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American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America Hardcover – Bargain Price, 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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Chris Hedges was a foreign correspondent for nearly two decades for The New
York Times, The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science
Monitor and National Public Radio. He was a member of the team that won the
2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for The New York Times
coverage of global terrorism, and he received the 2002 Amnesty International
Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. Hedges is the author of the bestseller
American Fascists and National Book Critics Circle finalist for War Is
a Force That Gives Us Meaning. He is a Senior Fellow at The Nation Institute
and a Lannan Literary Fellow and has taught at Columbia University, New York
University and Princeton University.
Top customer reviews
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If you want to have a good idea of the dystopian and cramped little moral universe Pence and the rest of the far right religious loonies have planned get a copy of "American Fascists" and learn. Remember: Informed is Forewarned.
Chris Hedges wrote about top-down conformity, group-think, faith, conversion techniques, hyper-masculinity and other timely topics in American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. Published in 2006, American Fascists, is a snapshot of the evangelical Christian movement at the beginning of the new century. There have been dozens of books and scholarly articles written about Christian fundamentalism in the past quarter century – but American Fascists is well researched and organized into ten chapters built upon common traits that all right-leaning theologies have in common.
Hedges, a classic American Sourpuss – has the man ever cracked a full smile? – paints a dire picture of America’s future, IF the leaders of Christian fundamentalism ever get a firm grip on the levers of political power. Given the benefit of hindsight, Mr. Hedges may have overstated the size, scope and influence of the religious right. Church attendance continues to decline, both in terms of real numbers and the percentage of the overall population.
However. Alabama lawmakers are set to allow a church to create its own police force, which might be the first such law enforcement organization in the country. A bill in the Alabama Legislature would let a church in suburban Birmingham make an unprecedented move - establish its own police force. Critics say the bill isn't constitutional and vow to fight it.
Furthermore: The first clue that Donald Trump would embed the extremist views of Christian fundamentalism in his Cabinet was his appointment of the utterly unqualified Betsy DeVos to the post of Education Secretary.
Robert P. Jones (The End of White Christian America) believes the influence of the religious right is slowly waning. Their leaders will still be able to influence elections in the deep south and rural Midwest, but, hopefully, their national power will be neutralized by newer, more rational voices emerging from the evangelical ranks and by the implosion of the Trump Presidency.
American Fascists is a very polarizing book, as evidenced by the one-sentence negative reviews posted here. Nonetheless, it is an important addition to our understanding of religion, religious leaders, people of faith and the relationship between religion and politics in America.
I enjoyed this book and it scared the heck out of me. The influence of a subset of evangelical christians on the political agenda of the Republican party, or vise versa, is extremely clear. The emphasis on guns, God gays and restriction of women's rights is very clearly driven by the "faith-based, Oath Keeper" community.
I am terrified at the prospect of any government that is run or creates laws based on a specific subset of their religious views. Legislated morality is a very dangerous concept, especially when it involves consensual crimes or personal choice. In matters of science or civil rights, thousands of years old beliefs are really bad news and to be avoided at all costs in my opinion.
Religion is a personal matter. I am grateful for the churches that run food pantries and provide shelter for the homeless but feel that our government is taking advantage of that and using it as an excuse to ignore and discard the needs of our citizens. I am not opposed to the social and community needs which many churches serve and respect that many religious believers are trying to help make the world a better place.
The threat of the ultra-traditional conservative evangelical christian minority fused with the power of politicians and those believers of extreme faith who share the same beliefs, is the threat of which Hedges speaks and warns us about in this book. This is a real threat and I believe that those who support secular government and a sustainable future must fight against this threat to our constitution and our freedoms. I thought this book, while not perfect, contains a lot of truth about how indoctrination, starting at an early age, and training in how to convince people to your beliefs is tricking people into giving up our constitutional rights in the name of religion. I'm glad to see this type of information clearly stated where it is easy to see it for what it is.