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The Soul of America:

Updated: Dec 29, 2019

The Battle for Our Better Angels

A gripping and informative analysis of the pivotal moments in American history and the courageous individuals who made a difference.



Author Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment in American politics by looking back at critical times in our past when hope overcame division and fear. Meacham proclaims that our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and he shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the “better angels of our nature” have repeatedly won the day.

America has generally been sustained by a belief in progress even in the gloomiest of times. In THE SOUL OF AMERICA, Meacham reassures us, “The good news is that we have come through such darkness before”—as, time and again, Lincoln’s better angels have found a way to prevail.

“In our finest hours, though, the soul of the country manifests itself in an inclination to open our arms rather than to clench our fists; to look out rather than to turn inward: to accept rather than to reject. In doing so, America has grown ever stronger, confident that the choice of light over dark is the means by which we pursue progress.”


THE SOUL OF AMERICA is a hopeful and compelling long term perspective on major events that shaped our history. From the Civil War, to the the Civil Right Act, Meacham reveals presidential positions and the influential activists who stepped forward and made a difference.

Meacham’s writing is informative, compassionate and well-researched. I was amazed at the amount of historical situational analysis included in the book. It was like drinking through a fire hose. It’s a book to be read slowly and absorbed thoughtfully. I was fascinated that many of the situations were far worse than what we are experiencing today, and we survived. This book gave me hope that our democracy is not yet lost. Our better angels will not let that happen.

Author Jon Meacham is a writer, reviewer, and presidential biographer. A former Executive Editor and Executive Vice President at Random House, he is a contributing writer to The New York Times Book Review, a contributing editor to Time magazine, and a former Editor-in-Chief of Newsweek.

“To know what has come before is to be armed against despair. If the men and women of the past, with all their flaws and limitations and ambitions and appetites, could press on through ignorance and superstition, racism and sexism, selfishness and greed, to create a freer, stronger nation, then perhaps we, too, can right wrongs and take another step toward the most enchanting and elusive of destinations: a more perfect Union.”

Publisher Random House

Published May 8, 2018

Narrated Fred Sanders and Jon Meacham

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