What Hath God Wrought - Review


The story of the United States of America is a fascinating thing. Never before in has such a grand experiment taken place where a people built a nation based on their own ideals and morals. Daniel Walker Howe's, What Hath God Wrought describes one of the most influential parts of this American narrative between the years of 1815 and 1848. This time period, following the Revolutionary War and preceding the Civil War, depict a nation wrestling with it's dreams and realities. Advances in the world of technology, religion, and politics are shaped by years of war, slavery, and economic uncertainty. Howe writes a topical chronology of the Untied States. He generally moves from 1815 to 1848 in sequence but has chosen to dedicate each chapter to a topic. Inevitably, these chapters tend to overlap but do not distract from the overall movement from beginning to end. Each chapter is researched thoroughly and  objective in nature. The author occasionally offers an opinion on the matter but usually sticks to reporting on the attitudes of the day. The book is also long at 928 pages. Some passages delve into political intricacies of the day which can be difficult to follow.

A nation wrestling with its ideals and realities.

I would recommend reading this book. It is a lengthy history of a brief period in United States history and not for the feint of heart. The depth of story has helped me fill in important gaps in my own understanding of the times. I was mostly overwhelmed by the dominant religious tones of the time. The ingenuity of faith was remarkable and it's influence over matters public and private are worth a closer examination.

ReviewsBrent ColbyComment