The Fifties Spiritual Marketplace: American Religion in a Decade of Conflict. Robert Ellwood. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1997. 272 pp.
The Fifties were boom-time for religion. Bestseller lists were crowded with religious titles, and 99% of Americans said they believed in God. Popular religion produced superstars on three fronts: A Roman Catholic (Fulton Sheen), a liberal Protestant (Norman Vincent Peale) and an evangelical Protestant (Billy Graham).
Well-informed and well-intentioned, Robert Ellwood, who began his own ministry in a small Nebraska town in 1957, divides the decade into three periods:
The Years of Dark and Dreaming, 1950-1952 Shadows …