Staff Picks: Books
Staff-recommended reading from the
Let My People Go
I recently enjoyed listening to Bruce Feiler's audiobook America's Prophet: Moses and the American Storyas I commuted back and forth from work. Many times I wished I was reading it, because there were so many great quotes I wanted to right down. Feiler uncovers the great influence the story of Moses and ideas from what we call the books of Moses in the Hebrew Bible have had all through the history of the United States.
Feiler finds it fascinating that this story of an oppressed people rising up to liberate themselves has resonated with and provided the inspiration for multiple, disparate groups in the United States from Revolutionary War leaders to African-American slaves to leaders of the feminist, civil rights, and gay rights movements.
A particularly interesting chapter details how abolitionists and those who defended slavery, both used the words of Moses to justify their actions.
Feiler also points out Moses' connection to the Liberty Bell, the Statue of Liberty, and the Supreme Court along with interesting tidbits about Cecil B. DeMille's movie The Ten Commandments.
One thing I hadn't given much thought to was that part of Moses' story is that he never makes it to the Promised Land. Feiler argues that this part of the story is powerful right along with the liberation story, because it reminds people that it may take several leaders, several generations before the Promised Land is reached. A loss of a powerful leader does not mean the end of a movement.
If you are interested in U.S. history or religious history, I highly recommend this insightful and powerful book.