God's Businessmen

Entrepreneurial Evangelicals in Depression and War

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Sarah Ruth Hammond
Editor(s): 
Darren Dochuk
  • Chicago, IL: 
    University of Chicago Press
    , November
     2017.
     240 pages.
     $45.00.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9780226509778.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Christopher D. Cantwell forthcoming.

Description

The evangelical embrace of conservatism is a familiar feature of the contemporary political landscape. What’s less well-known, however, is that the connection predates the Reagan revolution, going all the way back to the Depression and World War II. Evangelical businessmen at the time were quite active in opposing the New Deal—on both theological and economic grounds—and in doing so claimed a place alongside other conservatives in the public sphere. Like previous generations of devout laymen, they self-consciously merged their religious and business lives, financing and organizing evangelical causes with the kind of visionary pragmatism that they practiced in the boardroom.

In God’s Businessmen, Sarah Ruth Hammond explores not only these men’s personal trajectories but also those of the service clubs and other institutions that, like them, believed that businessmen were God’s instrument for the Christianization of the world. Hammond presents a capacious portrait of the relationship between the evangelical business community and the New Deal—and in doing so makes important contributions to American religious history, business history, and the history of the American state.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Sarah Ruth Hammond (1977–2011) received her PhD from Yale University in 2010 and subsequently held a position as visiting assistant professor at the College of William & Mary. Her research focused on American religious history.

Darren Dochuk is associate professor of history at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism.

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