For most people outside the United States, America's religious fervour conjures up images of intolerance and ultra-conservatism. But Barack Obama captured a large chunk of the evangelical vote and slavery would never have been abolished without the hot gospellers of the nineteenth century. The story of the way religion plays out in American politics is richer and more complicated than is usually understood.
With his customary panache and incomparable knowledge of history strengthened by his relentless trips across America, Simon Schama shed light on this fascinating subject.
Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University in New York. Since 1995, he has been art and culture critic for The New Yorker, and essayist for The Guardian. His award-winning books include The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age; Citizens; Rembrandt's Eyes, the History of Britain trilogy, Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution and, most recently, The American Future.
George Webber Memorial Evening