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America’s Prophet: Moses and the American Story

A Book Review from the Epiphany Library

America’s Prophet: Moses and the American Story

by Bruce Feiler

Epiphany library section 7 C: The Church in the World: Society/Human Rights/Justice


This book, by the author of Walking the Bible and Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths, traces the influence of Moses in the history of the United States, seen in, among other things, the Puritans, Abraham Lincoln, Sojourner Truth, the Statue of Liberty, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The idea of a leader who frees his/her people and leads them to a promised land is an important part of American history, seen repeatedly in our most influential leaders, events, movements and symbols.

Moses can teach us so much about our own life journey and the American journey because Moses dealt with the daily life of his people, handling their complaints, hunger, and frailty. He faced rebellion yet still persuaded his people to follow him to the Promised Land, even though he himself never entered it. Moses can also tell

Americans something about personal fulfillment. Like Moses we must endure personal struggle in order to find our own promised land, the meaning of our lives. However, caring for others while we do that is always part of the Mosaic story and therefore must be part of ours, personally and nationally. We cannot make it through this world alone – we can only do so in community. Our responsibility is to finish that life journey; in doing so we have the chance and obligation to repair the world.

I find Feiler’s books very interesting because he interviews people whose expertise illuminates each book’s given topic. In this book, for example, he tells how he went to Independence Hall and, with the head administrator, climbed into the cupola that once housed the Liberty Bell. He also inter-
viewed a pastor who was at the Lorraine Motel with Dr. King when he was assassinated. Feiler gives us a unique, simultaneous view of history and religion which is exciting and profound. We have several of Feiler’s books; find them under Feiler in the library’s card catalog, or visit the catalog online at Type Bruce Feiler in the search box and click. All his books will pop up in a table format. Scroll to choose any book, and click on the open book icon on the far right to read that book’s review by me and other LibraryThing users. His books are so fascinating!

From Your Librarian
—Ginny Soskin

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