Grove City Professor’s Book Makes Year-End Lists

GROVE CITY, Pa. – A book by Gary Scott Smith, chairman of the Grove City College history department, has landed on a pair of year-end best books lists.

“Religion in the Oval Office: The Religious Lives of American Presidents,” published earlier this year by Oxford University Press, was singled out by reviewers from the Center for Public Justice and The Gospel Coalition as a top pick for holiday reading, the college announced.

The book was ranked at eighth on the “Top 10 Books of 2015” list compiled by Kevin DeYoung for The Gospel Coalition, a national network of churches. DeYoung calls the book “well researched, balanced, and relentlessly interesting” and says it makes “a compelling case that religion – though vastly different in many instances – was nevertheless genuinely important for each of these men.”

The book was sixth on the list of “12 Books for the 12 Days of Christmas” compiled by Byron Borger of Hearts and Minds books for the Center for Public Justice, a Washington, D.C.,-based advocacy group. As well as praising Smith’s scholarship, Borger notes, “It is a big book and will wrap up nicely as a very handsome gift.”

The book builds on Smith’s earlier work, “Faith and the Presidency: From George Washington to George W. Bush,” and explains how faith influences presidential policy and priorities. In it, Smith looks at 11 presidents and how religion helped shaped the course of the nation’s history.

Pictured: Image of the Oval Office published on the front cover of “Religion in the Oval Office: The Religious Lives of American Presidents.”

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