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The American Miracle : Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic
by Michael Medved and Michael Medved

Overview - LUCKY . . .OR BLESSED?
The history of the United States displays an uncanny pattern: At moments of crisis, when the odds against success seem overwhelming and disaster looks imminent, fate intervenes to provide deliverance and progress.
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More About The American Miracle by Michael Medved; Michael Medved
 
 
 
Overview

LUCKY . . .OR BLESSED?
The history of the United States displays an uncanny pattern: At moments of crisis, when the odds against success seem overwhelming and disaster looks imminent, fate intervenes to provide deliverance and progress. Historians may categorize these incidents as happy accidents, callous crimes, or the product of brilliant leadership, but the most notable leaders of the past four hundred years have identified this good fortune as something else—a reflection of divine providence. In The American Miracle, bestselling author and radio host Michael Medved recounts some of the most significant events in America's rise to prosperity and power, from the writing of the Constitution to the Civil War. He reveals a record of improbabilities and amazements that demonstrate what the Founders always believed: that events unfolded according to a master plan, with destiny playing an unmistakable role in lifting the nation to greatness.
Among the stirring, illogical episodes described here:
• A band of desperate religious refugees find themselves blown hopelessly off course, only to be deposited at the one spot on a wild continent best suited for their survival
• George Washington's beaten army, surrounded by a ruthless foe and on the verge of annihilation, manages an impossible escape due to a freakish change in the weather
• A famous conqueror known for seizing territory, frustrated by a slave rebellion and a frozen harbor, impulsively hands Thomas Jefferson a tract of land that doubles the size of the United States
• A weary soldier picks up three cigars left behind in an open field and notices the stogies have been wrapped in a handwritten description of the enemy's secret battle plans—a revelation that gives Lincoln the supernatural sign he's awaited in order to free the slaves
When millions worry over the nation losing its way, Medved's sweeping narrative, bursting with dramatic events and lively portraits of unforgettable, occasionally little-known characters, affirms America as "fortune's favorite," shaped by a distinctive destiny from our beginnings to the present day.
From the Hardcover edition.

 
Details
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Gr
  • Date: Nov 2016
 
Excerpts

From the cover

1

The Glorious Fourth

Dedication, Death, and Fifty Years of Miracles

Coincidence alone could never explain it: that much seemed obvious to Americans of 1826, just as it does to citizens of today. The eerie events of that epochal Independence Day suggested the intervention of supernatural forces, mixing death and dedication in such powerful ways that observers of all faiths, and of no faith, saw evidence of destiny's direction in American affairs. Even now, after nearly two hundred years of turbulent history, recollections of that "Glorious Fourth" can compel the most skeptical scholars to acknowledge weird, wonderful aspects in the rise of the Republic, and to reconsider the disconcerting old idea that God shows special tenderness toward the American experiment.

On the occasion of the fiftieth Fourth of July, such confidence in providential protection seemed not only logical but unavoidable. After all, the older citizens of the federal Union had already witnessed a half century of miracles, highlighted by the new nation's prodigious growth and unprecedented prosperity. Americans viewed themselves as a chosen people, selected for special responsibilities to accompany their special blessings, and so looked to biblical references to establish the proper context for major public celebrations.

The preparations for the anniversary repeatedly invoked the Old Testament notion of jubilee, citing a well-known verse in Leviticus: "And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout all the land and unto all the inhabitants thereof; it shall be a jubilee unto you" (25:10). After all, a portion of this same verse had been inscribed onto the Liberty Bell itself—already a cherished national icon just two generations after it reputedly rang out in Philadelphia's Independence Hall to celebrate signing of the Declaration.

A half century later, leaders in every corner of the country arranged for pealing bells in cities, villages, and crossroads churches, in recognition of the breathtaking growth of the young Republic. The most recent census showed almost twelve million inhabitants—nearly five times the population that had launched a world-changing revolution. Even more dramatic, a loose coalition of thirteen thinly settled colonies, clinging to a relatively narrow band of territory at the edge of the Atlantic, had given way to twenty-four flourishing states with plausible dreams of an American empire someday reaching all the way to the Pacific.

In the midst of this dizzying change, Americans of the era clung to their precious remaining connections to the nation's heroic origins, expressing special gratitude for the unlikely survival of the two titans who had played the most prominent roles in declaring independence. At a time when male life expectancy barely reached forty years, John Adams, the "Atlas of Independence" and the second president of the United States, had passed his ninetieth birthday with his faculties and health remarkably intact. From his ancestral home outside of Boston, he watched with passionate engagement as his oldest son (and intellectual soul mate) presided over the government in faraway Washington as the sixth president. In fact, one of the former chief executive's doctors reported that the inauguration of his son in 1825 actually enhanced the old man's strength and vitality. "But physicians do not always consider how much the powers of the mind, and what is called good spirits, can recover the lost energies of the body," wrote Benjamin Waterhouse to President John Quincy Adams. "I really believe that your father's revival is mainly owing to the demonstration that his son has not served an...

 
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