A one-sided but undeniably powerful examination of the Christian right’s political motives.

THE POWER WORSHIPPERS

INSIDE THE DANGEROUS RISE OF RELIGIOUS NATIONALISM

An exposé of the righteous hypocrisy driving Christian nationalism.

In the late 1970s, a self-appointed group of radical right-wing Christians decided to take on an impossible-sounding task that would, in their view, restore America’s moral foundation. They would form a political organization with the goal of taking over every element of government in the U.S.—first Congress, followed by the presidency, the federal courts, state legislatures, and local governments—and imbue them with their religious ideas. However, according to Stewart (The Good News Club: The Christian Right's Stealth Assault on America's Children, 2012, etc.), the initial purpose of the Christian nationalists, as she calls them, had little to do with religion or morality. In the beginning, their efforts were focused on overcoming the Internal Revenue Service’s attempt to rescind the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University. To succeed, they knew they needed a hot-button issue they could ride to success; they settled on abortion even though Judaism teaches that life begins at birth, and Jesus never challenged that. Nevertheless, the plan worked so well that today, four decades later, Christian nationalism has become a frighteningly powerful voice in the Republican Party. It was instrumental in getting Donald Trump elected president, and now it has a committee that suggests candidates for the federal bench that Trump rubber-stamps and blindly sends out for confirmation. Currently, the Christian nationalists are moving rapidly in their plan to take over state legislatures, which they’re accomplishing through “Project Blitz.” Though its stated aim is to advance religious freedom, Stewart argues convincingly that the true goal is to inundate as many states as possible with so many right-wing bills that it will jam the state legislative processes. Many readers will consider the book advocacy journalism because the author didn’t seek out her targets’ comments, but the thoroughly researched facts as she lays them out are hard to argue with.

A one-sided but undeniably powerful examination of the Christian right’s political motives.

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63557-343-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Oct. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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