Richmond, VA: John Knox Press, 1972. Presumed First Edition, First printing. Hardcover. 20 cm. 160 pages. Illustrations (editorial cartoons). Front DJ flap price clipped. Dr. Alley was the organizer of the Richmond Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. In 1968 he directed the Eugene McCarthy campaign in Richmond and served as Virginia State Treasurer for McCarthy. Dr. Alley was an Associate Professor of Religion at the University of Richmond. Derived from a Kirkus review: The author takes Robert Bellah's thesis that there is among us a "civil religion" -- a "fourth force" which along with Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, and Judaism is a religious factor in American life. Professor Alley scrutinizes the broader actions and decisions made by various presidents to discern where and how this particular religious tradition is operating as a determinant. He groups the presidents of the country in three categories (Congregational-Unitarian, Calvinist, and Episcopal) and contends that it is the second (Calvinist) strain that has predominated especially since the Civil War. He concludes that no civil religion in fact exists, nor is any demanded by our democratic tradition. This leads to the judgment that President Nixon has strongest affinity with his Democratic predecessor, Woodrow Wilson. The incisive writing, the broad command of material, and the fresh insights offered here make this little volume of far greater importance than its size. Condition: Good / Fair.
Keywords: Calvinists, Religion, Presidents, Woodrow Wilson, Richard Nixon, Civil Liberties, John F. Kennedy, Franklin Roosevelt, Foreign Policy