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« Breaking The News, by James Fallows | Main | American Furies, by Sasha Abramsky »


Kingdom Coming, by Michelle Goldberg

By an everyday book reader
May 1, 2007

Michelle Goldberg, a senior political reporter for Salon.com, has been covering the intersection of politics and ideology for years. Before the 2004 election, and during the ensuing months when many Americans were trying to understand how an administration marked by cronyism, disregard for the national budget, and poorly disguised self-interest had been reinstated, Goldberg traveled through the heartland of a country in the grips of a fevered religious radicalism: the America of our time. From the classroom to the mega-church to the federal court, she saw how the growing influence of dominionism-the doctrine that Christians have the right to rule nonbelievers-is threatening the foundations of democracy.

"A potent wakeup call to pluralists in the coming showdown with Christian nationalists." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

With her trenchant interviews and the telling testimonies of the people behind this movement, Goldberg gains access into the hearts and minds of citizens who are striving to remake the secular Republic bequeathed by our founders into a Christian nation run according to their interpretation of scripture. In her examination of the ever-widening divide between believers and nonbelievers, Goldberg illustrates the subversive effect of this conservative stranglehold nationwide.

Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism
by Michelle GoldbergBook Picture

Softcover: 256 pages
ISBN: 9780393329766, 0393329763
W. W. Norton
April 2007

In Kingdom Coming, Goldberg demonstrates how an increasingly bellicose fundamentalism is gaining traction throughout our national life, taking us on a tour of the parallel right-wing evangelical culture that is buoyed by Republican political patronage.

Starred Review. "In an impressive piece of lucid journalism, Salon.com reporter Goldberg dives into the religious right and sorts out the history and networks of what to most liberals is an inscrutable parallel universe. She deconstructs 'dominion theology,' the prevalent evangelical assertion that Christians have a 'responsibility to take over every aspect of society.' Goldberg makes no attempt to hide her own partisanship, calling herself a 'secular Jew and ardent urbanite' who wrote the book because she 'was terrified by America's increasing hostility to... cosmopolitan values.' This carefully researched and riveting treatise will hardly allay its audience's fears, however; secular liberals and mainstream believers alike will find Goldberg's descriptions of today's culture wars deeply disturbing. She traces the deep financial and ideological ties between fundamentalist Christians and the Republican Party, and discloses the dangers she believes are inherent to the Bush administration's faith-based social services initiative. Other chapters follow inflammatory political tactics on wedge issues like gay rights, evolution and sex education. Significantly, her conclusions do not come off as hysterical or shrill. Even while pointing to stark parallels between fascism and the language of the religious right, Goldberg's vision of America's future is measured and realistic. Her book is a potent wakeup call to pluralists in the coming showdown with Christian nationalists." - Publishers Weekly

Deep within the red zones of a divided America, we meet military retirees pledging to seize the nation in Christ's name, perfidious congressmen courting the confidence of neo-confederates and proponents of theocracy, and leaders of federally funded programs offering Jesus as the solution to the country's social problems.

"An important work of investigative journalism." - Anna Godbersen, Esquire

"This well-written chronicle of civil liberties under siege by holy rollers will undoubtedly scare the bejesus out of you." - David Fear, Time Out

"Definitive guide to how a relatively tiny group of intellectuals, politicians, and conservative religionists positioned themselves to take over America." - Tony Normal, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In an age when faith rather than reason is heralded and the values of the Enlightenment are threatened by a mystical nationalism claiming divine sanction, Kingdom Coming brings us face to face with the irrational forces that are remaking much of America.

"A chilling and lucid investigation into the rise of Christian extremism in America. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title." - Julia Scheeres, author of Jesus Land

"If you cherish plurality and reason, read Kingdom Coming to get the bad news - and to restore your faith in journalism." - Todd Gitlin, author of The Intellectuals and the Flag

"Every American who cherishes religious freedom, civil liberties, and the separation of church and state must read Kingdom Coming." - Abraham H. Foxman, national director, Anti-Defamation League, and author of Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism

Michelle Goldberg is a contributing writer to Salon. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, the New York Observer, the Guardian [London], Newsday, and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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