The author makes the rather ambitious claim that this is the first book on church history to take seriously the past two hundred years of Protestant experience in American life. But the content of the book goes a long way toward justifying that claim; and this is a distinctly fresh approach to American religion which has been inescapably Protestant in source and orientation, even when the increasing pluralism of religious institutions and points of view have been taken into account. Dr. Marty explores the formative impact of religion as ""Protestant"" in America from colonial times through such diverse developments as our treatment of the American Indian, the subjugation of black peoples, the War between the States, and others. Through all of this, he discerns a basic motif of Empire building, from the God-ordained colonization of the new continent to the imperialistic thrust of world missions as seen at the end of the nineteenth century. Whatever the particular historical situation at any given time, Protestantism proved flexible enough to accommodate its religious tenets to the pragmatic demands of the time, and so was able to give its blessing to the total imperialistic and exploitative drive at the heart of American society. At a time when the churches are suddenly and critically confronted with the necessity of radically re-thinking their faith and task, this book will provide an informative and stimulating document about the past.