Frances FitzGerald, Nonfiction Winner for ‘The Evangelicals’

By Elizabeth Taylor

Nonfiction committee chair Mary Ann Gwinn presented the award to Frances FitzGerald for The Evangelicals.


How Donald Trump, a three-times-married libertine, won the presidency with the support of evangelical Christian voters may have confounded pundits. But one book tells how it happened: Frances FitzGerald’s landmark The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America.

Bringing together the best qualities of a scholar and journalist, FitzGerald chisels through the hard rock of history to explain how American evangelicals’ vision of spiritual liberty fused, over time, with free-market ideology and a pragmatic strain of libertarianism, their zeal stoked by a fear of Communism and anxiety about tumultuous social change. She charts the origins of a significant religious sensibility and follows its evolution as it turns from a religious to a political movement. The Evangelicals makes a brilliant and important contribution to our understanding of the American past and what it means for the future.

Photo by John Midgley.