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Interviews | May 16, 2013 1 comment
Claire Messud's new novel, The Woman Upstairs, is fiercely intelligent and urgently intimate, written with precision, humor, and an incredible... Continue »
Michelle GoldbergDescribe your latest book.
Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism is an exploration of the parallel world of the religious right, which I see largely as an authoritarian political movement. As I write in the introduction:
The United States has always been a pious country, given to bursts of spiritual fervor, but Christian nationalism is qualitatively different from earlier religious revivals. Like America's past Great Awakenings, the Christian nationalist movement claims that the Bible is absolutely and literally true. But it goes much further, extrapolating a total political program from that truth, and yoking that program to a political party. It is a conflation of scripture and politics that sees America's triumphs as confirmation of the truth of the Christian religion, and America's struggles as part of a cosmic contest between God and the devil. It claims supernatural sanction for its campaign of national renewal and speaks rapturously about vanquishing the millions of Americans who would stand in its way.
When I was in graduate school at Berkeley, a friend and I were hired to go barhopping in San Francisco every week for three months. We had to hit three places a night and order at least one Hennessey martini at each. It was part of a stealth marketing campaign to make cognac trendy. It was a bit creepy and manipulative, but given how broke I was, it was also a fantastic way to get to know the city.
Introduce one other author you think people should read, and suggest a good book with which to start.
Writers are better liars than other people: true or false?
How do you relax?
Why do you write?
Name the best television series of all time, and explain why it's the best.
Dogs, cats, budgies, or turtles?
Recommend five or more books on a single subject of personal interest or expertise.
The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays by Richard Hofstadter