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Prodigal Nation – Moral Decline and Divine Punishment from New England to 9/11 - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Prodigal Nation: Moral Decline and Divine Punishment from New England to 9/11

Andrew R. Murphy


This book traces the emergence and development of the American jeremiad, a form of political rhetoric that laments the nation's decline from a virtuous past and calls it to repentance and renewal. Employed by Americans of all political persuasions since the earliest days of settlement, the jeremiad has proven to be a powerful way of invoking the American past in order to chart a brighter American future. Part I of the book focuses on three especially important episodes in the jeremiad's history: early New England, Civil War America, and the rise of the Christian Right. Part II provides a criti ... More

Keywords: Jeremiad, American jeremiad, New England, Civil War, Christian Right, traditionalist, progressive, culture wars, diversity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780195321289
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195321289.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Andrew R. Murphy, author
New Bruswick
Author Webpage