Jon Meacham’s “American Gospel” is a detailed and comprehensive look at America and the influence religion has had throughout our country’s existence from the time that the Mayflower landed at Plymouth to the present (2007). The “Separation of Church and State” (Also referred to as the Wall) is a theme discussed heavily throughout the book and if one comes away with anything, it is the importance in keeping the two separate that is one of the main reasons America has remained a democracy, not a theocracy, and the envy of the world. Welcoming people of all faiths and allowing the free practice and worship of the religion of your choice, is a hallmark that distinguished our country from other countries for centuries.
Unlike other novels by Mr. Meacham, I found “American Gospel” quite a cumbersome and unwieldy book to read, possibly because of all the quotes. In truth, I could not wait to finish the book, and yet I cannot deny the importance of the subject and great analysis the author offers.