Found it: How the Quakers Invented America

Found it. How the Quakers Invented America. By religion columnist David Yount.

I wanted it last night for my "introduction to Quakerism" talk at the Friends School. It didn't happen. Buying the book, that is; the talk happened, and it was fine.

On a whim I stopped at the Borders at the mall on the way home. Nothin'. Their only store in the region that had a copy was in Union Square, in downtown S.F. Well, I don't usually go downtown any more, so I didn't have the staffer place a hold on that copy.

However, I just happened to have a meeting near there this morning. So in I went, and there it was. Bingo! Cover blurb by author and blogger Brent Bill!

(Yes, I know I should support www.quakerbooks.org and my now-only-semi-local-since-we-moved bookstore. I've created handy-dandy links to the Quaker Books page so you can order it there yourself.)

In addition to his column for Scripps Howard, Yount has written several other books. He also wrote an article for Quaker Life in March 2002 called "Why Did Quakers Stop Quaking?"

While I'd like to tell you more about the book, I'd have to actually read it first. So stay tuned... Gotta go!

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PS Did you know Gen. Smedley Butler, author of War is a Racket, was raised a Quaker? One of his nicknames was "the Fighting Quaker" -- ugh. On a second whim for the evening, I looked him up on Wikipedia, and there it was. Apparently President Herbert Hoover and he didn't get along. Was it partly because of the Quaker connection?

PPS Peggy Senger Parsons, when are you going to publish a book of your columns? Hmmm? Hmmm?


John Kindley said...

I've never heard of that book before, but I've occasionally in the past thought that a book with the thesis that name indicates should be written! I'm glad to hear such a book already exists, but I'm sure my local Borders doesn't have it. If you've had the chance to read it, is it as good as it sounds?

Re: Smedley Butler, as I recall I first became aware of him and War is a Racket through the Quaker connection somehow. On my blog link to that essay I include that rather oxymoronic nickname, "Fighting Quaker." Just for kicks I also link on the blogroll to a blog by "The Quaker's Colonel," which is supported by the Friends National Legislation Committee.

Anonymous said...

John -- Thanks for commenting. I've subscribed to your blog, though I haven't quite caught up with all the posts yet.

I'm about halfway through the book. It's a pretty interesting "modern apology" for Quakers generally, without that much explanation of how Quakerism influenced American culture. There's a bit more of that near the end. That angle was what made me so excited to get the book, so I do wish he played it up a bit more. I'm reserving judgment overall until I get a bit further in the book.

Thanks for mentioning the Quakers' Colonel blog. I thought about referring to it in the post, but I already had enough different items in there.

-- Chris M.