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American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America Paperback – Jan 8 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1 edition (Jan. 8 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743284461
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743284462
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Chris Hedges may be the most credible figure yet to detect real-life fascism in the Red America of megachurches, gay-marriage bans and Left Behind books. American Facists is at its most daring when it enunciates...the perversities that are obvious to those of us not beholden to political exigencies." -- New York Observer

"Throughout, Hedges documents, and reflects on, what he feels is the bigotry, the homophobia, the fanaticism -- and the deeply un-Christian ideology -- that pose clear and present danger in our previous and fragile republic." -- O, the Oprah magazine

"This is a powerful book that looks inside some of the darkest movements on American soil." -- Time Out New York

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan O'Mara on May 21 2010
Format: Hardcover
An eye-opening account of how some Christian fundamentalist groups are punching above their weight, having infiltrated all levels of government. This book is not an attack on mainstream Christianity but is aimed rather at those fundamentalist types who are intent on pushing their version of morality onto the rest of the population, where there will be no room for other faiths, homosexuals, abortion, or even working women. It is a cautionary tale, a wake-up call. Well worth reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chris Banner on April 4 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating journey through the underbeely of US in which the author uncovers the horrifying strategies at loose within the evangelical movement. This book is an eye opener. I will never look at US politics quite the same way ever again.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Brian Griffith TOP 500 REVIEWER on Sept. 11 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We might assume that the right-wing Christian nationalist dream is waning in America, but Chris Hedges does not. Touring around the country he finds an undimminished movement for a full-blown theocratic state. As he quotes James Kennedy,

"Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As vice-regents of God, we are to execize godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports areanas, our entertainment media, our scientific endeavors -- in short, over every aspect and institution of human society" (p. 58)

Hedges travels widely to hear great speakers, attend seminars and visit with radical fundamentalists. He offers some understanding, or perhaps pity, towards these people's needs for order, direction, certitude and righteousness in a chaotic society. But this sympathy is limited by a conviction that these people are pushing his country towards totalitarian fascism. He notes that the Dominionist agenda calls for a restoration of harsh ancient laws from before the time of Jesus or of modern Judaism: the death penalty for adultery, homosexuality, blasphemy, incest, striking a parent, incorrigible juvenile delinquency, and, in the case of women, unchastity before marriage. Beyond this Hedges sees a regressive agenda to make Christianity more supportive of powerful economic interests:

"... When it is faith alone that will determine your wellbeing, when faith alone cures illness, overcomes emotional distress, and ensures financial and physical security, there is no need for outside, secular institutions, for social service and regulatory agencies to exist. ... To put trust in secular institutions is to lack faith, to give up on God's magic and miracles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Huff on July 23 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book opened my eyes to the real danger that extremist religion poses to our democratic system. Chris Hedges is a talented experienced journalist, this book reflects his passion for democracy and his respect for rational thinking. The writing is tight and credible, the effort made to research is evident.
I recommend it to people concerned with the way our treasured democratic institutions are being threatened.
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