Trump and the Protestant Reaction to Make America Great Again
This book explores how polarised interpretations of America’s past influence the present and vice versa. A focus on competing Protestant reactions to President Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan evidences a fundamental divide over how America should remember historical racism, sexism and exploitation. Additionally, these Protestants disagree over how the past influences present injustice and equality. The 2020 killing of George Floyd forced these rival histories into the open. Rowley proposes that recovering a complex view of the past, confessing the bad and embracing the good, might help Americans have a shared memory that can bridge polarisation and work to secure justice and equality.
An accessible and timely book, this is essential reading for those concerned with the vexed relationship of religion and politics in the United States, including students and scholars in the fields of Protestantism, history, political science, religious studies and sociology.
- Introduction: remembering and forgetting the past
- Is MAGA inclusive or exclusive?
- Make America great again
- Make America lament
- Make America better
- Conclusion: confessing history from George Washington to George Floyd
"With thoroughness, fair-mindedness, and many memorable turns of phrase, Rowley provides a profoundly insightful and engaging analysis of the historical visions that animate pro-MAGA and anti-MAGA Protestants. And he points us to something better, namely a vision to Make America Better that honestly accounts for America’s historic sins and successes and her future promise."
Judd Birdsall, Cambridge University, UK.
"Battles over America’s future are often fought out on the terrain of America’s past, and the Trump era is no exception to that rule. Matthew Rowley shows us how different groups of American Christians map this terrain and shows us what the religious right and left get right and wrong about the nation’s past. This compact, topical and lucidly written volume will be of interest to readers in a wide range of fields across the humanities and social sciences."
Philip Gorski, Yale University, USA.
"Trump and the Protestant Reaction to Make America Great Again is not only an impressive work of scholarship, but also a desperately needed one. Rowley provides in-depth research on the diversity of American Protestant political traditions to offer a thoughtful, nuanced analysis of our political times. This is a must for anyone who wants to truly understand the Trump era."
Michael McKoy, Wheaton College, USA.