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The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege by Damon Linker

Unto the Father

A review by Paul Baumann

Named by Time in 2005 as one of the nation's 25 most influential evangelical leaders, a thinker who has the ear of President George W. Bush on moral and cultural issues, Father Richard John Neuhaus remains little known in secular liberal circles. According to his former protégé, Damon Linker, that's a serious problem. In The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege, Linker portrays Neuhaus (a Lutheran pastor who converted to Catholicism in 1990) as the charismatic leader of an extremist movement bent on saving the nation from its headlong descent into decadent relativism by remoralizing politics and returning America to its Christian -- perhaps even its unsuspected Catholic -- roots.

That's exaggerated and alarmist, like much else in this tendentious book; yet Linker gets the basic political outlines right. If you are perplexed about why George Bush and so many other Republicans can't stop extolling "Almighty God" in public, you need to inform yourself about Neuhaus and his decades...

Previously Reviewed by Washington Monthly
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Forgive Us Our Spins: Michael Moore and the Future of the Left by Jesse Larner

Jesse Larner is a learned writer of an unquestionably intellectual bent who has contributed articles to the Nation and appears on NPR and the BBC. He has just written a solid, thoroughly researched, amply annoted book called Forgive Us Our Spins: Michael Moore and the Future of the American...

The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008 by Mark Halperin and John F. Harris

There's a bait and switch going on at the beginning of The Way to Win, the recent collaboration between ABC political director Mark Halperin and the Washington Post's John Harris. The authors say they plan to share the lessons of the two sharpest political minds of this generation: Karl Rove...

The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness by Steven Levy

Back in 2001, before the iPod was introduced, I became fascinated by the idea that you could, literally, hold your entire music collection in a device not much bigger than a pack of cigarettes. So, I bought one. It came from a company called Archos, and though it was sort of clunky looking...

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