- 23,99 €
Beschreibung des Verlags
A magnet for controversy, the media, and followers, the Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr. was the premier voice of northern religious liberalism for more than a quarter-century, and a worthy heir to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. From his pulpits at Yale University and, later, New York City’s Riverside Church, Coffin focused national attention on civil rights, the anti-Vietnam War movement, disarmament, and gay rights. This revealing biography—based on unparalleled access to family papers and candid interviews with Coffin, his colleagues, family, friends, lovers, and wives—tells for the first time the remarkable story of Coffin’s life.
An army and CIA veteran before assuming the post of Yale University chaplain at the youthful age of 33, Coffin gained notoriety as a leader of a dangerous civil rights Freedom Ride in 1961, as a defendant in the “Boston Five” trial of draft resisters in 1969, and as the preeminent voice of liberal religious dissent into the 1980s. This book encompasses Coffin’s turbulent private life as well as his flamboyant, joyful public career, while dramatically illuminating the larger social movements that consumed his days and defined his times.
From the mid-20th century until now, Coffin has served as the prophetic conscience of a nation divided by race, war and economic injustice. In this compelling and eloquent biography, Goldstein captures the enigmatic nature of the great preacher and activist who came to be called the voice of American Protestant liberalism. Drawing on interviews with Coffin's friends and family as well as on unprecedented access to his archives, Goldstein begins with Coffin's privileged early life in a wealthy family committed to helping in various social causes, then highlights his stint as a second lieutenant in the army. After the war, Coffin studied at Yale, where he discovered the significance of religion as a cultural force, and at Union Theological Seminary in New York, where his uncle, Henry Sloane Coffin, had been president. Although he spent only one year at Union, his study there amongst the giants of theology and social activism Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich and John Bennett cemented his commitment to social justice and the ministry. With the advent of the Civil Rights movement, Coffin threw himself headlong into the fray; he participated in 1961 in the Freedom Rides and in various demonstrations, and later joined Benjamin Spock and Daniel Berrigan in actively protesting the Vietnam War. Goldstein captures Coffin's fervent commitment to helping others as well as his flaws as a husband and father. Coffin remains one of America's most important cultural figures, and Goldstein's first-rate biography provides a deeply appreciative and unflinchingly honest tale worthy of its celebrated subject.