God's Country, Uncle Sam's Land: Faith and Conflict in the American West

Section and Issue
Book Notice
from
Product
Product Attributes
PDF (Download)
$0.00
God's Country, Uncle Sam's Land: Faith and Conflict in the American West
God's Country, Uncle Sam's Land: Faith and Conflict in the American West
Author Todd M. Kerstetter
Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2006

God's Country, Uncle Sam's Land: Faith and Conflict in the American West

Reviewer Liza Olsen

In a focused journey, Todd Kerstetter, assistant professor of history at Texas Christian University, considers the promise of religious freedom in the United States. He looks closely at three religious groups: nineteenth-century Mormons living in Utah, the Lakota Ghost Dancers in South Dakota during the 1890s, and the 1993 Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas. Each group sought a place of refuge in the Great American West, that region of the country most filled with individualism and independence, the mythic and heroic God's country. For each there was a dramatic and violent confrontation with both their neighbors and the government.

How far does the rhetoric of religious independence extend and for whom does it hold true? Speaking of the Mormons living in Utah in the nineteenth century, Kerstetter states that they "and anyone else who doubted it, learned that morally speaking, the Constitution is a Protestant document and the United States is a Protestant nation."

Categories: