From Publishers Weekly
Having sold over 70 million copies worldwide since their 1995 inception, Tim LaHaye's Left Behind series, currently 15 novels strong, is an account of biblical apocalypse in our time-based on the New Testament book of Revelation-and has been called "the most widely experienced religious teaching ... among adults who are not born again Christians." Standaert argues that, by literally demonizing huge swaths of the population and, no less importantly, the liberal agenda (public health care, for example, is portrayed as a tool of the devil), the series is less fiction than it is militant fundamentalist propaganda, advocating the elimination of non-believers and the establishment of an American-and ultimately a global-theocracy. Standaert has done his homework, exploring the wealthy and well-connected network of like-minded Christians who, taken as a group, exert a vast influence over American society and politics through foundations, universities, radio stations, Web sites, book clubs, publishing houses, political lobbying and activist coalitions. Tracing connections between all the players in overwhelming detail, however, slows the book's momentum, potentially turning off even those sympathetic to Standaert's assessment. Despite this, his book is an important look at the premilennialist movement, illuminating the potential for such a group to evolve into the kind of violent religious factions that the U.S. and others are struggling to stamp out across the globe.
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About the Author
Michael Standaert has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Review, Maisonneuve (Montreal), Far Eastern Economic Review, Reason Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, The Wall Street Journal Europe, and Salon.com. He received an MA in European Journalism from Cardiff University.