic with the caveat If you have time pressures and we all do you might want to skim some parts to get the heart of the thesis flag 11 likesLike see review View all 8 comments Mar 15, 2017 Peter Mcloughlin rated it really liked it Shelves 1960 to 1989, politics, 1890 1959, general history, complexity, american history, intellectual history, law, nonfiction, 1701 to 1800, 1801 to 1900, 1990 to present, modernism, religion or not, 00002both It can be comforting to read a history that tells us our current political battles are of the same since the beginning of the republic Basically, the thesis of this book is the culture wars a perennial problem in our republic from the alien and sedition acts in the 1790s to the Anti Catholic Know nothings of the 1840s, Temperance and Prohibition and immigration restrictions of the 1920s, to our current culture wars against homosexuals and immigrants and women I want to think that everythi It can be comforting to read a history that tells us our current political battles are of the same since the beginning of the republic Basically, the thesis of this book is the culture wars a perennial problem in our republic from the alien and sedition acts in the 1790s to the Anti Catholic Know nothings of the 1840s, Temperance and Prohibition and immigration restrictions of the 1920s, to our current culture wars against homosexuals and immigrants and women I want to think that everything will work out for the better in the long run but I am afraid 2016 is unprecedented in so many ways that the pattern may actually break this time I know it is easy to fall into political histrionics by the assault of current events but I can t help feeling that it is different today Maybe that is how people felt in 1790, 1840, 1920 but it is often hard to take the measure of our situation as events unfold The lessons of history are important but it is just as important not apply the wrong lesson flag 4 likesLike see review Feb 17, 2016 Bonnie McDaniel rated it liked it Shelves non fiction, religion, history, culture wars, liberalism I took a brief non fiction break for this book, and it turned out to be a fascinating history lesson This book goes back to the Founders, and the elections of 1796 and 1800, to weave a well researched story about culture wars, and oppression, and how, at least in these kinds of fights, liberal progress is inevitably made Also, if you think the 2012 elections were nasty, and this current cycle will be worse yet well, the Thomas Jefferson of 1800 would like to have a word with you Topics inclu I took a brief non fiction break for this book, and it turned out to be a fascinating history lesson This book goes back to the Founders, and the elections of 1796 and 1800, to weave a well researched story about culture wars, and oppression, and how, at least in these kinds of fights, liberal progress is inevitably made Also, if you think the 2012 elections were nasty, and this current cycle will be worse yet well, the Thomas Jefferson of 1800 would like to have a word with you Topics include The Jefferson Wars, Anti Catholicism, The Mormon Question, Prohibition and Pluralism, and The Contemporary Culture Wars Notice a theme running through these chapters Yes, fights over religion have been at the heart of most of it I d read a bit before about how terribly the Mormons were treated although, to be fair, they did participate in a few massacres of their own , but I had no idea how deeply anti Catholic sentiment ran at one time in this country Convents were burned, discriminatory laws were passed, they were reviled in print and political cartoons, there were anti Catholic riots in Philadelphia and other places, property was destroyed and people died All because people were afraid there was a Catholic plot to overrun America It was enlightening reading, but damn it was hard to get through The most interesting chapter, to me, was Chapter 5, The Contemporary Culture Wars We think of today s Christian Right as hellbent against abortion and gay marriage, and holding tight to traditional family values This is certainly the way they present themselves now, but it is not the way they started out This chapter tells a little discussed but fascinating tale as to what really woke this sleeping religious giant in the late 70 s early 80 s, and it had nothing to do with any of the above The author quotes Paul Weyrich, a conservative strategist who coined the term moral majority and would go on to become a kingmaker in the Religious Right p 194 What galvanized the Christian community was not abortion, school prayer, or the ERAI am living witness to that because I was trying to get these people interested in those issues and I utterly failed What changed their mind was Jimmy Carter s intervention against the Christian schools, trying to deny them tax exempt status on the basis of so called de facto segregation You know, I remember reading a quote and I ll be hanged if I know from who that said if you scratch any American wound deeply enough, you will find racism and or a fear of the Other underneath the scab Certainly that common thread runs through this book This is quite the interesting history lesson, but it makes me glad to know that, as Dr Martin Luther King Jr said, the arc of history bends toward justice flag 3 likesLike see review Jan 25, 2016 Dustin rated it it was amazing A fascinating look at how religion as well as racism, bigotry, and xenophobia plays into the American political scene from the Founding Fathers to President Obama I highly recommend this book to all Americans before they cast their votes in November flag 3 likesLike see review Apr 03, 2016 Chris Jaffe rated it liked it Shelves history, us history, current events This is an interesting book, though it overstates its case Prothero argues that when you look at the big cultural battles in US history, a pattern emerges A conservative faction sees a change, denounce it, fight against it, but lose Prothero argues that they tend to take on lost causes they take on a change after it s already become part of the dominant culture and isn t going backwards He also argues the conservatives initiate the culture wars even when they claim the other side is the on This is an interesting book, though it overstates its case Prothero argues that when you look at the big cultural battles in US history, a pattern emerges A conservative faction sees a change, denounce it, fight against it, but lose Prothero argues that they tend to take on lost causes they take on a change after it s already become part of the dominant culture and isn t going backwards He also argues the conservatives initiate the culture wars even when they claim the other side is the one changing it He defines a cultural war as something containing these four features public disputes, extend clearly beyond economic issues like taxation and into moral religious cultural concerns, they bring up questions of what it means to be an American and what America itself is, and have a heated rhetoric of war driven by the conviction that the enemies are also the enemies of the nation To make his point, he looks at five instances of culture was in America and shows how they fit this pattern 1 The Jefferson wars over the alleged atheism of Thomas Jefferson , 2 the anti Catholic crusade, 3 the anti Mormon fight, 4 prohibition, and 5 modern culture wars By and large, yeah culture wars tend to end in conservative losses He even notes some modern conservative cultural warriors bemoaning the losses of the last few decades and how liberal opinion on issues like gay rights and multiculturalism have gained power But I found myself wondering how much of this was selective picking Ultimately, even Prothero notes that the conservatives won the ERA battle in the 1970s And that s the one problem with the book s thesis conservatives can win if they convince many others that they are right Heck, you can see something similar if you look at the increasing support for gun rights and corresponding decline in gun control over the last 20 years Immigration restriction can be considered a cultural war and in the 1920s conservatives won it Even prohibition yes it was a fiasco, but it was after decades of success at the state local levels Really, it s all in how you define it Also, the chapter on modern culture wars was far too loosely focused Prothero does argue at the end that culture wars have extended in recent decades OK, fine But he s got a page and a half on about 20 topics in that last chapter, after previous chapters spent a long time on one topic each It s a bit flabby and flaccid That also points out there are always multiple culture wars going on They may not be as big as nowadays, but there are always some He talks about prohibition in the 1920s, but that also had immigration restriction, Sacco Vanzetti, the Scopes Monkey Trial, and others It s a decent book, but nothing great flag 2 likesLike see review Jan 24, 2016 Jerry Smith rated it liked it Shelves history, politics, 2016 read I enjoyed this book but as always, it is a book I am predestined to agree with given my political worldview Historically this was particularly interesting and the overall theme of the book is that conservatives are always fighting a rearguard action in a vain attempt to prevent the loss of some treasured ideal, and blaming the un American liberal as the font of all that is evil in bringing this about I guess the argument is basically that what they do is too little, too late, and that the cult I enjoyed this book but as always, it is a book I am predestined to agree with given my political worldview Historically this was particularly interesting and the overall theme of the book is that conservatives are always fighting a rearguard action in a vain attempt to prevent the loss of some treasured ideal, and blaming the un American liberal as the font of all that is evil in bringing this about I guess the argument is basically that what they do is too little, too late, and that the culture war is already moving away from them by the time they try to save matters so they are doomed to failure.That is accurate, but hardly a new insight At least, that is how I have always viewed conservatives, in particular the extreme right wing Tea Party etc that is currently spewing out such rhetoric There doesn t seem to be a place for constructive or moderate conservatism these days, which I would think are the natural political habitat for many So this book, to me, fell into an account of the liberals coming out on the winning side in the culture wars, but the promise in the title of WHY this should be so was a little lacking to me Apart from the theme above, there isn t much else that I could see Maybe that is all there is to it but I would have liked on what has driven the conservative agenda to the extreme right How has this manifested itself in the past and how did the liberals win those arguments It seems to me that the general population moving left on certain issues doesn t really fully explain it The most recent culture wars over gay marriage etc may not be entirely over although I hope that they are but this wasn t given the coverage that I had hoped, nor was the rise of evangelical conservatism, at least not in the depth I would have liked to see.So interesting, worth a read for the historical context but didn t quite go as far as I was hoping flag 2 likesLike see review Jul 03, 2017 Malcolm rated it it was amazing Stephen Prothero has written an extremely readable and well researched history of the culture wars from the founding of the republic until the present This book is relaxed in tone and very informative Readers interested in the current state of American politics would be well served to see how our modern history rhymes with the past flag 1 likeLike see review Mar 03, 2017 Tim rated it liked it review of another edition Probably 3.5 stars I thought the premise was really interesting, but I found myself ski mm pp ing large sections It is not fair to review a book that you did not read parts of, I suppose But, I am glad that I read the introduction and the conclusion The rest was not worth the time and effort for me flag 1 likeLike see review Aug 24, 2016 Keith Davis rated it really liked it Prothero places the recent U.S culture wars about gay marriage and abortion in a historical context of past American culture wars He is careful to qualify his analysis to admit that there are many other factors involved in this events beyond religion and morality, but his does show an ongoing conservative vs progressive cultural conflict going back to colonial times His thesis is that while conservatives often win short term victories, in the long term the progressive agenda always comes out Prothero places the recent U.S culture wars about gay marriage and abortion in a historical context of past American culture wars He is careful to qualify his analysis to admit that there are many other factors involved in this events beyond religion and morality, but his does show an ongoing conservative vs progressive cultural conflict going back to colonial times His thesis is that while conservatives often win short term victories, in the long term the progressive agenda always comes out on top.Prothero first looks at the 1800 election of Thomas Jefferson Because of Jefferson s reluctance to publicly discuss his religious beliefs many religious leaders took advantage of his silence to denounce Jefferson as a closet atheist or even a Mohammedan He goes on to look at the anti Catholicism movement that started in the 1830 s and the anti Mormonism movement of the 1850 s Catholics are so throughly integrated into American society today that it is hard to believe there was a time when they were treated with the same hostility as Communists were in the 20th century Anti Catholicism was as much anti immigrant as it was a religious movement, but it and anti Mormonism reflect the conservative tendency to fear change and fight against a loss of cultural dominance Finally he looks at the Prohibition movement that successfully outlawed the sale of alcohol in the U.S from 1920 1933 This may have been the last time that a morals crusade grew into a big enough national movement to impose its will on the general public.It is hard to argue with Prothero s thesis that progressives tend to prevail in the long term He could have expanded the argument to include Abolition, labor movements, the Civil Rights movement, and women s rights as well, but while those were long term progressive victories the conservative opposition was less focused on morality, so they would be a bit beyond the scope of Prothero s argument flag 1 likeLike see review Jan 11, 2017 Tom Rowe rated it it was ok Shelves audible, non fiction, own, history, audiobook, 2017 Meh This started out very interesting examining the religious aspects of the election of 1800, moving on to the persecution and riots against Catholics in the mid 1800s, and then the prejudice against Mormons After that, it went on to talk about prohibition, and I didn t find the argument quite as convincing Finally, it ended with today s culture wars which I m just tired of because Facebook So if you think the world is ending because Trump will be president, read this book It might help g Meh This started out very interesting examining the religious aspects of the election of 1800, moving on to the persecution and riots against Catholics in the mid 1800s, and then the prejudice against Mormons After that, it went on to talk about prohibition, and I didn t find the argument quite as convincing Finally, it ended with today s culture wars which I m just tired of because Facebook So if you think the world is ending because Trump will be president, read this book It might help get you through whatever length of time he has in office.If you think your way of life is being destroyed by foreigners or brown people, or people who don t believe in your god, don t read this book It will just make you paranoid.For me, first half great, second half just draining flag 1 likeLike see review Mar 30, 2016 Andrew Willis rated it it was ok It would probably be appropriate to title the book, How Conservatives Lose Culture Wars For example, the battles of the modern era such as gay marriage and abortion he simply talks about the conservative response as if these subjects had a long cherished history in the nation and conservatives suddenly took a turn on them I was hoping to discover how the liberal side had successfully pushed their issues However, the book was focused on the conservative response and their losing tactics It would probably be appropriate to title the book, How Conservatives Lose Culture Wars For example, the battles of the modern era such as gay marriage and abortion he simply talks about the conservative response as if these subjects had a long cherished history in the nation and conservatives suddenly took a turn on them I was hoping to discover how the liberal side had successfully pushed their issues However, the book was focused on the conservative response and their losing tactics which was informative but not what I was expecting based on the title flag 1 likeLike see review Jul 03, 2016 Rosalie rated it it was amazing Informative, insightful, compassionate and timely, an altogether excellent read flag 1 likeLike see review Jun 20, 2017 JaNel rated it really liked it Shelves interest Very insightful, illuminating, and a good analysis of history and our modern situation Do not skip the introduction I especially liked chapters 1 and 5, but those in between introduce ideas he ties together laterchokengtitik

titikchokeng 17 Cultural wars are started by conservatives who typically choose for their rallying cries causes that are already on the verge of being lost p 16 fight to restore their beloved past real or imagined Then that idea is eventually defeated and becomes part of the America Very insightful, illuminating, and a good analysis of history and our modern situation Do not skip the introduction I especially liked chapters 1 and 5, but those in between introduce ideas he ties together laterchokengtitik

titikchokeng 17 Cultural wars are started by conservatives who typically choose for their rallying cries causes that are already on the verge of being lost p 16 fight to restore their beloved past real or imagined Then that idea is eventually defeated and becomes part of the American fabric and the Conservatives choose another losing battle in the meantime, the overall arc of history leans left toward liberalism inclusive and toleration p 18 Cycle of Cultural Wars1 Conservatives experience cultural change as a loss , this starts the conservative primal scream of them vs us , 2 liberals counter attack w A the change is a positive good B American principal of libery i.e the Constitution supports greater freedom for citizens to do whatever it is3 some sort of accomodation or adjustment is made by the change makers or those demanding freedom4 Battleground shifts to next question, but meanwhile mostly acceps the old one5 Conservatives become martyrs to the lost cause and say that Am society is going to hell6 Look for new enemies so they can remain morally superiorp 27 George Washington on party politics sounds like a op ed on the recent Russian meddling in our election It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public adminstration It agitates the community with ill founded jealousies and false alarems, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself throuhg the channels of party passionschokengtitik

titikchokeng 52 conservatives turn differences of opinion into differences of principal, good vs evilp 184 Much of the leftist movements are reactionary than radical a response to long standing bigotry a social reform rather than a religious crusade It is social conservatives who inject into these debates the rhetoric of war p 184 If liberals are wide eyed parents to be, hoping for a better future for their children, conservatives are anxious parents, clutching their children close and willing to fight not to lose them in an increasingly bewildering world instead of making it blatantly about race which it was is , the Right pivoted it to an attack on religion as an attack on Christianity many racist stances being justified in the Bible and turning themselves into the victims and the family traditional, of course There s only ONE way to be a family p 197 conservatives have a long history of adopting liberal rhetoric talking left, while walking right i.e abortion is a holocaust , ERA violates religious women s rights, affirmative action is reverse discrimination p 200 instead of defending white superiority and the Souther way of Life, they called it Christian America According to this narrarive of loss, the US is not an experiment in Enlightenment virtue undertaken by Deists and Unitarians who wrote a godless constitution It is a Christian project initiated by men who followed Jesus ChristThe First Amendment was not designed to protect the state from church interference, but the Church from government overreach Secular humanism became unAmerican and those who proselytize for it were guilty of treason as well as apostasy Extreme conservatism is a charade that protects racism and patriarchy under the guise of America calling it religion and family because it sounds better And anything anyone does to widen the net or achieve true equality is seen as a federal attack into family and religion, and anyone who wants it is a traitorchokengtitik

titikchokeng 210 conservatives may worry about liberty lapsing into anarchy and equality into mediocrity, butwe should cast our vote for American values of equality under the law nonetheless p 252 conservatives are anxious about things out of place women not in the home, blacks and gays anywhere, most change flag Like see review Nov 12, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it Shelves nonfiction, history, politics, religion, economics, narrative nonfiction, american history This book has an interesting and compelling premise, that the culture wars we experience today are not unique to modern America and that liberal ideals of pluralism and diversity ultimately win out over the conservative resistance to pluralism and diversity It seems that Prothero makes his case, but I felt that the case studies selected were somewhat limited He chose five examples the Federalists conservatives vs the Democratic Republicans liberals and in particular Jefferson , the protest This book has an interesting and compelling premise, that the culture wars we experience today are not unique to modern America and that liberal ideals of pluralism and diversity ultimately win out over the conservative resistance to pluralism and diversity It seems that Prothero makes his case, but I felt that the case studies selected were somewhat limited He chose five examples the Federalists conservatives vs the Democratic Republicans liberals and in particular Jefferson , the protestant majority conservatives vs the immigrant Catholics liberal cause in the early 1800s, the protestant majority conservatives vs the Mormon faith liberal cause , the Prohibitionists conservatives vs the anti Prohibitionists liberal , and finally the modern American conservative vs liberal culture war Several things struck me as interesting First, you have to cast off the modern definitions of liberal and conservative and go with the traditional definitions, meaning different liberal and not different conservative And even then, the case of Prohibition gets a little murky because of the coalition of forces that brought it about and the fact that Prohibition was itself a change albeit a change to restrict a right The case of Mormon discrimination gets a bit murky as well because much of the negative press albeit not all was centered around polygamy.I found that the anti Catholic sentiment of the early 19th century very strongly resembled the anti Semitism of the late 19th century and early 20th century, which strongly resembles the anti Muslim sentiment present in today s America I think Prothero makes that case very well.Conspicuously missing from this analysis of the culture wars is the ultimate culture war, the issue of slavery I think a fair treatment of slavery as an issue that divides America would require that the book be twice as long and would perhaps seems the author into America s most analyzed period in history, so I don t blame him for leaving that out.Onto the other major premise of the book, that conservatives usually start culture wars and ultimately lose, not so much because of the adept effort of the liberals, but because of the fact that they start the war only after the change they are opposing is already irreversible I think Prothero makes his case here, with the exception of the Mormon case related to polygamy In the case of the Mormons, the main issue of polygamy was never seen as acceptable in American society, and so that particular type of diversity never became mainstream I guess we can be glad pluralism doesn t always succeed.I like the way the book ends, which is with an optimistic and constructive view The author suggests that the way to overcome all the wasted time spent on culture wars is to communicate with people who are different So do I recommend the book Yes, but only if you plan to read it with an open mind If you are opposed to the premise of the book based on the title then you probably shouldn t waste your time If you are a liberal who is bummed about the 2016 Presidential election then I think you might take solace in the fact that freedoms and rights, once granted, are very difficult to revoke For example, if gay marriage licenses are revoked then the outrage will be much greater than it would have been if they had never been permitted Once accepted, the liberal position of expanding rights becomes the conservative position of protecting those rights The arc of history bends towards justice, and justice strongly favors acceptance of those who are different flag Like see review Apr 03, 2016 Book rated it really liked it Shelves atheism religion, politics economics, social science Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars Even When They Lose Elections A History of the Religious Battles That Define America from Jefferson s Heresies to Gay Marriage Today by Stephen Prothero Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars is a very interesting book that seeks to make sense of American culture wars New York Times bestselling author and chair of the religion department at Boston University, Stephen Prothero takes the reader on a journey that takes us back to the earliest moments when Americans Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars Even When They Lose Elections A History of the Religious Battles That Define America from Jefferson s Heresies to Gay Marriage Today by Stephen Prothero Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars is a very interesting book that seeks to make sense of American culture wars New York Times bestselling author and chair of the religion department at Boston University, Stephen Prothero takes the reader on a journey that takes us back to the earliest moments when Americans clashed over moral questions to current hot button issues This stimulating 341 page book includes the following five chapters 1 The Jefferson Wars, 2 Anti Catholicism, 3 The Mormon Question, 4 Prohibition and Pluralism, and 5 The Contemporary Culture Wars Positives 1 Interesting, well researched and well written book Fair, civil and respectful treatment 2 A fascinating premise, why liberals win the culture wars and the recurring patterns Today s culture wars, this book argues, are part of a recurring pattern in U.S history episodes in the story of one not so indivisible nation forever at war with itself 3 Stephen Prothero has mastery of the topic and provides compelling arguments to back his main premise In almost every case since the founding of the republic, conservatives have fired the first shots in our culture wars Equally often, liberals have won 4 A comprehensive Introduction where the author explains the culture wars cycle and provides a generous appetizer This book is the result of my investigations It provides a new lens on the contemporary culture wars a lens that views our current battles over abortion and homosexuality and Islam as part of a long story of cultural conflict dating back to the withdrawal of George Washington from political life 5 The book s approach is episodic rather than exhaustive It breaks American history into five episodes the Jefferson wars, the anti Catholic crusade in ante bellum America, anti Mormonism before and after the civil war, prohibition in the 1920s and 1930s, and the culture wars of the 1970s and beyond.6 Defines the foundation and focus of this book, culture war The term culture wars refers to angry public disputes that are simultaneously moral and religious and address the meaning of America 7 Does a wonderful job of distinguishing between conservatives and liberals The big idea behind modern conservatism is this a form of culture is passing away and it is worth fighting to revive it Conservatives typically choose for their rallying cries causes that are already on the verge of being lost 8 Explains the four stages of the culture wars cycle that can be summarized as conservative anxiety over a cultural issue, liberal counterattack, accommodation, and liberals win But the most important reason they win is because their opponents attach themselves to lost causes 9 A fascinating look at the Jefferson cultural wars The lowest blows concerned Jefferson s faith Federalists read his call for national church state separation his disestablishmentarianism as a fig leaf over his alleged atheism 10 Repeat worthy quotes It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg Thomas Jefferson.11 A look at the separation of church and state 12 Explains the perceptions of Catholics in ante bellum America Views from Presbyterian minister Lyman Beecher, Catholic schools were intended to convert Protestants, overthrow Protestantism, and turn the United States into a papal colony, he reasoned The growing presence of Catholics troubled this vision, threatening to turn the dream of Protestant freedom into a nightmare of Catholic control a puppet nation run by a dictator in Rome 13 Fascinating tidbits during colonial times Also outlawed was celebrating Christmas, which Puritans in the original war on Christmas saw as a popish festival 14 A look at the basis for a secular nation There was talk at the founding of turning the United States into a Protestant nation, but the founders decided on a secular state with guarantees of religious liberty and without religious tests 15 The Supreme Court and Mormonism Even the Supreme Court would weigh in Its justices, in their first ever decision on the First Amendment s free exercise clause, would rule that religious liberty extended only to belief, not to the controversial Mormon practice of plural marriage 16 A look at Mormon defense of polygamy Biblically, Mormons argued that polygamy was better than monogamy at fulfilling God s commandment to multiply, and replenish the earth Genesis 1 28 17 A fascinating look at prohibition It passed because, as historian Ronald Walters wrote, Americans had a drinking problem, and because prohibitionists had a plan to fix it But the most common objection was that prohibition infringed on personal liberty 18 A look at contemporary culture wars Although he would later repent of his segregationism and admit blacks to his school and his church , Falwell was at the time a white supremacist Yes, the Religious Right was born of anxieties over racial mixing and the demise of white supremacy 19 Interesting factoids George W Bush was different In the first official act of his faith based presidency, he declared his inauguration day a National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving His cabinet meetings began with prayer 20 An excellent Conclusion chapter Nowadays it is Republicans, not Democrats, who are increasingly out of touch with ordinary voters on immigration, race, drugs, guns, women, homosexuality, and the environment Negatives 1 Notes are not linked.2 No formal bibliography.3 Charts and timelines would have added value.4 No visual material to complement the excellent narrative.5 As is the case of most books, the diagnosis is better than the cure.In summary, I enjoyed this book Prothero provides readers with an interesting premise and well thought out arguments in support of it My only major criticism is the lack of supplementary material and not making use of the links This is a social science book worth reading, a solid recommendation.Further recommendations Why the Religious Right Is Wrong about Separation of Church and State by Robert Boston, One Nation Under God How Corporate America Invented Christian America by Kevin Kruse, Nonbeliever Nation by David Niose, The Dark Side of Christian History by Helen Ellerbe, Birth Control, Insurance Coverage, the Religious Right by A.F Alexander, The God Argument by A.C Grayling, Freethinkers by Susan Jacoby, Moral Combat by Sikivu Hutchinson, Republican Gomorrah by Max Blumenthal, American Fascists by Chris Hedges, Doubt by Jennifer Michael Hecht, and Society Without God by Phil Zuckerman flag Like see review Mar 24, 2016 Book rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves atheism religion, politics economics, social science Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars Even When They Lose Elections A History of the Religious Battles That Define America from Jefferson s Heresies to Gay Marriage Today by Stephen Prothero Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars is a very interesting book that seeks to make sense of American culture wars New York Times bestselling author and chair of the religion department at Boston University, Stephen Prothero takes the reader on a journey that takes us back to the earliest moments when Americans Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars Even When They Lose Elections A History of the Religious Battles That Define America from Jefferson s Heresies to Gay Marriage Today by Stephen Prothero Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars is a very interesting book that seeks to make sense of American culture wars New York Times bestselling author and chair of the religion department at Boston University, Stephen Prothero takes the reader on a journey that takes us back to the earliest moments when Americans clashed over moral questions to current hot button issues This stimulating 341 page book includes the following five chapters 1 The Jefferson Wars, 2 Anti Catholicism, 3 The Mormon Question, 4 Prohibition and Pluralism, and 5 The Contemporary Culture Wars Positives 1 Interesting, well researched and well written book Fair, civil and respectful treatment 2 A fascinating premise, why liberals win the culture wars and the recurring patterns Today s culture wars, this book argues, are part of a recurring pattern in U.S history episodes in the story of one not so indivisible nation forever at war with itself 3 Stephen Prothero has mastery of the topic and provides compelling arguments to back his main premise In almost every case since the founding of the republic, conservatives have fired the first shots in our culture wars Equally often, liberals have won 4 A comprehensive Introduction where the author explains the culture wars cycle and provides a generous appetizer This book is the result of my investigations It provides a new lens on the contemporary culture wars a lens that views our current battles over abortion and homosexuality and Islam as part of a long story of cultural conflict dating back to the withdrawal of George Washington from political life 5 The book s approach is episodic rather than exhaustive It breaks American history into five episodes the Jefferson wars, the anti Catholic crusade in ante bellum America, anti Mormonism before and after the civil war, prohibition in the 1920s and 1930s, and the culture wars of the 1970s and beyond.6 Defines the foundation and focus of this book, culture war The term culture wars refers to angry public disputes that are simultaneously moral and religious and address the meaning of America 7 Does a wonderful job of distinguishing between conservatives and liberals The big idea behind modern conservatism is this a form of culture is passing away and it is worth fighting to revive it Conservatives typically choose for their rallying cries causes that are already on the verge of being lost 8 Explains the four stages of the culture wars cycle that can be summarized as conservative anxiety over a cultural issue, liberal counterattack, accommodation, and liberals win But the most important reason they win is because their opponents attach themselves to lost causes 9 A fascinating look at the Jefferson cultural wars The lowest blows concerned Jefferson s faith Federalists read his call for national church state separation his disestablishmentarianism as a fig leaf over his alleged atheism 10 Repeat worthy quotes It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg Thomas Jefferson.11 A look at the separation of church and state 12 Explains the perceptions of Catholics in ante bellum America Views from Presbyterian minister Lyman Beecher, Catholic schools were intended to convert Protestants, overthrow Protestantism, and turn the United States into a papal colony, he reasoned The growing presence of Catholics troubled this vision, threatening to turn the dream of Protestant freedom into a nightmare of Catholic control a puppet nation run by a dictator in Rome 13 Fascinating tidbits during colonial times Also outlawed was celebrating Christmas, which Puritans in the original war on Christmas saw as a popish festival 14 A look at the basis for a secular nation There was talk at the founding of turning the United States into a Protestant nation, but the founders decided on a secular state with guarantees of religious liberty and without religious tests 15 The Supreme Court and Mormonism Even the Supreme Court would weigh in Its justices, in their first ever decision on the First Amendment s free exercise clause, would rule that religious liberty extended only to belief, not to the controversial Mormon practice of plural marriage 16 A look at Mormon defense of polygamy Biblically, Mormons argued that polygamy was better than monogamy at fulfilling God s commandment to multiply, and replenish the earth Genesis 1 28 17 A fascinating look at prohibition It passed because, as historian Ronald Walters wrote, Americans had a drinking problem, and because prohibitionists had a plan to fix it But the most common objection was that prohibition infringed on personal liberty 18 A look at contemporary culture wars Although he would later repent of his segregationism and admit blacks to his school and his church , Falwell was at the time a white supremacist Yes, the Religious Right was born of anxieties over racial mixing and the demise of white supremacy 19 Interesting factoids George W Bush was different In the first official act of his faith based presidency, he declared his inauguration day a National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving His cabinet meetings began with prayer 20 An excellent Conclusion chapter Nowadays it is Republicans, not Democrats, who are increasingly out of touch with ordinary voters on immigration, race, drugs, guns, women, homosexuality, and the environment Negatives 1 Notes are not linked.2 No formal bibliography.3 Charts and timelines would have added value.4 No visual material to complement the excellent narrative.5 As is the case of most books, the diagnosis is better than the cure.In summary, I enjoyed this book Prothero provides readers with an interesting premise and well thought out arguments in support of it My only major criticism is the lack of supplementary material and not making use of the links This is a social science book worth reading, a solid recommendation.Further recommendations Why the Religious Right Is Wrong about Separation of Church and State by Robert Boston, One Nation Under God How Corporate America Invented Christian America by Kevin Kruse, Nonbeliever Nation by David Niose, The Dark Side of Christian History by Helen Ellerbe, Birth Control, Insurance Coverage, the Religious Right by A.F Alexander, The God Argument by A.C Grayling, Freethinkers by Susan Jacoby, Moral Combat by Sikivu Hutchinson, Republican Gomorrah by Max Blumenthal, American Fascists by Chris Hedges, Doubt by Jennifer Michael Hecht, and Society Without God by Phil Zuckerman flag 1 likeLike see review Jul 01, 2017 FM rated it liked it I love reading about American history and there were stories in this book that were fascinating and certainly enlightening I m glad I read this book and I found much that resonated with me, but for two things 1 I am not completely convinced of the author s definition of liberal which seemed quite elastic, and 2 I really hate the title of this book, which seems to me to be quite off putting and I consider myself a liberal I can think of some people who would really enjoy this book but wou I love reading about American history and there were stories in this book that were fascinating and certainly enlightening I m glad I read this book and I found much that resonated with me, but for two things 1 I am not completely convinced of the author s definition of liberal which seemed quite elastic, and 2 I really hate the title of this book, which seems to me to be quite off putting and I consider myself a liberal I can think of some people who would really enjoy this book but wouldn t be able to get past the title Perhaps a better title would have been Lurching Forward How America Progresses Despite Itself At any rate, some interesting themes throughout I wonder how the author sees the election of 2016 My guess would be Oh, THAT again flag Like see review Jun 24, 2017 Matt Reads T x1f440 Harrison rated it really liked it Interesting take I disagree with his premise that prohibition was a conservative mediated policy It was led by Democrats, abolitionists, women s suffrage voters, and other groups I would hardly consider conservative I realize it s hard to stomach the idea that Democrats might have brought us one of the most disagreeable movements of the 20th century, buts its true nonetheless He s going to have to claim that And in the end Prohibition was successful in decreasing the amount of daily alcohol Interesting take I disagree with his premise that prohibition was a conservative mediated policy It was led by Democrats, abolitionists, women s suffrage voters, and other groups I would hardly consider conservative I realize it s hard to stomach the idea that Democrats might have brought us one of the most disagreeable movements of the 20th century, buts its true nonetheless He s going to have to claim that And in the end Prohibition was successful in decreasing the amount of daily alcohol Americans imbibe Otherwise, it was a good read flag Like see review Jul 23, 2017 Gwen rated it liked it This was an interesting overview of various culture wars , but I don t think the author actually answered the question of why liberals win His main thesis seemed to be that by the time there s conservative outrage and people start yelling about culture war, the liberal progress is already unstoppable, which was interesting and encouraging, but takes the conclusion as a premise Why do Liberals win culture wars Because by the time there s a culture war they ve already won Okay but WHY do t This was an interesting overview of various culture wars , but I don t think the author actually answered the question of why liberals win His main thesis seemed to be that by the time there s conservative outrage and people start yelling about culture war, the liberal progress is already unstoppable, which was interesting and encouraging, but takes the conclusion as a premise Why do Liberals win culture wars Because by the time there s a culture war they ve already won Okay but WHY do they win Eh flag Like see review Jun 16, 2017 Christina rated it it was ok Shelves history, current events I really wanted to like this But it wasn t until the last 2 chapters that it got interesting and current and relevant I m not sure that it really needed the in depth historical review of 4 previous American culture wars to make its point Which, honestly, is included in the jacket flap summary, so one could totally save 8 weeks of reading time and just read the summary and the concluding chapter flag Like see review Mar 20, 2017 Chris rated it it was ok This book wasn t what I expected It wasn t nearly as partisan as I expected, which was refreshing But the author s case studies and argument s are extremely weak The chapters on anti Catholicism and Mormonism are particularly dull The last chapter about the modern culture wars was insightful, but not enough to save this book flag Like see review Jan 13, 2016 Ran rated it really liked it Shelves history, 300s, nonfiction Boston University Professor Stephen R Prothero tackles the culture wars, the divide between right and left since George Washington left office He asks This is a civil war without violence, writes conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan And we are the two countries now This book is a historian s explanation of how this division came to be Its purpose is not to reopen old wounds or to lay bare a sordid past Its purpose is to make sense of contemporary American culture by making sense of Am Boston University Professor Stephen R Prothero tackles the culture wars, the divide between right and left since George Washington left office He asks This is a civil war without violence, writes conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan And we are the two countries now This book is a historian s explanation of how this division came to be Its purpose is not to reopen old wounds or to lay bare a sordid past Its purpose is to make sense of contemporary American culture by making sense of America s longue dur e of culture wars How do culture wars begin How do they end What can they tell us about America and Americans More interestingly on the topic of who s winning, he continues In this book I push back against the widespread view that culture wars are nip and tuck contests between liberals and conservatives with relatively equal win loss records on each side That is not what I discovered In almost every case since the found of the republic, conservatives have fired the first shots in our culture wars Equally often, liberals have won Why have our political pundits so regularly missed how lopsided the culture wars have been Because we have short memories. emphasis mine He approaches five episodes of culture wars 1 the election of 1800 let me pause to sing the Hamilton broadway song of the same title 2 the antebellum anti Catholic crusade 3 the anti Mormonism before and after the Civil War I just learned about Mountain Meadows massacre at the beginning of January 4 prohibition and 5 the culture wars of the 1970s and beyond Remember, Prothero is a religion professor But he does a great job describing exactly what he means by culture war and gives four points on which his argument defines and pivots I m going to skip ahead to the conclusion because there is one quote I d like to pull out Republicans did well at the ballot box in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, and they trounced the Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections Today, conservatives control many evangelical churches, think tanks, PACs, and talk radio stations They have power in Washington, DC, and preach their gospel of loss and revival on their own culture wars television stations But it is not the case, as sociologist Todd Gitlin once claimed, that liberals have lost ground Nowadays it is Republicans, not Democrats, who are increasingly out of touch with ordinary voters on immigration, race, drugs, guns, women, homosexuality, and the environment And then, Prothero provides the polling data evidence from Pew Research Center And he follows up on Lost Causes which I just thoroughly enjoyed the inclusion A really thoughtful book about culture wars, for sure Now throw an analysis of socio economics into the mix flag Like see review Jun 17, 2016 Leo Walsh rated it really liked it Very interesting look at historical the precedents of today s Culture Wars Prothero stars with a simple thesis Progressive have won the vast majority of past culture wars, and those victories become the new American Orthodoxy or status quo Any change to that status quo causes the Right to over react to the perceived loss, causing conservatives to fire the first volley in a new Culture War Which the left wins.At first, I was skeptical I thought it was just Prothero s liberal fantasy But Very interesting look at historical the precedents of today s Culture Wars Prothero stars with a simple thesis Progressive have won the vast majority of past culture wars, and those victories become the new American Orthodoxy or status quo Any change to that status quo causes the Right to over react to the perceived loss, causing conservatives to fire the first volley in a new Culture War Which the left wins.At first, I was skeptical I thought it was just Prothero s liberal fantasy But then, I saw his evidence From slavery, to anti Catholic terrorism in the 1800 s, to Prohibition, Prothero traces what Hofstadter called the paranoid style in American politics He shows how the resolution of those conflicts lead to the liberal, expansive position becoming the new normal For instance, he traces some virulent anti Catholic terrorist acts executed by the Nativist Know nothing party in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries In 1928, Catholic Al Smith lost the Presidency to Herbert Hoover Hoover ran a campaign that emphasized Smith s reigion His follows spread the tenuos Conspiracy Theory that Smith would turn the government over to the Pope And people brought that line But over the 40 s and 50 s, Protestant Americans fought wars, lived and worked next to Catholic Americans As a result, JFK was elected President And until Jusctice Scalia died recently, 6 of the 12 Supreme Court Justices were practicing Catholics Liberals won And American s conception of acceptable religion expanded from Protestant to the inclusive Christian, which encompassed all people following the New Testament teachings of Jesus Liberals won again when Christian proved too small, and the term Judeo Christian tradition became the moniker of acceptable religion, adding Jewish people and Mormons to the fold Note how much that our new normal accepts Catholics, Jewish people and Mormons as mainstream That definition is being challenged by the Right Wing rejection of Islam and an evil cult echoing earlier anti Catholic and anti Mormon rhetoric Though it s not a certainty, there seems little doubt that within ten years our definition of acceptable religion will expand, once again, to accept Islam and mainstream History is on our side.But what I found most appealing was his history of the religious Right from Reagan onward It is still relevant today, and does lay broad outlines of how to understand the movement All told, Why Liberals Win was an enjoyable eye opener Based on facts and sound reasoning, it traces the history of America s current and past Culture Wars Four stars flag Like see review Oct 01, 2016 Brian Palmer rated it really liked it Shelves non fiction, 2016 The history aspects of this book are interesting, and I ll recommend this book to people interested in religious involvement in some of the less prominent conflicts of American history For example, in the 1830s to 1850s, the book bypasses discussion of slavery to focus on polygamy and Mormonism there were ties between the two struggles, but for obvious reasons the history of slavery and abolitionism is far discussed.The title does not suit the book well, however if that s the central qu The history aspects of this book are interesting, and I ll recommend this book to people interested in religious involvement in some of the less prominent conflicts of American history For example, in the 1830s to 1850s, the book bypasses discussion of slavery to focus on polygamy and Mormonism there were ties between the two struggles, but for obvious reasons the history of slavery and abolitionism is far discussed.The title does not suit the book well, however if that s the central question it wanted to explore which I don t actually believe I suspect it was chosen for commercial reasons , it did a poor job It is not convincing in its claim why liberals win culture wars to simplify the book s claim, something becomes a cultural war only when conservatives realize the conflict is on the verge of being lost, so rally the troops The book makes that argument quickly and almost embarrassedly, because it doesn t develop a core philosophy of what liberalism and conservatism are Instead, it left me, at least, believing that what side is liberal vs what side is conservative as chosen based on which side lost.This is acknowledged in places in the book For example, citing Harriet Beecher Stowe who was an outspoken liberal with regards to slavery but outspoken conservative with regards to Mormons polygamy , it attempts to dismiss the similar rhetoric used with a claim that t hroughout the history of America s culture wars, conservatives have latched on to the rhetoric of the Left Nary a bit of acknowledgment or consideration that the environments change and the Left and Right are far from static In the closing chapters, dealing with the modern culture wars, it does acknowledge but does not grapple with an observation by Arthur Schlesinger that the vision of an integrated melting pot was at one point the liberal view against conservativism, but in the pluralistic struggles against the Common Core Western Civ the Great Canon, positions had been reversed The final chapters in general are underdeveloped decades fly by with dozens of issues mentioned flag Like see review Dec 05, 2015 Earl rated it it was amazing Shelves first reads, won 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 relig 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 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 flag Like see review Jun 02, 2016 John Kaufmann rated it really liked it Shelves politics economics Excellent book The main hypothesis is simple, and most of the rest of the book provides a few in depth case studies.The big idea behind modern conservatism, Prothero says, is that a form of culture is passing away and it is worth fighting to revive it All conservatism begins with loss and anxiety,reinforcing their view of how far the nation has fallen from its founding glory.Secondly, Prothero concludes that 1 America s culture wars are conservative projects instigated and waged disprop Excellent book The main hypothesis is simple, and most of the rest of the book provides a few in depth case studies.The big idea behind modern conservatism, Prothero says, is that a form of culture is passing away and it is worth fighting to revive it All conservatism begins with loss and anxiety,reinforcing their view of how far the nation has fallen from its founding glory.Secondly, Prothero concludes that 1 America s culture wars are conservative projects instigated and waged disproportionately by conservatives, and 2 liberals win most of the culture wars because the issues chosen by conservatives are lost causes causes that are driven by natural cultural change that are already far along the process of being integrated and accepted as part of American life.The majority of the book provides several in depth case studies Prothero looks at the culture wars between the Federalists and the Jeffersonians around 1800 the anti Catholic and nativist sentiments in the 1830s and 1840s, the anti Mormon sentiments following the Civil War the reactions to the urbanization and the Jazz Age in the early 20th century, and of course the current culture wars that began in the 1960s and 1970s He concludes that the current culture wars are driven by changes in race relations flag Like see review Mar 18, 2016 Steve rated it liked it Stephen Prothero is my favorite American religious historian, and the history in this book is excellent, but I find the analysis inconsistent and partially flawed The problem seems to be in the use of the terms liberal and conservative when it seems that he really means inclusive and exclusive as to which groups are true Americans For example, he portrays the inclusion of Mormons in mainstream American society and it could be argued that this is still only true in some parts Stephen Prothero is my favorite American religious historian, and the history in this book is excellent, but I find the analysis inconsistent and partially flawed The problem seems to be in the use of the terms liberal and conservative when it seems that he really means inclusive and exclusive as to which groups are true Americans For example, he portrays the inclusion of Mormons in mainstream American society and it could be argued that this is still only true in some parts of the US as a liberal victory That characterization of liberal makes little sense to me Moreover, his analytical model attributes all cultural conservatism to Protestant nostalgia for a lost, idealized, small town America I dare say that many former Catholic and Mormon victims of this nostalgia cheerfully joined in on the conservative side of recent culture wars This book could have been much better with 50 100 pages to fully the subtleties of the issue over the years flag Like see review Apr 09, 2016 Matt Papes rated it it was amazing If I could recommend a book to my friends who are passionate about their politics on both sides of the aisle, it would be this one This book provides a lens of how to view the cultural debates of our day and how the arc of history has led to inclusion and acceptance of diversity despite the Rush Limbaughs, Bill Mahers, and Donald Trumps who rise to prominence by creating cultural conflict In the end though, Prothero argues that the forces of inclusion and liberty prevail, whether you are If I could recommend a book to my friends who are passionate about their politics on both sides of the aisle, it would be this one This book provides a lens of how to view the cultural debates of our day and how the arc of history has led to inclusion and acceptance of diversity despite the Rush Limbaughs, Bill Mahers, and Donald Trumps who rise to prominence by creating cultural conflict In the end though, Prothero argues that the forces of inclusion and liberty prevail, whether you are talking about battling racism, achieving equal rights for women, legalizing gay marriage, and a whole host of other issues In the latest iteration of the culture wars, the targeted group is unfortunately Muslims The book ends with some ideas on how we can temper the culture wars going forward Eye Opening flag Like see review Nov 24, 2016 Chad rated it it was amazing Very well written, and I think an important voice of compromise between two sides that are increasingly armed to the teeth.Two premises 1 culture wars are always present The culture wars of yesterday are the norm of today 2 the only way to defuel the culture wars is to stop playing the part of culture warriors The Left should be willing to not impose secular standards on those who don t agree with them The Right should be willing not to impose religious standards on those that don t agre Very well written, and I think an important voice of compromise between two sides that are increasingly armed to the teeth.Two premises 1 culture wars are always present The culture wars of yesterday are the norm of today 2 the only way to defuel the culture wars is to stop playing the part of culture warriors The Left should be willing to not impose secular standards on those who don t agree with them The Right should be willing not to impose religious standards on those that don t agree with them Perhaps a bit idealistic I think the last election added fuel to the fire, and we re in for the long haul of another round of culture wars flag Like see review Nov 19, 2016 John rated it liked it Good book to read after the recent election of a crypto fascist to the presidency Prothero s argument seems sound, which is that conservatives fire the opening shots in the culture wars, and that liberals shouldn t overly fret about this The reason they shouldn t worry is that conservatives invariably select lost causes, which carry all of the romance you would imagine Although the cultural issues here listed seem to be victories for the left, Prothero does not speak to the overall project of Good book to read after the recent election of a crypto fascist to the presidency Prothero s argument seems sound, which is that conservatives fire the opening shots in the culture wars, and that liberals shouldn t overly fret about this The reason they shouldn t worry is that conservatives invariably select lost causes, which carry all of the romance you would imagine Although the cultural issues here listed seem to be victories for the left, Prothero does not speak to the overall project of the left, which to my mind would include greater economic equality and participatory democracy Those issues may in the end be decisive for the survival of humanity flag Like see review previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 next new topicDiscuss This Book There are no discussion topics on this book yet Be the first to start one Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed Stephen Prothero is a professor in the Department of Religion at Boston University and the author of numerous books, most recently Religious Literacy What Every American Needs to Know And Doesn t and American Jesus How the Son of God Became a National Idol He has commented on religion on dozens of National Public Radio programs and on television on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, MSNBC and Comedy Central s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart A regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal, he has also written for The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Slate, Salon.com, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe.Prothero has argued for mandatory public school Bible literacy courses along the lines of the Bible Literacy Project s The Bible and Its Influence , along with mandatory courses on world religions Prothero defines himself as a confused Christian More about Stephen R Prothero Books by Stephen R Prothero More Share This Book Tweet

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title link preview Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars Even When They Lose Elections The Battles That Define America from Jefferson s Heresies to Gay Marriage avg rating preview Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars Even When They Lose Elections The Battles That Define America fGoodreads rating 3.83 183 ratings small image preview click here close med image preview click here close BBCode url img img url url Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars Even When They Lose Elections The Battles That Define America from Jefferson s Heresies to Gay Marriage by Stephen R Prothero url Share on your website Trivia About Why Liberals Win No trivia or quizzes yet Add some now

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Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections) Reviews

Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections)
Louise

In 2006, S.T Joshi explained why conservatives were so shrill in

Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections)
Peter Mcloughlin

It can be comforting to read a history that tells us our current political battles are of the same since the beginning of the republic Basically, the thesis of this book is the culture wars a perennial problem in our republic from the alien and sedition acts in the 1790s to the Anti Catholic Know nothings of the 1840s, Temperance and Prohibition and immigration restrictions of the 1920s, to our current culture wars against homosexuals and immigrants and women I want to think that everythi

Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections)
Bonnie McDaniel

I took a brief non fiction break for this book, and it turned out to be a fascinating history lesson This book goes back to the Founders, and the elections of 1796 and 1800, to weave a well researched story about culture wars, and oppression, and how, at least in these kinds of fights, liberal progress is inevitably made Also, if you think the 2012 elections were nasty, and this current cycle will be worse yet well, the Thomas Jefferson of 1800 would like to have a word with you Topics inclu

Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections)
Dustin

A fascinating look at how religion as well as racism, bigotry, and xenophobia plays into the American political scene from the Founding Fathers to President Obama I highly recommend this book to all Americans before they cast their votes in November.

Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections)
Chris Jaffe

This is an interesting book, though it overstates its case Prothero argues that when you look at the big cultural battles in US history, a pattern emerges A conservative faction sees a change, denounce it, fight against it, but lose Prothero argues that they tend to take on lost causes they take on a change after it s already become part of the dominant culture and isn t going backwards He also argues the conservatives initiate the culture wars even when they claim the other side is the on

Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections)
Jerry Smith

I enjoyed this book but as always, it is a book I am predestined to agree with given my political worldview Historically this was particularly interesting and the overall theme of the book is that conservatives are always fighting a rearguard action in a vain attempt to prevent the loss of some treasured ideal, and blaming the un American liberal as the font of all that is evil in bringing this about I guess the argument is basically that what they do is too little, too late, and that the cult

Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections)
Malcolm

Stephen Prothero has written an extremely readable and well researched history of the culture wars from the founding of the republic until the present This book is relaxed in tone and very informative Readers interested in the current state of American politics would be well served to see how our modern history rhymes with the past.

Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections)
Tim

Probably 3.5 stars I thought the premise was really interesting, but I found myself ski mm pp ing large sections It is not fair to review a book that you did not read parts of, I suppose But, I am glad that I read the introduction and the conclusion The rest was not worth the time and effort for me.

Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections)
Keith Davis

Prothero places the recent U.S culture wars about gay marriage and abortion in a historical context of past American culture wars He is careful to qualify his analysis to admit that there are many other factors involved in this events beyond religion and morality, but his does show an ongoing conservative vs progressive cultural conflict going back to colonial times His thesis is that while conservatives often win short term victories, in the long term the progressive agenda always comes out

Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections)
Tom Rowe

Meh This started out very interesting examining the religious aspects of the election of 1800, moving on to the persecution and riots against Catholics in the mid 1800s, and then the prejudice against Mormons After that, it went on to talk about prohibition, and I didn t find the argument quite as convincing Finally, it ended with today s culture wars which I m just tired of because Facebook So if you think the world is ending because Trump will be president, read this book It might help g

thumbnail Title: Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections)
Author:Stephen R. Prothero
ISBN :0061571296
ranting: 2.5
Reviewer: 3863 Reviews
Description: 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 con

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