Review Essay Sample on Book Review

Book Review

A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow

Regardless of the race of the citizens in America, they are allowed equal rights. The black race civil rights activists fought for these rights. The rights were acquired when Jim Crow’s era ended in the South. A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow is a book by David L. Chappell in which he recalls the events that led to these civil rights activists’ success. The most vital and interesting thing that one can learn from the book is the essence of being passionate about anything that one undertakes because the outcomes are dear to their heart.

The black race civil right activists required great willingness and sacrifice in order to win this fight against white segregationists. Black workers remained passionate about ending racism by force. However, the churches of the white southerners were unwilling to wage war for it. The basis of this was the reality that they did not have justification for it and this is why the segregationist’s movement was divided. The liberalists of the twentieth century were not passionate about ending racism as well. Contrary to the civil right activists, their belief was that racism as well as other types of the then black segregation would gradually be overshadowed and ended by economic growth. Conversely, there was a ‘prophetic Christianity’ that had Martin Luther King Jr. as its main proponent whose advocacy was personal sacrifice. They waged war against the dark, evils and wrongs of racism that the era of Jim Crow propagated.

Concisely, it is impossible to win any fight without zeal for winning and sacrifice. The civil rights activists of the black race were not ready to subscribe to rationalist ideas whose argument was that reason would gradually be allowed a way by racism. Their belief was that racism could only be ended through persistent struggle and fights. As such, they fought fearlessly and they won the fight against racism and white segregation.

The Politics of American Religious Identity: The Seating of Senator Reed Smoot

After the first US constitution’s amendment was passed, critiques wanted to find out if everybody would benefit from its fruits. Mormonism had for quite a long time been criticized and considered unlawful within America for its ideologies. Mormons suffered military violent attacks and social rejection. Such mistreatments were basically due to their polygamy beliefs as well as the supposed laws’ disrespect. Kathleen Flake published a book in 2003, The Politics of American Religious Identity: The Seating of Senator Reed Smoot in which an important American history’s episode is documented. This debate was based on the argument whether Utah Senator and a Mormon, Reed Smoot was suitable to hold a public office.

How Mormons’ marginalization ended and their acceptance by the American society by being considered as insiders rather than outsiders is the major thing that one can learn from this book. Apart from being a Mormon, Reed Smoot and others were Mormon Church’s apostles. In order to survive, Mormons opted to offer support to Smoot by electing him as the Utah Senator. Nevertheless, there was a lot of rejection for his election from the majority Protestants. Smoot was considered unfit for holding the public office. This was followed by a debate. The case hearings took three years during which his opponents produced a testimony of 3000 pages. Nevertheless, the case was ruled in favor of Smoot and therefore he served as the Utah Senator for quite a long time. This led to Mormonism as well as their beliefs’ acceptance in America.

Evidently, the acceptance and liberty of Mormons in America was not achieved easily. They were rejected and persecuted by Protestants whose determination was to bring Mormonism to an end. Nevertheless, from the time of the first US constitution’s amendment, which clearly separated religion from the state, the Mormons were able to survive Protestants’ onslaught and this led to their freedom to practice their religion.

God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution

God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution is authored by Thomas S. Kidd who has also authored other books. Thomas in this particular book analyzes the religion’s role in American Revolution as well as fighting the rule of the British. Currently, Americans are enjoying the first constitutional amendment’s fruits which led to the separation of the state and the church. Citizens in America are now free to practice their religion because there is no side taken by the government on religious issues. This was not the case at the time of the revolution which forced British soldiers to surrender.

The essence of unity and cooperation among various groups while fighting an enemy is the most interesting and vital thing that one can learn from this book. At the time of the revolution, the religious inclinations of the citizens were different. However, the opponents and proponents of anti-Catholicism, the Protestants had to come together to fight their common enemy at that time. Whether a person was a liberal or an evangelical Christian at the time of the revolution did not matter. People had to work together. The congregation of the church under the leadership of preachers had to join the army and cooperate with their state in order to free America. For instance, Peter Muhlenberg, a preacher, would show his military uniform after preaching after which he would announce that he accepted the Virginia regiment’s commission in 1776.

The cooperation of politics and religion was important because it led to victory in this war. The belief was that without good morals and soldiers, the nation would be defeated. Therefore, military chaplains had to be relied on to ensure proper conduct of the soldiers because morality was important during the war. It is evident that this cooperation was vital during the revolution that forced British soldiers to surrender.