Suarez made his name hosting NPR's Talk of the Nation
by seeing to it that issues were genuinely discussed, not buzz-worded and shouted to death. This book reflects his radio style in that the copious quotation of interviewees includes the loose grammar and vague references of speech, requiring much immediate rereading to figure out exactly what is meant. That said, it's darn good colloquy about the Religious Right, separation of church and state, and old and new issues including Christian prayer by military chaplains, gay marriage, display of the Ten Commandments, sex education and evolution in public schools, abortion, Catholic participation in politics, and the impact of growing minorities who are generally more religious than the waning white mainstream. The penultimate chapter homes in on attempts in Alabama to make the state more theocratic, and the last implicatively suggests that most Americans like quite strict church-state separation. Suarez invariably presents articulate spokespersons on both (or more) sides of the issues, and if they evade some of his questions, doesn't lambaste them for it. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Ray Suarez is a senior correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. He came to the NewsHour from NPR's Talk of the Nation, and prior to that he spent seven years covering local, national, and international news for an NBC affiliate in Chicago.