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An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story
A film by Martin Doblmeier

60 minutes, documentary, color, English, 2017

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Reinhold Niebuhr's Serenity Prayer remains one of the most quoted writings in American literature. Yet Niebuhr's impact was far greater, as presidents and civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. often turned to Niebuhr's writings for guidance and inspiration on the most volatile political and social issues of the 20th century. Niebuhr rose from a small Midwest church pulpit to become the nation's moral voice - an American conscience - during some of the most defining moments in American history.

From award-winning director Martin Doblmeier comes this powerful, insightful and inspiring documentary, rich in archival material and featuring new interviews with former President Jimmy Carter, civil rights leader Andrew Young, New York Times writer David Brooks, author Susannah Heschel, and a host of notable historians and theologians.

Watch the Trailer


"Reinhold Niebuhr makes me shake and tremble when I think of the depth of his courage." - Cornel West, author of Race Matters

"Niebuhr had audacity. He wrote big books on big subjects. He took big public stands." - David Brooks, The New York Times

"Whenever there was a conversation about power Niebuhr came up. Niebuhr kept us from being naive about the evil structures of society." - Andrew Young, civil rights leader

"Niebuhr was always present in my mind when I was president and facing the constant threat of nuclear war." - President Jimmy Carter

Disc Features

● Additional Interviews
● More from The Mike Wallace Interview
● Sitting Down with Director Martin Doblmeier

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