American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Jan 8, 2008 - History - 274 pages
169 Reviews
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 weeklong 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.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
59
4 stars
63
3 stars
32
2 stars
11
1 star
4

WOW... It was very educational, and very startling.... - Goodreads
I find this to be an important insight. - Goodreads
I'll reserve judgment until I'm finished - Goodreads

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

User Review  - Alex - Goodreads

A brilliantly researched and written argument that highlights the totalitarian elements of religion and its inhuman role in modern politics. Should be required reading for high school students but hey ... Read full review

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

User Review  - A Mulford - Goodreads

I've been following the conservative Christian movement for probably over thirty years with increasing concern. They have consistently pushed the boundaries and gained more power and influence along ... Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER ONE Faith l
1
CHAPTER TWO The Culture of Despair
40
CHAPTER THREE Conversion
53
CHAPTER SEVEN The New Class
132
CHAPTER EIGHT The Crusade
151
The Commercial
167
Notes
213
Bibliography
227
Acknowledgments
237
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2008)

Chris Hedges was a foreign correspondent for nearly two decades for The New
York Times
, The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science
Monitor
and National Public Radio. He was a member of the team that won the
2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for The New York Times
coverage of global terrorism, and he received the 2002 Amnesty International
Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. Hedges is the author of the bestseller
American Fascists and National Book Critics Circle finalist for War Is
a Force That Gives Us Meaning
. He is a Senior Fellow at The Nation Institute
and a Lannan Literary Fellow and has taught at Columbia University, New York
University and Princeton University.

Bibliographic information