Books Pertaining To The
New Right, Religious Right and Ultra-Right
SUGGESTED BY PRO-S.O.C.S.
*Etermal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy, Fredrick Clarkson, Common Courage Press, Monroe, Main, ISBN 1-56751-088-4 (A must read!).
*The Coors Connection, Russ Bellant.
* Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party, Russ Bellant. (Both books can be ordered through South End Press, ll6 Saint Botolph Street, Boston, MA 02115 (800)533-8478; (207)525-0934.)
* WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE: THE RISE OF THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT IN AMERICA (Broadway Books, 1996)
I hope that most of you already know of my book, WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE: THE RISE OF THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT IN AMERICA (Broadway Books, 1996), but if not, I would invite you to become acquainted with it. It was the companion book to a six-hour PBS series of the same name which ran in the fall of 1996. Both the book and the series have been commended for being balanced an objective--which may be partly responsible for its having received more attention in the popular media than in the publications of either the Right or its opponents. I believe, however, that even those who tend to be most opposed to the Religious Right will find it to be of considerable merit. One major positive aspect of the book is that it draws on more than a hundred original interviews with active participants in the movement: Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, Jerry Falwell, Paul Weyrich, Tim and Beverly LaHaye, and dozens more.
I've been studying religious conservatives for most of my increasingly long career as a professor of sociology at Rice University. As one reared in fundamentalism (in the Churches of Christ) and also educated in more liberal circles (Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), I think I bring a perspective that is informed by a combination of theology, sociology, and personal experience that is fairly unusual and perhaps productive of some useful insights. Others seem to agree. (See below).
If you would like to check the book out in a bit more detail, I invite you to my website, <http://wmartin.com/withgod>. (While there, you will find links to two other sites, one describing my biography of Billy Graham and the other describing my book on prostate cancer, a subject of perhaps some interest to selected few of you.)
The book can be purchased at most bookstores, but I'd be pleased to have you order it directly, either by responding to the e-mail instruction on the website or by calling 1-800-829-9653. The list price (hardback only) is $27.50. If you order directly, either by the 800 number or by writing wmartin.com/withgod, the price is $24.95 plus $3.50 shipping and handling. (Texas residents add 8.25% sales tax, or $2.05.) ----------------------------
Here is what some have said about the book:
William Vance Trollinger, Jr., CHRISTIAN CENTURY (11/20-27/96): "[U]nlike some companion volumes to television documentaries, Martin's well-written, superbly organized work stands on its own. Let's get this out of the way at the outset: With God on Our Side is required reading for anyone seeking to understand the rise of the Religious Right. Very good work has been done on the subject, including Garry Wills's wonderful essays, and the careful statistical analyses of James Guth, John Green et al. But nothing has been published that can match Martin's book in sweep and substance." David Neff, CHRISTIANITY TODAY (4/28/97): ". . . . likely to become the standard account of the Religious Right for both scholars and laity." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (8/12/96): "The confluence of politics and religion in American life is explored with insight and style in this important new book from Martin. . . . In a blend of fast-paced journalism and in-depth scholarship, the text incorporates numerous interviews with, and personal accounts by, key figures, weaving together many frayed threads of meaning in contemporary American political life. Scrupulously fair, . . . Martin deftly guides the grand tour, putting the fiery social issues of our times--abortion, hjomosexuality, public education, AIDS, and gun control--in the context of the conservative Christian agenda. Martin concludes with a masterful essay on the subtle interpretation of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison regarding separation of church and state, affirming their non-ironic proposition that the healthy of America's religious communities derives from being apart from the corrupting power of politics." KIRKUS REVIEWS (8/1/96): "[A] richly detailed, objective account of Christian fundamentalism in the last 50 years and its increasingly organized efforts at shaping public policy. With extensive interviews and research, sociologist Martin sets out to track the transformation of Christian conservatives from quiet, God-fearing Americans into one of the most potent political forces of the 1990s.. . .Both reformers and religious conservatives should find in this penetrating narrative some incentive to work to maintain "the pluralism that has served us so well."
John Hubner "Book World," WASHINGTON POST (10/2/96): "To say that an academic writes with style is like saying that an elephant can do the macarena, but William Martin, author of With God on Our Side, can indeed write, with style and incisiveness."
Cecile S. Holmes, THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE (9/28/96) "With a story-teller's flair for nuance and detail, Rice University sociologist William Martin traces the rise of religious conservatives from Richard Nixon to Pat Buchanan. His readable prose and ability to lace history and anecdote into a scholarly work make With God on Our Side worth tackling for the general reader. . . .This volume is essential reading for scholars and voters who want to view religious conservativism for what it is." John Attarian, THE DETROIT NEWS (9/25/96): "Can anyone be objective about the "religious right"? The left utters the words with an intense loaathing. The right pronounces them more respectfully, but perhaps less sincerely, to propitiate conservative Christian voters. It is heartening, then, to encounter a major scholarly work presenting the religious right as neither devils nor angels, but as they really are: fervent Christians, mostly fundamentalist or evangelical Protestants, who are so alarmed at what they see as grave evils--abortion, homosexuality, sex education--that they have entered the treacherous political realm, taking both their faith and their human flaws with them. . . . Martin has a sure grip on his material; this book is authoritative and outstanstandingly unbiased."
Bill Marvel, AMERICAN WAY Magazine (American Airlines in-flight magazine): "Companion volumes to public-television series are usually just that: Companionable. Nice to consult occasionally, to refresh a point or two, or look up a reference, but rarely the kind of reading that might draw a viewer away from the set. Here is a happy exception, a companion to spend some serious time with.
Martin traces the increasing skill with which the Religious Right has fought back against a social order that it sees as actively hostile to Christian beliefs and practices. Petitions, boycotts, grassroots, politics, media campaigns, outside agitators, and, occasionally, violence have all been mobilized in a cultural war against sex education, the teaching of evolution, "dirty" books and movies, homosexuality, abortion, and general Godlessness. . . .
Regardless of how one feels about fundamentalism and the fundamentalists, whether one is with them or against them--and fundamentalists down't allow any middle ground--this is an important book, mostly fair, engaging and eye-opening. Think of it as not a companion, but as part of the story of our times, a window to look in upon ourselves."
David Reich, THE UNITARIAN-UNIVERSALIST WORLD (May/June 1997): "Martin's book is well worth reading. . . as a unique and fascinating history, for it narrates key events--the founding of the Moral Majority, struggles between religious political activists and secular Republicans during the Reagan and Bush administrations, Pat Robertson's presidential run, and more--from the standpoint of participants, somne of them thoughtfully self-critical. In fact, while Martin himself doesn't shrink from criticizing various religious right actions and stands, the most convincing critique comes from former movement activists and other evangelicals.
I'm still deeply in interested in the subject and would be pleased to hear from folk on all sides.
* The New Right and Its Challenge to The Profession of Social Work, Rose Maloof, MSW, Occasional Paper, Institute For The Advancement of Political Social Work Practice, University Of Connecticut School of Social Work. Presented at NASW/CT's 12th Annual Statewide Conference on April 11, 1997 in Meriden, Conneceticut.
* Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right, Sara Diamond (Boston, Massachusetts: South End Press 1989)
* Holy Terror: The Fundamentalist War on America's Freedoms in Religion, Politics and Our Private Lives, Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman (New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1982)
* The New World Order, Pat Robertson (Word Publishing)
* A Manifesto for the Christian ChurchCoalition on Revival,
* Inside the League, Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson
* Blood in the Face, James Ridgeway
* Under God, Garry Wills
* Extremist Groups in America, Susan S. Lang
* Semites and Anti-Semites, Bernard Lewis
* Anti-Semitism - The Road to the Holocaust and Beyond, Charles Patterson
* Abortion Politics, Mutiny in the Ranks of the Right, Michele McKeegan
* Dominion Theology: Blessing or Curse, H. Wayne House and Thomas Ice
* The Road to Holocaust, Hal Lindsey
* The Rise of the Right, William A. Rusher