The author narrates his "narrative of hope" with clarity and authority. Using well-documented research, he illustrates why African-American slaves clung to the Bible, in particular the Exodus narrative and Moses's story, as examples of hope. More journalist than historian, Feiler brings to life four hundred years of American history with what he calls "touchstone" narratives. He describes visiting the island where America's Founding Fathers experienced their first Sabbath, then the Liberty Bell, inscribed with the words of Moses. His depictions of slave trade stories, the Underground Railroad, and the inspirational singing that was part of slave culture - in particular the song "Go Down, Moses" - are emotional and believable.
Feiler visits the island where the pilgrims spent their first Sabbath, climbs the bell tower where the Liberty Bell was inscribed with a quote from Moses, retraces the Underground Railroad where "Go Down, Moses" was the national anthem of slaves, and dons the robe Charlton Heston wore in The Ten Commandments.
One part adventure story, one part literary detective story, one part exploration of faith in contemporary life, America's Prophet takes readers from Gettysburg to Selma, the Silver Screen to the Oval Office, to understand how Moses shaped the nation's character. America's Prophet is a thrilling, original work of history that will forever change how we view America, our faith, and our future.
©2009 Bruce Feiler; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers
Probably the most amazing thing about this book is that it illustrates how Moses has been a central character in the history of our country and nobody knew it. But it's all there and Bruce does a great job of moving through US history - from the Pilgrims on the Mayflower to George W. and Obama. Scholarly and entertaining. I am fascinated about American history and have read and listened to just about anything I can get my hands on and yet, I was constantly educated with this book. I've already started it over again. Well worth the money!
The word Mosaic, what does that mean? You will know after reading this great book by Bruce. He does a fabulous job of narration and storytelling. The huge bonus is that he's done a ton of research and intertwines it with the greatest story! Thoroughly enjoyed this book and learned a lot too.
I loved the insight that the author imparts about our country through this book. As a bonus, you get to enjoy his passion in the telling because of his great personal narration.
I really really liked this book, and I am sure it has changed the way look at history, and many key figures in it, particularly the way I look at the founding of America. But there was an underlying tone I did not like. The author, Bruce Feiler, was Jewish. I have no argument with that, and I appreciate his point of view and totally understand it. The part I did not like was his comparison of Moses and Jesus Christ. He in effect dis-empowers Christ and gives all credit to Moses. I understand that he does not believe that Jesus was the Christ, and since he doesn't, he sees the comparison as being between two more or less equal leaders. He says Christ is not a very effectual leader. I suppose his opinions would change if he realized or believed that Christ is the God, the Great I Am, who spoke to Moses on Sinai. Wow, that would be a big eye opener, wouldn't it.
That said, I loved the things he had to teach me about the way Moses' story is used as a type for so many people and circumstances down through history. I learned so much, and for that I am grateful. Moses was a great prophet, there is no doubt about it. And as I recently reread the Pentateuch, I came to realize in a very powerful way how close Moses was to his Lord. I came to love and appreciate him more than I ever have.
This journey of mine through the Pentateuch, and now through this book on Moses and those other "Moseses" who have come after him, has been incredibly interesting and worthwhile. I have learned so much!
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