The American Hour: A Time of Reckoning and the Once and Future Role of Faith

Os Guinness, Author
Os Guinness, Author Free Press $22.95 (458p) ISBN 978-0-02-913171-8
Paperback - 468 pages - 978-0-02-913173-2
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Former executive director of the Williamsburg Charter Foundation, a project that celebrates the right to religious liberty embodied in the U.S. Constitution, Guinness ( The Gravedigger File ) tries to cover a wide range of material as he examines ``transformations and corruptions in America's . . . moral and cultural order'' and suggests, not very convincingly, that the American people might be redeemed by faith. America lacks an identity, he argues as he surveys the cultural changes of the last 40 years. Rejecting both the fundamentalist desire to establish religion officially in public life and the secular humanist wish to exclude it altogether, he suggests compromising on ``a civil public square in which citizens of all faiths, or none, are free to enter and engage one another in the continuing democratic discourse.'' While Guinness offers some useful insights, they are obscured by his sloppy prose style: bloated with quotes and shallow analysis (such as the wholesale condemnation of ``non-liberal ideologies'' in U.S. universities), the book reads like an intellectual Megatrends . ( Nov. )
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