2017 National Book Award Finalist, Nonfiction

Frances FitzGerald

The Evangelicals by Frances FitzGerald Frances FitzGerald
The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America
(Simon & Schuster)

ISBN: 9781439131336

National Book Foundation: Why did you write this book?
Frances FitzGerald: I met Jerry Falwell by accident in 1980 and have been writing about evangelicals off and on since then. One of the important things I learned was no one can understand evangelical politics or beliefs without understanding evangelical history. While there are some remarkable histories, there was no single account of American evangelicals in all their great variety from Jonathan Edwards on. Thus I dared to write one.
Foundation: What’s your favorite bookstore or library?
FitzGerald: I have two favorite libraries: the New York University library and the New York Society Library. I use the first for research and the second for novels and nonfiction books I read for fun and my own education. Both are easy to use; they have open shelves and are comfortable, quiet places for reading.  

judges' citation

What FitzGerald has given us with this book is a lens through which to see the invisible thread that runs across American history. This invisible thread is the story of the evangelicals, and it runs south to north, east to west, across slavery and abolitionism, across the women’s rights movements, across labor laws and the labor movement, and all the way into our present and future cultural wars around immigration, the economy, and the environment. And, thanks to The Evangelicals we realize this thread is not invisible at all but is so evident we often fail to see it.


This groundbreaking book from Pulitzer Prize­–winning historian Frances FitzGerald is the first to tell the powerful, dramatic story of the Evangelical movement in America—from the Puritan era to the 2016 presidential election.

About the Author

Frances FitzGerald is a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Bancroft Prize, among others. She is the author of Fire in the Lake, America Revised, Cities on a Hill, Way Out There in the Blue, and Vietnam: Spirits of the Earth. She has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, The Nation, Rolling Stone, and Esquire. She lives in New York and Maine with her husband, James Sterba.


- WEBSITE: francesfitzgerald.net

(Photo credit: Frances F. Denny)


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