Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $5.14 shipping
The Jesus Machine: How James Dobson, Focus on the Family, and Evangelical America Are Winning the Culture War Hardcover – March 6, 2007
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
From Publishers Weekly
In the deluge of books rushing to explain the rise of conservative evangelicals' influence on American politics, Gilgoff's offering makes a unique contribution: he argues that press-shy James Dobson should be regarded as the most powerful evangelical spokesman of the last decade (surpassing Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson). Gilgoff, a senior writer at U.S. News & World Report, boasts extensive interview time with Dobson at the sprawling Focus on the Family campus in Colorado Springs, Colo., inside access that is complemented by excellent writing and a mother lode of information. Gilgoff argues that Dobson is a political powerhouse precisely because his constituency was built on dispensing no-nonsense family advice to millions of Americans desperate for help, not on any explicit political platform. When he ventures to make political statements, he commands a public trust few policy makers enjoy. Gilgoff traces the rise of evangelical influence in politics from the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition in the 1970s and 1980s to Focus on the Family in the 1990s and 2000s, walking readers through the backroom power brokering of everything from Roe v. Wade to Harriet Miers's nomination to the Supreme Court. This is a smart piece of investigative journalism. (Mar. 6)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"In a time of overheated discussion about religion and politics, U.S. News reporter Dan Gilgoff went out and got the facts and reports them straightforwardly in The Jesus Machine. Gilgoff provides the definitive account of Dr. James Dobson, his Focus on the Family organization and other Christian activists, one that can be read with profit both by admirers and detractors of their movement." -Michael Barone, Co-author, The Almanac of American Politics
"Gilgoff is a writer and journalist of the first rank - dependably honest with the facts and yet able to interpret them in light of the big picture. This is a book that evangelicals, as well as the critics of our movement, should surely read." -Richard Cizik, Chief Lobbyist, National Association of Evangelicals
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The book does not address the core question of whether this expansion is appropriate, nor does it really delve into the history of religion and politics in America. The book begins, essentially, by suggesting that before the modern evangelical movement, there was no serious or organized religious-political force in America, which is somewhat historically oblivious, particularly because Evangelicals themselves assert that religion has been a prominant aspect of our society since the beginning.
I would not say this is even a neutral book, because the net-effect of the book is simply to offer flattery and praise on the expansion of evangelicals because it doesn't touch any of the sensitive issues along the way.
All in all, I would not suggest that people read this book if they are looking for analysis on the subject of evangelicals in America, unless they are looking for a broad, decontextualized survery of the topic.
I read this book as a "recovering Christian" who didn't particularly enjoy (to put it mildly) being raised by Dobson's philosophies. I picked it up expecting it to fan the flames of my displeasure, but surprisingly and refreshingly it didn't. It explained in a very even-handed way who Dobson is, how he got to where he is today, and described in great detail the quiet influence he's had on American life. The knowledge seems essential whether you are a conservative Christian follower, or a Liberal thinker.
No matter which side of the fence you're reading this book from, I think it does a fair and honest job of revealing Dobson, like him or loathe him. It lets the reader form their own opinion, and personally, I realized I kinda do like the guy... After all, who can resist the kind grandfatherly voice that's won over middle America?
Still, please don't let yourself be too offended. Believers can still refer to these pages for top-flight reporting about contemporary national politics, seen through the prism of politically active evangelist Christians, especially author and radio personality Dr. James Dobson.
Use a book cover if you must. That way you won't miss this well-sourced and highly objective account of how evangelical activists helped swing our last presidential election. The author, a USNWR political reporter, obtains unprecedented access to back-room partisan maneuvering involving pastors and Capitol lobbyists. He describes in fighting among evangelicals that helps explain some rather surprising outcomes in recent U.S. Supreme Court nominations, U.S. Senate campaigns and failed attempts to amend the U.S. Constitution.
Church-going Americans vote differently. So, who will emerge to mobilize what could be the biggest single voting bloc in the 2008 election? Two things are clear, judging from this book's in-depth interviews with America's leading Christian public figures. First, there is no monolithic evangelical movement. Second, expect conservative American evangelicals to seek even greater involvement in partisan politics, despite their many disappointments chronicled here.
Next question: will new leaders like Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (Purpose Driven Life), step forward on the national stage to mobilize American Christians? If so, we can pray that they re-read their NIV Men's Devotional Bible to remind themselves that Jesus did not call his followers to be "power brokers". This excellent political book offers a cautionary tale (or two) of how religious leaders and sometimes their followers too easily can lose sight of What Jesus Demands from the World, especially when we stop to consider the Great Commission.
Most recent customer reviews
the 1st half was above average, pretty much history=people, places and times- intertwined with reasonably good analysis of what these events mean.Read more