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Myths America Lives By Richard T.

Hughes University of Illinois Press, 2004 Endorsements

This most timely book comes at a point where our American myths may prove more dangerous that salutary in a world which sees our political practice at odds with our civic profession. Hughes has done the nation a great service in making us see ourselves as we are and as others see us. This is one book George Bush and company should read, and fast.

Myths America Lives By is ferociously rational in its moral character. Hughes has written an elegant and compelling book. I am convinced that the reader will come away with a deeper appreciation of the major myths that govern our lives.
MolefiKeteAsante,authorofErasingRacism:TheSocialSurvivalofthe AmericanNation

An outstanding book. Because the perspectives of minorities are prominent throughout, many whites may find it challenging and difficult to read. If, however, they press forward with empathy, they will gain a larger perspective on America that will enable them to work together with African Americans and others in making this land an oasis of freedom and justice for all its citizens.
JamesH.Cone,authorofRisksofFaith:TheEmergenceofBlack TheologyofLiberation,19681998

Hughes is a storyteller who makes the familiar strange and the strange familiar. From a belief-full and respectful vantage, here he takes on our American founding myths, inherently religious in inspiration, showing their important strengths as well as their vulnerability to distortion. In the process, he carries the reader along to a deeper, purer patriotism that is open to correction and flexible enough to change with our changing culture and society.
BarbaraDeConcini,authorofNarrativeRememberingandexecutive director,AmericanAcademyofReligion

By holding Americas guiding myths up to the critique of Americas minorities, especially African Americans, Hughes helps us to distinguish the best in Americas story from its absolutized perversions. In a time of much official self-righteousness about Americas role in the world, Hughes helpfully reminds us that Americas virtues, as Reinhold Niebuhr famously observed, can ironically turn into vices when too complacently relied upon.
MarkU.Edwards,Jr.,associatedean,HarvardDivinitySchool,and formerpresident,St.OlafCollege

Richard Hughes is one of our most gifted commentators on the deepest hopes and fears that guide us and drive uson our national pilgrimage. And here he is at his best. This is an important book for all who care deeply about a healthy American self-understanding.
RichardJ.Mouw,authorofUncommonDecency:ChristianCivility inanUncivilWorld