Paul Crookston

Still Marching On

Review: 'A Fiery Gospel' by Richard M. Gamble

Nationalism used to be the norm in American politics. It powered the northern effort to reunify the country and end slavery with a war that came to define the country. Since the United States was much more of a religious country in the middle of the 19th century, it follows that the enduring anthem of the Union effort would be the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." It's Old and New Testament imagery and its emphasis on God's judgment is much better fitted to that America than to the America of modern day. Yet the conspicuously religious song has stuck around. Does it have anything to say about our present movement for nationalism?