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episode 143: Sara Georgini, "Household Gods: The Religious Lives of the Adams Family" (Oxford UP, 2019)


Sara Georgini is a historian and series editor for The Papers of John Adams at the Massachusetts Historical Society. Household Gods: The Religious Lives of the Adams Family (Oxford University Press, 2019) is a family biography that explores the Christian republicanism of John and Abigail Adams and how it shaped their view of the origins and destiny of the American nation under the guidance of divine providence. The book charts change in religious culture through the generations with profiles of John Quincy and Louisa Catherine Adams, the religious interiority of Charles Frances Adams, the cosmopolitan outlook of the skeptic Henry Adams and the religious renewal experienced by Brooks Adams. Each generation had to reevaluate the usefulness of Christian republicanism  from the new republic, antebellum reform, the Civil War and the emptied-out faith of the Gilded Age. Household Gods not only give us insight into a famous American family through their education, travels, religious inquiry and literary endeavors but also into the changing moods of the nation over the course of more than a century.

This episode of New Books in American Studies was produced in cooperation with the Society for U.S. Intellectual History.

Lilian Calles Barger, www.lilianbarger.com, is a cultural, intellectual and gender historian. Her most recent book is entitled The World Come of Age: An Intellectual History of Liberation Theology, (Oxford University Press, 2018). Her current research project is an intellectual history of feminism seen through the emblematic life and work of Simone de Beauvoir and her reception in America.





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