Rough Country: How Texas Became America's Most Powerful Bible-Belt State
Author: Robert Wuthnow
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Tracing the intersection of religion, race, and power in Texas from Reconstruction through the rise of the Religious Right and the failed presidential bid of Governor Rick Perry, Robert Wuthnow's Rough Country illuminates American history since the Civil War in new ways, demonstrating that Texas's story is also America's. In particular, Wuthnow demonstrates how distinctions between 'us' and 'them' are perpetuated and why they are so often shaped by religion and politics.
Drawing from memoirs, newspapers, oral history, voting records, and surveys, Rough Country tells the stories of ordinary men and women who struggled with the conditions they faced, conformed to the customs they knew, and on occasion emerged as powerful national leaders. We see the lasting imprint of slavery, public executions, Jim Crow segregation, and resentment against the federal government. We also observe courageous efforts to care for the sick, combat lynching, provide for the poor, welcome new immigrants, and uphold liberty of conscience.
For every evangelical leader or lay reader, Rough Country offers a monumental and magisterial history that combines a careful treatment of religious history in Texas with sociological insights about the way religion functions in people's lives. Rough Country is as much about the rest of America as it is about Texas.
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