After several years of documenting America's Christian youth for NPR in the late 1990s, Sandler sensed there was more to tell about what she calls the "Disciple Generation." So, like any good journalist, she went back out on the road, traveling from coast to coast seeking the youth who "feel broken and lonely, who desire kinship and purpose, who look for structure and hope, and through their deft organizing efforts and boundless energy...are amassing their own civilian army." A Christian army, that is. Readers will encounter rebel skateboarders for Jesus, tattooed crusaders against abortion, and even a pastor in Atlanta named Creflo Dollar who waxes on about "why God wants you to be rich." In clear, compelling prose, Sandler tells of spending the night camping with members of Rock for Life and visiting one of the most militant Christian colleges in America. She narrates with vivid detail the genesis and current status of some of this country's fastest growing and most extremist evangelical youth groups. She also reveals the fascinating stories of the individuals who have found salvation within them-from the ordinary convert to the charismatic leader. With a flair for storytelling and description, Sandler provides a riveting read for anyone interested in generation next. -- Publishers Weekly, Starred
With a flair for storytelling and description, Sandler provides a riveting read for anyone interested in generation next. -- Publisher's Weekly, starred
From the Back Cover
"Lauren Sandler obliterates the naïve and complacent hope that keeps most secularists and religious moderates sleeping peacefully each night-the hope that, in 21st century America, the young know better than to adopt the lunatic religious certainties of a prior age. The young do not know better. In their schools, skate-parks, rock concerts, and in the ranks of our nations military, our children are gleefully preparing a bright future of ignorance and religious fascism for us all. If you have any doubt that there is a culture war that must be waged and won by secularists in America, read this book."
Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith
and Letter to a Christian Nation
"It is no easy thing to enter into the world of the young evangelicals, to feel deeply their alienation, to breathe their air and share their electric conviction that they are the rising counterculture against an empty world. Lauren Sandler has done it, and done it with an effervescence and honesty that make her travels in Disciple America jump off the page."
Todd Gitlin, Professor of Journalism and Sociology, Columbia University, and author of The Intellectuals and the Flag
"At once controversial, critical, blasphemous and compassionate, Righteous offers a compelling journey into a growing youth subculture typically dismissed by urban intellectuals. Sandler has written a provocative and illuminating portrait of young people desperately seeking meaning, community and love in an empty, often terrifying social landscape. Evangelical youth---the Disciple Generation--- are a generation rising, and we do need to pay attention."
Dr. Donna Gaines, sociologist and author of Teenage Wasteland: Suburbia's Dead End Kids and A Misfit's Manifesto: The Spiritual Journey of a Rock & Roll Heart
"Lauren Sandler has traveled among the believers and returned with a story that alarms, informs, and enlightens. She reveals the rise of a fundamentalist-style youth movement that has replaced faith with closed-minded certainty and is frighteningly cult-like. Read this book and you will understand this Disciple Generation and the challenge it poses to a civil society."
Michael D'Antonio, former Newsday religion writer and author of Fall From Grace
and Heaven on Earth
is a lively, probing account of today's fresh, sometimes bizarre sub- cultures of American evangelism. Both the term alternative and evangelical will mean something new to you after this book. Sandler's conclusions are important: These kids have been forgotten by their original social worlds, by secular organizations and even by Left-Liberal causes. In a cold new world, getting saved can now seem like a young American's only source of community and warmth."
Alissa Quart, author of Hothouse Kids: The Dilemma of the Gifted Child
is the most adroit and fascinating examination of a great national ill, the muddling of faith and politics, the secular and the divine."
Brad Land, author of Goat