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American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America Hardcover – January 9, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The f-word crops up in the most respectable quarters these days. Yet if the provocative title of this exposé by Hedges (War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning)—sounds an alarm, the former New York Times foreign correspondent takes care to employ his terms precisely and decisively. As a Harvard Divinity School graduate, his investigation of the Christian Right agenda is even more alarming given its lucidity. Citing the psychology and sociology of fascism and cults, including the work of German historian Fritz Stern, Hedges draws striking parallels between 20th-century totalitarian movements and the highly organized, well-funded "dominionist movement," an influential theocratic sect within the country's huge evangelical population. Rooted in a radical Calvinism, and wrapping its apocalyptic, vehemently militant, sexist and homophobic vision in patriotic and religious rhetoric, dominionism seeks absolute power in a Christian state. Hedges's reportage profiles both former members and true believers, evoking the particular characteristics of this American variant of fascism. His argument against what he sees as a democratic society's suicidal tolerance for intolerant movements has its own paradoxes. But this urgent book forcefully illuminates what many across the political spectrum will recognize as a serious and growing threat to the very concept and practice of an open society. (Jan. 9)
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"Chris Hedges may be the most credible figure yet to detect real-life fascism in the Red America of megachurches, gay-marriage bans and Left Behind books. American Facists is at its most daring when it enunciates...the perversities that are obvious to those of us not beholden to political exigencies." -- "New York Observer"
Top customer reviews
Some parts are just plain funny -- like the creationist theory that God created light before the sun so that humans would not engage in sun worship. The section on the creationist museum had me howling with laughter.
Other parts are disturbing -- like the cult-like embrace of the apocalypse and the violence that comes with it.
And other parts are enlightening -- such as the despair that fuels the far right evangelical movement.
I have been observing the rise of the extremist version of Christianity and bothered about it, but I couldn't quite put a finger on what exactly it is that felt so threatening about this movement. Hedges nails down the answers and gives us clarity.
Hedges tells us it's time to stop tolerating the intolerant. That's priceless wisdom. If we want to be free, we need to take his wisdom to heart and practice it.