100 books like The Flag and the Cross

By Philip S. Gorski, Samuel L. Perry,

Here are 100 books that The Flag and the Cross fans have personally recommended if you like The Flag and the Cross. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism

Andrew L. Whitehead Author Of American Idolatry: How Christian Nationalism Betrays the Gospel and Threatens the Church

From my list on Christian Nationalism in the United States.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by the relationship between Christianity and the United States for decades. Much of my work in the area of Christian nationalism is the result of my personal religious history and experiences, as well as my work as a social scientist. I’ve always been fascinated by how religion influences and is influenced by its social context. Christian nationalism in the US is a clear example of how influential religious ideologies can be in our social world.

Andrew's book list on Christian Nationalism in the United States

Andrew L. Whitehead Why did Andrew love this book?

This book painstakingly traces the powerful people and groups that support and perpetuate Christian nationalist ideologies and efforts across the United States. This book pairs well with social science texts in that it highlights the powerful networks that mobilize the millions of Americans who embrace Christian nationalism. 

By Katherine Stewart,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Power Worshippers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For readers of Democracy in Chains and Dark Money, a revelatory investigation of the Religious Right's rise to political power.

For too long the Religious Right has masqueraded as a social movement preoccupied with a number of cultural issues, such as abortion and same-sex marriage. In her deeply reported investigation, Katherine Stewart reveals a disturbing truth: this is a political movement that seeks to gain power and to impose its vision on all of society. America's religious nationalists aren't just fighting a culture war, they are waging a political war on the norms and institutions of American democracy.

Stewart pulls…


Book cover of One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America

Andrew L. Whitehead Author Of American Idolatry: How Christian Nationalism Betrays the Gospel and Threatens the Church

From my list on Christian Nationalism in the United States.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by the relationship between Christianity and the United States for decades. Much of my work in the area of Christian nationalism is the result of my personal religious history and experiences, as well as my work as a social scientist. I’ve always been fascinated by how religion influences and is influenced by its social context. Christian nationalism in the US is a clear example of how influential religious ideologies can be in our social world.

Andrew's book list on Christian Nationalism in the United States

Andrew L. Whitehead Why did Andrew love this book?

Knowing our history is so important, and this is one of the best books on the history of Christian nationalism in the United States during the 20th century.

What becomes so clear is the cultural influences on American Christianity including which voices are lifted up, and which ones are ignored or silenced. Let’s just say you won’t ever look at Billy Graham and his work the same way again.

By Kevin M. Kruse,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked One Nation Under God as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We're often told that the United States is, was, and always has been a Christian nation. But in One Nation Under God , historian Kevin M. Kruse reveals that the belief that America is fundamentally and formally Christian originated in the 1930s.To fight the slavery" of FDR's New Deal, businessmen enlisted religious activists in a campaign for freedom under God" that culminated in the election of their ally Dwight Eisenhower in 1952. The new president revolutionized the role of religion in American politics. He inaugurated new traditions like the National Prayer Breakfast, as Congress added the phrase under God" to…


Book cover of The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church

Andrew L. Whitehead Author Of American Idolatry: How Christian Nationalism Betrays the Gospel and Threatens the Church

From my list on Christian Nationalism in the United States.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by the relationship between Christianity and the United States for decades. Much of my work in the area of Christian nationalism is the result of my personal religious history and experiences, as well as my work as a social scientist. I’ve always been fascinated by how religion influences and is influenced by its social context. Christian nationalism in the US is a clear example of how influential religious ideologies can be in our social world.

Andrew's book list on Christian Nationalism in the United States

Andrew L. Whitehead Why did Andrew love this book?

It was this book that really put the pieces together for me regarding how my personal religious beliefs and my status as an American citizen should intersect.

Growing up in Christian spaces it was assumed that to be a good American was to be Christian, and to be a good Christian was to be American. Boyd’s book helped me distinguish the two in a new and fresh way.

By Gregory A. Boyd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Myth of a Christian Nation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The church was established to serve the world with Christ-like love, not to rule the world. It is called to look like a corporate Jesus, dying on the cross for those who crucified him, not a religious version of Caesar. It is called to manifest the kingdom of the cross in contrast to the kingdom of the sword. Whenever the church has succeeded in gaining what most American evangelicals are now trying to get - political power - it has been disastrous both for the church and the culture. Whenever the church picks up the sword, it lays down the…


Book cover of The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover: How the FBI Aided and Abetted the Rise of White Christian Nationalism

Andrew L. Whitehead Author Of American Idolatry: How Christian Nationalism Betrays the Gospel and Threatens the Church

From my list on Christian Nationalism in the United States.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by the relationship between Christianity and the United States for decades. Much of my work in the area of Christian nationalism is the result of my personal religious history and experiences, as well as my work as a social scientist. I’ve always been fascinated by how religion influences and is influenced by its social context. Christian nationalism in the US is a clear example of how influential religious ideologies can be in our social world.

Andrew's book list on Christian Nationalism in the United States

Andrew L. Whitehead Why did Andrew love this book?

Lerone Martin’s book makes a conclusive case for how influential Christian nationalism can be when it is embraced and enforced by a whole institution—like the FBI—but especially when the person leading that institution demands it be so. J. Edgar Hoover is likely one of the most influential purveyors of white Christian nationalism in American history. Some of the accounts are jaw-dropping.

By Lerone A. Martin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The shocking untold story of how the FBI partnered with white evangelicals to champion a vision of America as a white Christian nation

On a Sunday morning in 1966, a group of white evangelicals dedicated a stained glass window to J. Edgar Hoover. The FBI director was not an evangelical, but his Christian admirers anointed him as their political champion, believing he would lead America back to God. The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover reveals how Hoover and his FBI teamed up with leading white evangelicals and Catholics to bring about a white Christian America by any means necessary.

Lerone…


Book cover of Nothing Has to Make Sense: Upholding White Supremacy through Anti-Muslim Racism

Evelyn Alsultany Author Of Broken: The Failed Promise of Muslim Inclusion

From my list on Islamophobia and the War on Terror.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in New York City in the 1980s as an Arab Latina American Muslim, which shaped my interest in who is considered American. Back then, there was no language to talk about my experience of marginalization as Arab or Muslim. That changed after 9/11 and the War on Terror. A decade after that, the term “Islamophobia” entered the US lexicon, leading to social recognition of this form of discrimination, and many important debates about what constitutes Islamophobia. I made my career exploring how Arabs and Muslims figure into US racial politics, and am currently a professor of US Ethnic Studies at the University of Southern California.

Evelyn's book list on Islamophobia and the War on Terror

Evelyn Alsultany Why did Evelyn love this book?

Did you know that anti-Muslim racism and white supremacy are interrelated?

Razack’s book helps us understand why Islamophobia should be understood as a form of racism rather than religious discrimination. She powerfully shows that anti-Muslim racism is not unique to the political right and does not always take overt forms like “the Muslim ban.” Rather, it can manifest in liberal commitments to Western values of democracy, secularism, and women’s rights.

Razack argues that “anti-Muslim feelings” uphold infrastructures of white supremacy and laws that authorize racial violence.

By Sherene H. Razack,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nothing Has to Make Sense as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How Western nations have consolidated their whiteness through the figure of the Muslim in the post-9/11 world

While much has been written about post-9/11 anti-Muslim racism (often termed Islamophobia), insufficient attention has been given to how anti-Muslim racism operates through law and is a vital part of law's protection of whiteness. This book fills this gap while also providing a unique new global perspective on white supremacy. Sherene H. Razack, a leading critical race and feminist scholar, takes an innovative approach by situating law within media discourses and historical and contemporary realities. We may think of law as logical, but,…


Book cover of Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist

Dashka Slater Author Of Accountable: The True Story of a Racist Social Media Account and the Teenagers Whose Lives It Changed

From my list on facing down extremism, online and off.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent the past ten years reporting and writing true crime narratives about teenagers and hate, first in The 57 Bus and now in Accountable. My research has led me into some fascinating places and has left me convinced that we cannot prevent what we don’t understand. In both books I found that the young people who harmed others weren’t the stereotypical grimacing loners I’d always associated with hate and extremism. Instead, they were imitating behaviors that we see all around us. Being young, with brains that aren’t fully developed in important ways, and lacking the life experience that teaches us a more nuanced understanding of the world, they are ripe for radicalization.

Dashka's book list on facing down extremism, online and off

Dashka Slater Why did Dashka love this book?

Saslow tells the true story of a white nationalist’s journey out of extremism with the help of some very unlikely allies, one of whom is Jewish.

It’s both a compelling page-turner and an ethical conundrum. What is the best way to respond to the scion of one of the nation’s most influential white nationalist and neo-Nazi families? I found it riveting, revealing, and disturbing, but also moving and uplifting. 

By Eli Saslow,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Rising Out of Hatred as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, the powerful story of how a prominent white supremacist changed his heart and mind. This is a book to help us understand the American moment and to help us better understand one another.

“Rising Out of Hatred proclaims if the successor to the white nationalist movement can forsake his ideological upbringing, can rebirth himself in antiracism, then we can too no matter the personal cost. This book is an inspiration.” —Ibram X. Kendi, bestselling author of How to Be An Antiracist

Derek Black grew up at the epicenter of white nationalism. His father founded Stormfront,…


Book cover of God's Name in Vain: The Wrongs and Rights of Religion in Politics

David E. Guinn Author Of Handbook of Bioethics and Religion

From my list on the role of religion in the public realm.

Why am I passionate about this?

Throughout my life, I have been fascinated by religion, initially in struggling with individual belief and later with its place within the social and political world. As a bioethicist, I studied and worked with patients and practitioners as they dealt with religious and moral concerns in healthcare. Then, as an international human rights advocate, educator, and governance development practitioner, I engaged with people of faith and secularists in the struggle to protect human rights and dignity as well as to attempt to promote peacebuilding in the post-conflict areas in which I worked, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Cote d’Ivoire.

David's book list on the role of religion in the public realm

David E. Guinn Why did David love this book?

In the 1990s, Stephen Carter wrote a trilogy of works on religion and politics. In the first two, he criticizes the idea of a “wall of separation” approach to religious freedom that many have viewed as being hostile toward the discussion of religious beliefs in the public sphere, and he argues that religion supports informed moral debate over issues of public policy. 

In this book, Carter returns to “the wall,” but this time, he adopts the thinking of John Winthrop, who viewed the wall of separation as a means of protecting religion from the corrupting influences of politics and power–not protecting the state from religion.

I find this of particular value as it has been absent from most recent conversations on this topic. As with Jon Meacham, Carter’s writing is eloquent, well-argued, engaging, and free of vitriol.

By Stephen L. Carter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked God's Name in Vain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stephen Carter argues that American politics is unimaginable without America's religious voice. Using contemporary and historical examples, from abolitionist sermons to presidential candidates' confessions, he illustrates ways in which religion and politics do and do not mesh well and ways in which spiritual perspectives might make vital contributions to our national debates. He also warns us of the importance of setting out some sensible limits, so that religious institutions do not allow themselves to be seduced by the lure of temporal power, and offers strong examples of principled and prophetic religious activism for those who choose their God before their…


Book cover of The Election of the Evangelical: Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, and the Presidential Contest of 1976

Robert L. Fleegler Author Of Brutal Campaign: How the 1988 Election Set the Stage for Twenty-First-Century American Politics

From my list on explaining today’s polarized US politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a history professor at the University of Mississippi and I've been a political junkie for a long time. I really began following politics during the 1988 presidential election and I vividly remember reading about the race in the newspaper every morning and then watching the evening news coverage each night. Thus, it seemed like the perfect topic for my second book. It was really fascinating to see the similarities and differences between my memories and the sources from the time.

Robert's book list on explaining today’s polarized US politics

Robert L. Fleegler Why did Robert love this book?

Williams’ book is an excellent look at an earlier election with many similarities to 1988. 

As opposed to today’s elections where candidates work to motivate their bases, Democrat Jimmy Carter and Republican Gerald Ford worked to build broad electoral coalitions in 1976. They had to concern themselves with both liberal and conservative constituencies within their own parties. 

In the end, Carter was able to unite the old New Deal coalition for one last hurrah while Ford nearly provided a last gasp for traditional establishment conservatism. By 1988, the two parties were not the same big tents they were in 1976 but still featured much greater ideological diversity than they do today.

By Daniel K. Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Election of the Evangelical as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From where we stand now, the election of 1976 can look like an alternate reality: southern white evangelicals united with African Americans, northern Catholics, and Jews in support of a Democratic presidential candidate; the Republican candidate, a social moderate whose wife proudly proclaimed her support for Roe v. Wade, was able to win over Great Plains farmers as well as cultural liberals in Oregon, California, Connecticut, and New Jersey - even as he lost Ohio, Texas, and nearly the entire South. The Election of the Evangelical offers an unprecedented, behind-the-headlines analysis of this now almost unimaginable political moment, which proved…


Book cover of Precarious Childhood in Post-Independence Ireland

Heidi Daniele Author Of The House Children

From my list on Irish industrial schools and mother baby homes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am first generation American - my mother is from Ireland and my father is from Germany. I’ve always had an interest in my heritage and developed a passion for genealogy. My curiosity led me to researching Industrial Schools and Mother Baby Homes in Ireland. I’ve read many books about these institutions and also wrote a book of my own based on stories of former residents of St. Joseph’s Industrial School in Ballinasloe, Galway.

Heidi's book list on Irish industrial schools and mother baby homes

Heidi Daniele Why did Heidi love this book?

Moira J. Maguire has written a book that could be used by academics yet still fascinates a curious reader. Precarious Childhood in Post-Independence Ireland gives a full view of the system implemented to care for needy children. The study examines the roles of religion and state involved in providing services. Maguire references documents and quotes from reports to give the reader an authentic view of how destitute, abused, and illegitimate children were cared for. 

By Moira J. Maguire,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Precarious Childhood in Post-Independence Ireland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This fascinating study reveals the desperate plight of the poor, illegitimate, and abused children in an Irish society that claimed to cherish and hold them sacred, but in fact marginalized and ignored them. It examines closely the history of childhood in post-independence Ireland, and breaks new ground in examining the role of the state in caring for its most vulnerable citizens.

Maguire gives voice to those children who formed a significant proportion of the Irish population, but have been ignored in the historical record. More importantly, she uses their experiences as lenses through which to re-evaluate Catholic influence in post-independence…


Book cover of American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation

David E. Guinn Author Of Handbook of Bioethics and Religion

From my list on the role of religion in the public realm.

Why am I passionate about this?

Throughout my life, I have been fascinated by religion, initially in struggling with individual belief and later with its place within the social and political world. As a bioethicist, I studied and worked with patients and practitioners as they dealt with religious and moral concerns in healthcare. Then, as an international human rights advocate, educator, and governance development practitioner, I engaged with people of faith and secularists in the struggle to protect human rights and dignity as well as to attempt to promote peacebuilding in the post-conflict areas in which I worked, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Cote d’Ivoire.

David's book list on the role of religion in the public realm

David E. Guinn Why did David love this book?

Like President Biden, whenever I want an eloquent, historically grounded analysis of the liberal American project, I turn to Jon Meacham.

In the midst of an ever-growing culture war between extremists who claim the United States was founded as a Christian Nation and those claiming an impermeable wall of separation between all religion and the state, Meacham offers a calmly argued defense of the much more nuanced American approach to religious freedom.

I love the way he teases out the religious influences that helped shape the thinking of American leaders and how they are melded with the guiding principles of liberty, justice, and respect for individual freedom as set forth in the Declaration of Independence.  

By Jon Meacham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked American Gospel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham reveals how the Founding Fathers viewed faith—and how they ultimately created a nation in which belief in God is a matter of choice.

At a time when our country seems divided by extremism, American Gospel draws on the past to offer a new perspective. Meacham re-creates the fascinating history of a nation grappling with religion and politics–from John Winthrop’s “city on a hill” sermon to Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence; from the Revolution to the Civil War; from a proposed nineteenth-century Christian Amendment to the Constitution to Martin Luther King,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in nationalism, politics, and presidential biography?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about nationalism, politics, and presidential biography.

Nationalism Explore 64 books about nationalism
Politics Explore 722 books about politics
Presidential Biography Explore 19 books about presidential biography