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Why Priests?: A Failed Traditionby Garry Wills
Synopses & Reviews
From Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Garry Wills, a groundbreaking examination of how the atomic bomb profoundly altered the nature of American democracy and has left us in a state of war alert ever since.
In Bomb Power, Garry Wills reveals how the atomic bomb transformed our nation down to its deepest constitutional roots-by dramatically increasing the power of the modern presidency and redefining the government as a national security state-in ways still felt today. A masterful reckoning from one of America's preeminent historians, Bomb Power draws a direct line from the Manhattan Project to the usurpations of George W. Bush.
The invention of the atomic bomb was a triumph of official secrecy and military discipline-the project was covertly funded at the behest of the president and, despite its massive scale, never discovered by Congress or the press. This concealment was perhaps to be expected in wartime, but Wills persuasively argues that the Manhattan Project then became a model for the covert operations and overt authority that have defined American government in the nuclear era. The wartime emergency put in place during World War II extended into the Cold War and finally the war on terror, leaving us in a state of continuous war alert for sixty-eight years and counting.
The bomb forever changed the institution of the presidency since only the president controls "the button" and, by extension, the fate of the world. Wills underscores how radical a break this was from the division of powers established by our founding fathers and how it in turn has enfeebled Congress and the courts. The bomb also placed new emphasis on the president's military role, creating a cult around the commander in chief. The tendency of modern presidents to flaunt military airs, Wills points out, is entirely a postbomb phenomenon. Finally, the Manhattan Project inspired the vast secretive apparatus of the national security state, including intelligence agencies such as the CIA and NSA, which remain largely unaccountable to Congress and the American people.
Wills recounts how, following World War II, presidential power increased decade by decade until reaching its stunning apogee with the Bush administration. Both provocative and illuminating, Bomb Power casts the history of the postwar period in a new light and sounds an alarm about the continued threat to our Constitution.
New York Timesbestselling author Garry Wills provides a provocative analysis of the theological and historical basis for the priesthood
In a riveting and provocative tour de force from the author of What Jesus Meant, Pulitzer Prize winner Garry Wills poses the challenging question: Why did the priesthood develop in a religion that began without it and, indeed, was opposed to it? Why Priests? argues brilliantly and persuasively for a radical re-envisioning of the role of the church as the Body of Christ and for a new and better understanding of the very basis of Christian belief. As Wills emphasizes, the stakes for the writer and the church are high, for without the priesthood there would be no belief in an apostolic succession, the real presence in the Eucharist, the sacrificial interpretation of the Mass, and the ransom theory of redemption. This superb study of the origins of the priesthood stands as Willss towering achievement and will be of interest to all inquiring minds, believers and non-believers alike.
New York Times-bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Garry Wills interprets the four Gospels.
About the Author
Garry Wills is one of the most respected writers on religion today. He is the author of Saint Augustine’s Childhood, Saint Augustine’s Memory, and Saint Augustine’s Sin, the first three volumes in this series, as well as the Penguin Lives biography Saint Augustine. His other books include “Negro President”: Jefferson and the Slave Power, Why I Am a Catholic, Papal Sin, and Lincoln at Gettysburg, which won the Pulitzer Prize.
Table of Contents
Part One: The "Hamiltonian" Madison
2. Nassau Hall
Part Two: The "Madisonian" Hamilton
7. King's College
Part Three: Checks and Balances (No. 51)
11. Mixed Government
12. Separated Powers
14. Legislative Supremacy: Hamilton
15. Judicial Review: Hamilton
16. Celebrated Maxim
17. Judicial Review: Madison
18. Legislative Supremacy: Madison
Part Four: Representation (No. 10)
21. Genius of the People
26. Extent of Territory
27. To Refine...
28. ...and Enlarge
29. Diffusive Character
30. The Third Publius
Key to Brief Citations
Topic Outline of The Federalist
Index to Federalist Numbers
Index to Phrases (No. 10)
Index to Proper Names
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