At the heart of Jacob Needleman's The American Soul is a call to rediscover the timeless truths hidden within the founding vision of the American nation. Embedded in the ideals of democracy, individual liberty, and freedom of conscience is a view of human nature that echoes essential aspects of the wisdom that has guided every great civilization of the world. Free of all religious and philosophical dogma, and liberated from historical and political cliches, this uniquely American vision contains the power to speak again to the modern world's need for meaning and community. Throughout the book, Needleman takes a new sounding of the inner beliefs and spiritual sensibilities of the great iconic figures of American history. His powerfully conceived portraits show us Washington as the great symbol of selfless impartiality; Jefferson as the embodiment of the communal search for truth; Franklin as the seeker of knowledge in two worlds. Lincoln emerges as the incarnation of the ideal of the individual; Frederick Douglass as the voice of America's conscience; and the story of the Iroquois constitution reveals the cosmic dimensions of our own ideal of democracy. Needleman shows how the crimes and defeats of America-slavery, the destruction of the culture of the American Indian, the Vietnam war - cry out for a vision of a nation asleep to its own spiritual essence, while bringing home the depth of what America owes to its own people and to the earth itself. After an illuminating discussion of what we must learn from America's all-but-forgotten early mystical communities, Needleman concludes with a resounding call, echoing Walt Whitman's quest for a new American mythology, to understand what is truly eternal and indestructible in the American vision.Needleman, Jacob is the author of 'American Soul Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders' with ISBN 9781585421381 and ISBN 1585421383.