Though the Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion, it does not specify what qualifies as a religion. From its founding in the 1830s, Mormonism, a homegrown American faith, has drawn thousands of converts but far more critics. In A Peculiar People, J. Spencer Fluhman offers a comprehensive history of anti-Mormon thought and the associated passionate debates about religious authenticity in 19th-century America. He argues that understanding anti-Mormonism provides critical insight into the American psyche because Mormonism became a potent symbol around which ideas about religion and the state took shape. Fluhman documents how Mormonism was defamed, with attacks often aimed at polygamy, and shows how the new faith supplied a social enemy for a public agitated by the popular press and wracked with social and economic instability. Taking the story to the turn of the century, Fluhman demonstrates how Mormonism’s own transformations, the result of both choice and outside force, sapped the strength of the worst anti-Mormon vitriol, triggering the acceptance of Utah into the Union in 1896 and also paving the way for the dramatic, yet still grudging, acceptance of Mormonism as an American religion. J. Spencer Fluhman is assistant professor of history at Brigham Young University. 1. Language: English. Narrator: John Pruden. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/blak/005216/bk_blak_005216_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
A timely, counterintuitive defense of Wall Street and the big banks as the invisible - albeit flawed - engines that power our ideas and should be made to work better for all of us. Maybe you think the banks should be broken up and the bankers should be held accountable for the financial crisis in 2008. Maybe you hate the greed of Wall Street but know that it´s important to the proper functioning of the world economy. Maybe you don´t really understand Wall Street, and phrases such as credit default swap make your eyes glaze over. Maybe you are utterly confused by the fact that after attacking Wall Street mercilessly during his campaign, Donald Trump has surrounded himself with Wall Street veterans. But if you like your smartphone or your widescreen TV, your car or your morning bacon, your pension or your 401(k), then - whether you know it or not - you are a fan of Wall Street. William D. Cohan is no knee-jerk advocate for Wall Street and the big banks. He´s one of America´s most respected financial journalists and the progressive best-selling author of House of Cards. He has long been critical of the bad behavior that plagued much of Wall Street in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, and because he spent 17 years as an investment banker on Wall Street, he is an expert on its inner workings as well. But in recent years he´s become alarmed by the cheap shots and ceaseless vitriol directed at Wall Street´s bankers, traders, and executives - the people whose job it is to provide capital to those who need it, the grease that keeps our economy humming. In this brisk, no-nonsense narrative, Cohan reminds us of the good these institutions do - and the dire consequences for us all if the essential role they play in making our lives better is carelessly curtailed. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Rob Shapiro. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rand/004973/bk_rand_004973_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In this hour, Jack Abramoff. He’s hardly a murderer. But to many in the Beltline, he’s the devil incarnate. Senator Conrad Burns, said ´´I wish he’d never been born.” Congresswoman Deborah Price said, ´´He is a creep, and we hate him.” Paul Begala summed it up when he said on Crossfire ´´Jack Abramoff, he’s scum.” How did this guy earn such vitriol? Jack Abramoff was the notorious lobbyist at the center of one of Washington’s most far-reaching corruption scandals.He served four years for fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials. His testimony brought down dozens of other public and elected officials. And he still owes 44 million dollars in restitution. Abramoff is out of jail now, and he told Anne Strainchamps he intends to spend the rest of his life making amends.Next, there’s one devil we NEVER sympathize with: the terrorist. But... Hold on. Not so fast, says filmmaker Marshall Curry. His documentary If a Tree Falls follows Daniel McGowan – a convicted terrorist… currently serving time. McGowan used arson as political protest with The Earth Liberation Front – a group the FBI considers America’s number one domestic terrorist threat.After that, there´s a biblical concept we’ve been talking about – redemption. The dictionary defines it as deliverance from sin. Atonement for guilt. But are there – should there be – limits to the kind of sins that can be redeemed? What about mass murder? And finally, Jim Fleming responds to the documentary film If a Tree Falls that follows Daniel McGowan – a convicted terrorist… currently serving time. McGowan used arson as political protest with The Earth Liberation Front – a group the FBI considers America’s number one domestic terrorist threat. [Broadcast Date: April 5, 2013] 1. Language: English. Narrator: Jim Fleming. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/rt/tbon/130405/rt_tbon_130405_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.