26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Engaging, interesting, but...,
This review is from: Have a Nice Doomsday: Why Millions of Americans Are Looking Forward to the End of the World (Paperback)
First, the good:
This book was very well-written. It makes for good, easy reading. It is engaging and interesting. Reads like a good article in Harper's Magazine. Guyatt also does a nice job laying out all the disturbing and inane beliefs of these people. He also exposes what a giant cash cow the end-times industry is -- how much money these hucksters make writing and speaking about the apocalypse. He also profiles key players in ths apocalypse industry, such as John Hagee, Hal Lindsay (by the way, I went to high school with his daughter and she did more blow and had more sex than Paris Hilton), Jack Kinsella, Joel Rosenberg, etc. The "climax" of the book is his short interview with Tim Layahe. Excerpts from this interview are quite, well, disturbing: LaHaye rags on Jews, he calls other prophecy peddlers' beliefs "nuts" (!), predicts that the Rapture will happen right now (oops), spews homophobia, etc. In short, Guyatt does an admirable job taking us from one leading Christian fascist to another, offering engaging portraits of these modern Elmer Gantrys. The chapter on the history of prophecy/apocalyptic thinking is also excellent.
Now, the not so good: The sub-title of this book is "Why Millions of Americans are looking Forward to the End of the World." This is a very provocative question -- and it is the sole reason that I bought the book. I knew all about End Times bullsh*t -- I've read works by Lindsay, LaHaye, etc. What I want to know is WHY average Americans believe this stuff, and I was very excited to read Guyatt's thoughts and theories on this question. Sadly, he never gets to that. Not at all. Nowhere does he attempt to offer an account of WHY millions of Americans eat this crap up. His failure to do so was a major disappointment for me. What this book is, then, is basically a description of End Times peddlers. What it is most definitely NOT, is an account or explanation of WHY Americans are into it.
In short, a very engaging read -- and one I highly recommend to people wanting to learn more about the End Times Industry. But for those seeking a sociological or psychological explanation of the widespread American obsession with the End Times, you'll need to look elsewhere.
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Initial post: Jan 15, 2010 1:23:07 PM PST
R. Greene says:
Thanks. One of the reasons I wanted to read the book is to discover what would drive people to want the world to end. Suppose I really will not care to read it now.
Posted on May 16, 2010 8:32:28 PM PDT
I'm not sure if your going to find a specific REASON as to why our fellow citizens are enamored with a SPECIFIC aspect of western religion's horribly flawed construct. It is highly likely that the basic concept had to be engrained early (indoctrinated BEFORE the age of reason) and end times prophecy was yet another reinforcement to be fed to followers. Abusing a young child by introducing religion BEFORE the age of reason has a tendency to alter the experience into INSTINCT - it has always been there and no matter how ridiculous it gets, the infected cannot identify the deviation FROM reason and even tend to transfer this effect to other aspects of life such as politics and philosophy.
I highly recommend THE GOD VIRUS by Darrell Wray - he explains the concept much better. I also have to recommend DOES GOD GET DIARRHEA after all this just to put the whole theologic theater back in its rightful place.
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