The American Soul

The American Soul

Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders

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Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9781585422265
  • 400 Pages
  • TarcherPerigee
  • Adult


Looking at the lives of America’s founders-including Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin-scholar and bestselling author Jacob Needleman explores their core of inner beliefs; their religious and spiritual sensibilities; and their individual conception of the purpose of life. 

The founders, Needleman argues, conceived of an “inner democracy”: a continual pursuit of wisdom and self-improvement that would undergird the outer democracy in which we live today. Any understanding of America as a nation of spiritual values will in the years ahead require Needleman’s work as a point of reference.


“If ever a work of philosophical ideas arrived at a time when human events make it not only timely but urgently relevant, The American Soul is such a book.” -San Francisco Chronicle

“So literate it comes close to poetry…[This] book makes you think and rethink most of the ideas you ever had about the stunning people who give American history both its exceptionalism and its commonalities.” -Martin Peretz