Saving History

How White Evangelicals Tour the Nation's Capital and Redeem a Christian America

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Lauren R. Kerby
  • Chapel Hill: 
    University of North Carolina Press
    , April
     208 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by E. Harold Breitenberg forthcoming.


Millions of tourists visit Washington, D.C., every year, but for some the experience is about much more than sightseeing. Lauren R. Kerby’s lively book takes readers onto tour buses and explores the world of Christian heritage tourism. These expeditions visit the same attractions as their secular counterparts—Capitol Hill, the Washington Monument, the war memorials, and much more—but the white evangelicals who flock to the tours are searching for evidence that America was founded as a Christian nation.

The tours preach a historical jeremiad that resonates far beyond Washington. White evangelicals across the United States tell stories of the nation’s Christian origins, its subsequent fall into moral and spiritual corruption, and its need for repentance and return to founding principles. This vision of American history, Kerby finds, is white evangelicals’ most powerful political resource—it allows them to shapeshift between the roles of faithful patriots and persecuted outsiders. In an era when white evangelicals’ political commitments baffle many observers, this book offers a key for understanding how they continually reimagine the American story and their own place in it.

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

Lauren R. Kerby is lecturer on religious studies at Harvard Divinity School.


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