The Twilight of the American Enlightenment: The 1950s and the Crisis of Liberal Belief
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date: February 2014
Duration: 6 hours 26 minutes
In the aftermath of World War II, the United States stood at a precipice. The forces of modernity unleashed by the war had led to astonishing advances in daily life, but technology and mass culture also threatened to erode the country’s traditional moral character. As award-winning historian George M. Marsden explains in The Twilight of the American Enlightenment, postwar Americans looked to the country’s secular liberal elites for guidance in this precarious time, but these intellectuals proved unable to articulate a coherent common cause by which America could chart its course. Their failure lost them the faith of their constituents, paving the way for a Christian revival that offered America a firm new moral vision—one rooted in the Protestant values of the founders.
A groundbreaking reappraisal of the country’s spiritual reawakening, The Twilight of the American Enlightenment shows how America found new purpose at the dawn of the Cold War.
“Marsden employs historical analysis to suggest why the United States is so badly split between secular-oriented intellectuals and religiously doctrinaire church leaders, a split that seems to have harmed the nations moral character, forged during World War II…An important discourse.”—Kirkus Reviews