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American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America

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American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"Hedges demonstrates how the defining characteristics of fascist organizations are all met by the Christian Right....[Hedges] listened to what people said, and he makes an effort to understand their position. That makes American Fascists a superior book to The God Delusion, and it makes it a much scarier book as well." Doug Brown, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Twenty-five years ago, when Pat Robertson and other radio and televangelists first spoke of the United States becoming a Christian nation that would build a global Christian empire, it was hard to take such hyperbolic rhetoric seriously. Today, such language no longer sounds like hyperbole but poses, instead, a very real threat to our freedom and our way of life.

In American Fascists, Chris Hedges, veteran journalist and author of the National Book Award finalist War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, challenges the Christian Right's religious legitimacy and argues that at its core it is a mass movement fueled by unbridled nationalism and a hatred for the open society.

Hedges, who grew up in rural parishes in upstate New York where his father was a Presbyterian pastor, attacks the movement as someone steeped in the Bible and Christian tradition. He points to the hundreds of senators and members of Congress who have earned between 80 and 100 percent approval ratings from the three most influential Christian Right advocacy groups as one of many signs that the movement is burrowing deep inside the American government to subvert it. The movement's call to dismantle the wall between church and state and the intolerance it preaches against all who do not conform to its warped vision of a Christian America are pumped into tens of millions of American homes through Christian television and radio stations, as well as reinforced through the curriculum in Christian schools. The movement's yearning for apocalyptic violence and its assault on dispassionate, intellectual inquiry are laying the foundation for a new, frightening America.

American Fascists, which includes interviews and coverage of events such as pro-life rallies and week long classes on conversion techniques, examines the movement's origins, its driving motivations and its dark ideological underpinnings. Hedges argues that the movement currently resembles the young fascist movements in Italy and Germany in the 1920s and '30s, movements that often masked the full extent of their drive for totalitarianism and were willing to make concessions until they achieved unrivaled power. The Christian Right, like these early fascist movements, does not openly call for dictatorship, nor does it use physical violence to suppress opposition. In short, the movement is not yet revolutionary. But the ideological architecture of a Christian fascism is being cemented in place. The movement has roused its followers to a fever pitch of despair and fury. All it will take, Hedges writes, is one more national crisis on the order of September 11 for the Christian Right to make a concerted drive to destroy American democracy. The movement awaits a crisis. At that moment they will reveal themselves for what they truly are — the American heirs to fascism.

Hedges issues a potent, impassioned warning. We face an imminent threat. His book reminds us of the dangers liberal, democratic societies face when they tolerate the intolerant.

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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Hedges reports in fascinating detail what goes on inside the churches, conventions and meeting halls of the Christian right." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"[Hedges] writes on this subject as a neophyte, and pads out his dispatches with ungrounded theorizing, unconvincing speculation and examples that fall far short of bearing out his thesis." New York Times

Synopsis:

From the celebrated author of War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning comes a startling expos of the political ambitions of the Christian Right — a clarion call for everyone who cares about freedom.

About the Author

Hedges has been a foreign correspondent for fifteen years. He joined the staff of The New York Times in 1990. He holds a B.A. in English literature from Colgate University and a master of divinity from Harvard University. He is also an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University.

Table of Contents

Contents

CHAPTER ONE - Faith CHAPTER TWO - The Culture of Despair CHAPTER THREE - Conversion CHAPTER FOUR - The Cult of Masculinity CHAPTER FIVE - Persecution CHAPTER SIX - The War on Truth CHAPTER SEVEN - The New Class CHAPTER EIGHT - The Crusade CHAPTER NINE - God: The Commercial CHAPTER TEN - Apocalyptic Violence Notes Bibliography Acknowledgments Index 

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

Gary Gary, November 20, 2008 (view all comments by Gary Gary)
This book was very enlightening and I highly recommend it.

Here are some science FACTS to consider while reading this book;

Dinosaurs and humans did not co-exist. That's not a theory, it's a FACT. The earth orbits the sun, and our solar system orbits the galaxy, that's a FACT. Finally; the earth has been dated consistently using various radioactive isotopes (that all have different decay rates and half-lives) as being approximately 4.6 Billion years old. That is also a FACT!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(9 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)
nancylgeorge, December 21, 2007 (view all comments by nancylgeorge)
This comment is for the commentator who said that the only fact about global warming is that there are no facts about global warming or something like that.

Scientific theories deal in probabilities, not facts. There are no "facts" about global warming because there no facts in scientific theories, period. Study your science history. And in the meantime, just observe the melting artic and make sure your flood insurance is up to date if you are in a flood plain, and get some flood insurance if you are not.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(25 of 54 readers found this comment helpful)
Geoffrey, April 13, 2007 (view all comments by Geoffrey)
Chris Hedges is a brilliant author, and having thoroughly enjoyed War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, I decided to purchase this book. Hedges has a background in theology, having attended Harvard's school of divinity, and his education and real life experiences as a war correspondent who has travelled the world allows him to approach this book with poise and insight. American Fascists is well written with an important argument that people need to reflect upon before reacting. The ideological shift of modern Christianity is worrisome for individuals who value a liberal society and education, and Hedges book is wonderful for its research and insight into the subject.
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(36 of 59 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780743284431
Subtitle:
The Christian Right and the War On America
Author:
Hedges, Chris
Publisher:
Free Press
Subject:
Christianity
Subject:
Conservatism
Subject:
Religion, Politics & State
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - General
Subject:
General Political Science
Subject:
Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
Political Ideologies - General
Subject:
Fundamentalism -- United States.
Subject:
Conservatism -- Religious aspects.
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Conservatism & Liberalism
Copyright:
Publication Date:
January 2007
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in 12.635 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » American Studies » Culture Wars
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Culture
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » US History » 21st Century
Religion » Western Religions » Social and Political Issues

American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America Used Hardcover
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Product details 272 pages Free Press - English 9780743284431 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Hedges demonstrates how the defining characteristics of fascist organizations are all met by the Christian Right....[Hedges] listened to what people said, and he makes an effort to understand their position. That makes American Fascists a superior book to The God Delusion, and it makes it a much scarier book as well." (read the entire Powells.com review)
"Review" by , "Hedges reports in fascinating detail what goes on inside the churches, conventions and meeting halls of the Christian right."
"Review" by , "[Hedges] writes on this subject as a neophyte, and pads out his dispatches with ungrounded theorizing, unconvincing speculation and examples that fall far short of bearing out his thesis."
"Synopsis" by , From the celebrated author of War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning comes a startling expos of the political ambitions of the Christian Right — a clarion call for everyone who cares about freedom.
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