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Live From the Gates of Hell : An Insider's Look at the Anti-Abortion Movement [Kindle Edition]

Jerry Reiter
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Something big, something really big is coming', the leader of extremist group Rescue America warns reporter Jerry Reiter. It is the first hint of new terror to come in Pensacola, Florida-already 'ground zero' for the nation's Culture War. As Reiter goes there to cover the murder trial of the first doctor slain in the holy war over abortion, he meets radicals from the Ku Klux Klan, Operation Rescue, and a militia man with duffel bags filled with semiautomatic weapons. Each person Reiter interviews offers up a different part of a frightening puzzle pointing to a plot with the potential to be the nation's worst act of domestic terrorism. The trail of blood that Reiter uncovers both takes him back to the mysterious circumstances of the first slaying, and down a road that will eventually lead him to become a reluctant informant for the FBI. With help from the FBI he will later witness a merger between militias and militant anti-abortionists that will send chills down your spine. Reiter's own life is changed forever by his experiences in the nation's culture war and his subsequent role as a leader in a movement called 'The Common Ground Network for Life and Choice'. Where he comes out at the end of the journey will surprise both pro-life and pro-choice people. Reiter, a founding member and activist in the Christian Coalition, shows that there are shockingly close (albeit indirect) ties between radicals and respectable conservatives, including such national figures as Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan and the 'compassionate conservative' philosophy of George W. Bush. For instance, the legal defence for anti-abortion assassin Paul Hill is provided by an attorney working full-time in Robertson's legal machine, the ACLJ, the religious right's version of the ACLU. And by the end of the book, the reader will know where the religious right went wrong.

Editorial Reviews


"...reading [this book] is as necessary an experience as it is a creepy, unsettling one." -- Buffalo Beat, October 19, 2000

From the Author

This book is available from your public library or used at a good price.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2619 KB
  • Print Length: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; 1 edition (September 30, 2000)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00405RVF8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,437,615 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Book! October 10, 2000
I could not put this book down when I read it. It is told in such a fast-moving way that I could not wait to see what was going to happen next the weekend I read it. The book shows what scary characters are out there behind the scenes in the culture war, which Reiter shows us is now very clearly a shooting war. When the book covered the section on what motivated Paul Hill, who opened fire on three unarmed senior citizens, I was blown away by the insights. Live from the Gates of Hell gave me the kind of view I would have had if I was a fly on the wall of the radical gatherings, and the stuff about the militias merging with the militant anti-abortionists is shocking. Like a lot of people, I'm on the fence when it comes to abortion, but that's not what this book is about. It's about people who use intimidation and sometimes violence to get their way, and there is an important lesson here for all of us who sometimes get frustrated with the way things are. The characters in this real-life story become three-dimensional as we read their words and hear their explanations of what motivates them. The story has a plot line like a novel would, and that makes it so much more interesting than a book trotting out the old abortion arguments would be.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action Packed November 21, 2000
By Chris
This story moves along like a Mack truck but when the dust cleared I suddenly realized I had learned some things I did not know before. I never saw a connection between the radicals in the little fringe groups and the more respectable conservatives, from Pat Robertson and George W. Bush to Pat Buchanan and Rush Limbaugh. As a writer myself, I admired the good pacing of the story and the way Reiter shares his up-close anecdotes. "Live from the Gates of Hell" is a bit like a good Grisham novel in that you want to keep turning the pages. Maybe because Reiter was a journalist, he could pull it off as he mixed important facts with personal observations. Many others have tried but without as much success as Reiter. I think anyone who likes a good dramatic story will enjoy this true life thriller.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful & Incredible October 20, 2000
I've been recommending this book to everyone I know---it's non-fiction, but reads like a suspense novel. Regardless of which stance you take on abortion, the insights will turn your preconceptions upside-down and may even make you reconsider which "side" you take. With a solid background working for the Religious Right, Jerry Reiter is the perfect guide to the underground antiabortion movement which flourishes across the U.S. today. Everyone should read this book before heading off to the polls this year---what it has to say about George W. Bush and the politics of the Republican party may make you change your vote! Highly recommended to anyone who is involved in the politics of abortion, as well as to all thinking people!
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing and Informative! March 9, 2002
I found this book enthralling, and difficult to put down! To quote the book jacket, it "reads like a gripping murder mystery", and while that is certainly true, it is much more! The author, Jerry Reiter, was an early member of the Christian Coalition. As a member of the Buffalo, NY, church lead by the Reverends Paul and Rob Schenk, he was involved in anti-abortion protests. This is an insider's story of how a potential crime was prevented, but it is also a first-person account of Mr. Reiter's own journey as a self-described Reagan Republican and Ditto-head who developed into a tolerant Christian, who still seems to believe abortion is wrong, yet can call himself "Pro-Choice". This transformation began with a feeling of horror at the extreme tactics employed by others who opposed abortion, leading to his disillusionment with much of the movement due to their silent acceptance of those who were willing to use terrorism to achieve their objectives.
I was especially interested in the author's conclusions about the connections between militant anti-abortion groups, right-wing militias, and the NRA, along with more mainstream religious groups and the Republican Party. In reference to this, I found two chapters of the book to be particularly chilling: Chapter 13, "Fingers Point to One Man" and Chapter 26, "Pat Buchanan and I Come Face to Face". These chapters describe goals of these groups and methods for achieving them, and show a logical relationship linking them.
This book is full of very critical information, yet the author narrates it in an appealing style that will hold the interest of anyone, even those who are completely uninterested in politics or the abortion debate.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The reader follows Reiter through his former days as a Operation Rescue worker to finding out a terrorist plot that was being kept mum by some of the biggest anti abortion rights leaders in the nation! Along the way he becomes acquainted with future shooters and the radical Christian Right. Eventually his eyes open to what is really happening and he involves himself with the FBI as an an informant.Throughout the whole book Reiter has to walk the thin line of not being outed while getting close enough to get information. Being outed could put him and his family at risk. He uses his former times in his previous life to open doors to the anti abortion movement. The book was even written as a way to put it all 'out there,' so that they would not be able to kill him to keep it all a secret. His journey became a personal growth and took alot of bravery. This book is indispensable for those who are trying to understand the players in the antiabortion rights movement, how they got started, what techniques they have used and common threads between them all including many Right wing militias. I loved the book and recommend it to anyone who wants to get informed about the antiabortion rights moevment.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring and fear mongering
Mr. Reiter wants us to beleive that every Christian is a gun tottin' nut job. The same was said in WWII about those few deffending the Jews, in Germany: They are a danger to the... Read more
Published on January 20, 2011 by William A. Llano
2.0 out of 5 stars Live from the Gates of Boredom
This book was based (subjectively) on what is undoubtedly a fascinating subject and casts welcome light on the darker side of the Christian Right. Read more
Published on March 1, 2006 by CathyVM
5.0 out of 5 stars "If you can keep your head when all about you..."
Kipling's poem, "IF," must have had a place of honor on Jerry Reiter's wall when he was growing up, just as it did on the walls of the bedrooms of many young Christian boys when I... Read more
Published on April 17, 2002 by William F Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Page turner for sure!
I like a good murder mystery story, and for the most part, I thought that "Live from the Gates of Hell" delivered, especially when you consider that the author was... Read more
Published on July 13, 2001 by Susan Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars So true it hurts
The leaders of the religious right and "mainstream" anti-abortion groups may try to distance themselves from acts of violence committed against reproductive clinics, but... Read more
Published on June 14, 2001 by Robin Orlowski
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Christian should read this book from the "other side"
From his start in a local community christian church, through a growing indignation of abortion, to alliances with all the right players in the religious right (Ralph Reed, Pat... Read more
Published on April 18, 2001
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More About the Author

This book is available from your public library or used at a good price. It is now nine years old and there are more current books and websites on the topic.


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