Kevin Kruse's One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America


One Nation under God confronts widespread assumptions about the place of religion in public life by asking, “Is the United States a Christian nation?” (p. xiii). Many Americans are convinced that it is and always has been. Kevin M. Kruse, a professor of history at Princeton University, demonstrates that many of the expressions of public religion are postwar inventions, such as “In God We Trust” on U.S. stamps and legal tender, “one nation under god” in the Pledge of Allegiance, or the ubiquity of prayers at political events. Kruse argues that this belief—or rather, assumption—explains contemporary political identities, party platforms, and political polarization. When this book was published in 2015, Kruse most likely did not anticipate the election of Donald J. Trump to the White House; however, his book helps explain how it happened and, in particular, why self-identified born-again evangelical voters, according to Pew Research Center exit polls, overwhelmingly supported a political candidate whose words and actions seemed to belie their religious convictions.