Book Review

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Date Submitted: 03/06/2017 06:00 PM

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Prothero, Stephen. Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars. New York, NY: Harper,


Prothero’s book, “Why Liberals Win,” offers an overview of five key culture wars in America: the Election of 1800, Anti-Catholicism, the Mormon Question, Prohibition, and Pluralism and The Contemporary Culture Wars. The culture wars have occurred since the 1900s to present day. America’s modern culture wars are nothing new. These wars have always consisted of the same cycle with Liberals standing in victory, even when they lose. America has a long story of culture conflict that dates back to its first president. Each of these culture wars follows a similar pattern, which includes Christian morality and many Christian teachings in its decisions and laws. These cultural wars based on morality and religion made America today. Prothero helps understand the cultural shift by effectively adapting to the moral and religious challenges in the society.

Chapter one shows that culture wars were not only political, but religious as well. The nation’s first culture war revolved around the unusually contentious, ugly presidential election of 1800.” The struggle involved dispute over whether America was “a Christian nation.” With Jefferson’s election, the country became more tolerant of non-traditional Christian presidents, including Jefferson’s views on theology and faith. Hamilton called Jefferson, “An atheist in religion and a fanatic in politics” In the end, Jefferson triumphed, and America became more inclusive of unorthodox people. These first culture wars have continually molded the divide between liberals and conservatives.

Chapters two and three interpret both ignorance and fear, which is explained in religious wars through prejudice by Protestants in American history. Evangelical social reformers believed that Catholics represented a theological, moral, and political threat to the American way of life. In many historical events, Protestants persecuted both Catholics and...