I recently read this book, and have to say, enjoyed it much more than I expected. It held my interest, was a quick read, and is beautifully made with high quality paper that just feels good to touch (now I *know* such a thing is not really important, but if you are like me, these special touches make reading a good book just that much better). The photos throughout the book are lovely and inspiring, and it was truly a pleasure to read.
I can say this book was not as overtly religious as I expected it to be. It’s point, as I’m sure you can guess, is that Judeo-Christian beliefs, and the morals that go hand in hand with those beliefs, were what our founding fathers based our system of government upon. But this point is made in a very modest manner, simply by taking the reader on a “walking tour” of our nation’s capitol and letting it speak for itself.
Each chapter describes one of thirteen monuments, buildings, or memorials in and around Washington D.C. The tour begins with the National Archives, includes the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and several others, ending with Arlington National Cemetery. Each chapter describes the design, architecture, and history of one of these locations, in an incredibly interesting and well-done manner (stunning photos are included). Each chapter then includes religious symbolism (and by this I do not mean only Christian symbols; Jewish and Islamic imagery is there also) seen at the location.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in our nation’s capitol and architectural history, and who can listen with an open mind to evidence that our founding fathers were for the most part deeply religious men who intended to protect our religious freedoms, not prohibit religious imagery or religious expression.
In the introduction Gingrich writes:
“The founders had a very straightforward belief that liberty was the purpose of a just government, but that the maintenance of this liberty among a free people would require virtue.This is such an interesting and beautiful book, and would make a wonderful gift; I have already agreed to loan my copy out to a couple of people, and will be buying extra copies as gifts. Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishers for giving me this book to review!
And if virtue was to survive, it would require “true religion,” which was any religion that cultivates the virtues necessary to the protection of liberty.
Implicit within this vision of the Founding Fathers is a pluralistic sensibility.” (p. xviii)