Sunday, October 14, 2007

Five best books: the Anglo-American relationship

Michael Barone, a senior writer at U.S. News & World Report, named a five best list of books about "the shared heritage of America and Britain" for Opinion Journal.

One title on the list:

Freedom Just Around the Corner by Walter McDougall (HarperCollins, 2004).

This first volume of a history of America from its colonial beginnings skillfully interweaves developments in Britain with those in the North American colonies. Stressing the importance of religion in the formation of the nation's character, McDougall shows how the First Great Awakening of the 1740s was a transatlantic movement, with George Whitefield preaching in Georgia, Philadelphia (with Benjamin Franklin as his publicist) and New England, as well as in Scotland, Ireland and Whitefield's native England. Methodism and the Masonic Order were also imports from England, as McDougall examines in detail. He leaves off in 1828 with Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, breaking ground for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad--and with the reader eager for the next volume.

Read more about Barone's list.

--Marshal Zeringue