Religion Book Reviews

ONE NATION UNDER GOD by Kevin K. Kruse
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 7, 2015

"In a book for readers from both parties, Kruse ably demonstrates how the simple ornamental mottoes 'under God' and 'In God We Trust,' as well as the fight to define America as Christian, were parts of a clever business plan."
Kruse (History/Princeton Univ.; White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism, 2007, etc.) explains the links between capitalism and Christianity.Read full book review >
THE FUTURE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WITH POPE FRANCIS by Garry Wills
RELIGION
Released: March 10, 2015

"A welcome, thoughtful menu for the new pope on how to proceed with reform."
Beautifully conceived and wrought essays that systematically address the wrongheadedness of the Catholic Church over centuries—and the space therein for Francis' long-needed reforms. Read full book review >

FIELDS OF BLOOD by Karen Armstrong
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 30, 2014

"An intriguing read, useful resource and definitive voice in defense of the divine in human culture."
Comparative religions expert Armstrong (Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, 2010, etc.) provides a comprehensive and erudite study of the history of violence in relation to religion. Read full book review >
AMERICA'S PASTOR by Grant Wacker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 29, 2014

"Some readers may tire of the uniform patterns of the chapters and the author's dispassionate voice, but vast research composes the foundation of a very sturdy structure."
A scholarly, analytical and sympathetic biography of the evangelist Billy Graham (b. 1918), who for decades was what the title proclaims. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: July 1, 2014

"In affording a fresh perspective on the difficult but exhilarating birth of this country, Stewart shows that the often superficially misunderstood words of the Declaration of Independence are even more profound than they appear."
Stewart (The Management Myth: Why the Experts Keep Getting it Wrong, 2009, etc.) delivers a penetrating history of an American Revolution not yet finished and a stirring reassertion of the power of ideas unbound by the shackles of superstition. Read full book review >

RELIGION
Released: April 1, 2014

"'The mind remains, to a tantalizing degree, a realm of secrets and wonder,' writes the author, and so, too, does the world around us, which he entertainingly scours for the possibility of crucial anomalies."
A cerebral ride into the world of the unorthodox. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 18, 2014

"A multifaceted story artfully woven by an expert historian."
Witty, nimble and completely in his element, Schama (History and Art History/Columbia Univ.; Scribble, Scribble, Scribble: Writing on Politics, Ice Cream, Churchill, and My Mother, 2011, etc.), in a book tie-in to a PBS and BBC series, fashions a long-planned "labor of love" that nicely dovetails the biblical account with the archaeological record. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 18, 2014

"A slow-building saga that delivers a powerful final wallop."
A carefully constructed study—featuring a chilling denouement—of the disruptive effects of "civilizing" mission work among indigenous peoples. Read full book review >
THE BROKEN AND THE WHOLE by Charles S. Sherman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 11, 2014

"Deeply moving, extraordinarily thought-provoking and entirely humane."
A meaningful portrayal of how tragedy affected and transformed one family and especially one religious leader. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2014

"Kertzer is unflinching and relentless in his exposure of the Vatican's shocking actions."
More deeply troubling revelations around Vatican collaboration with evil. Read full book review >
DARLING by Richard Rodriguez
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 7, 2013

"With compassion and profundity of vision, Rodriguez offers a compelling view of modern spirituality that is as multifaceted as it is provocative."
An acclaimed gay intellectual and journalist's musings on the state of and interrelationship among Christianity, Judaism and Islam in the post-9/11 digital age. Read full book review >
THE RAINBOROWES by Adrian Tinniswood
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 10, 2013

"An extraordinary glimpse into a pivotal epoch in Western history."
A marvelously rendered tale of how one extended family helped shape, and was shaped by, the England and New England of the 1600s. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >