Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party

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Overview

Over the last year, award-winning journalist and videographer Max Blumenthal has been behind some of the most sensational (and
funniest) exposes of Republican machinations. Whether it was his revelation that Sarah Palin was "anointed" by a Kenyan priest famous for casting out witches, or his confronting Republican congressional leaders and John McCain's family at the GOP convention about the party's opposition to sex education (and hence, the rise in teen pregnancies like that ...

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Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party

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Overview

Over the last year, award-winning journalist and videographer Max Blumenthal has been behind some of the most sensational (and
funniest) exposes of Republican machinations. Whether it was his revelation that Sarah Palin was "anointed" by a Kenyan priest famous for casting out witches, or his confronting Republican congressional leaders and John McCain's family at the GOP convention about the party's opposition to sex education (and hence, the rise in teen pregnancies like that of Palin's daughter), or his expose of the eccentric multimillionaire theocrat behind California's Prop 8 anti- gay marriage initiative, Blumenthal has become one of the most important and most constantly cited journalists on how fringe movements are becoming the Republican Party mainstream.

Republican Gomorrah is a bestiary of dysfunction, scandal and sordidness from the dark heart of the forces that now have a leash on the party. It shows how those forces are the ones that establishment Republicans-like John McCain-have to bow to if they have any hope of running for President. It shows that Sarah Palin was the logical choice of a party in the control of theocrats. But more that just an expose, Republican Gomorrah shows that many of the movement's leading figures have more in common than just the power they command within conservative ranks. Their personal lives have been stained by crisis and scandal: depression, mental illness, extra-marital affairs, struggles with homosexual urges, heavy medication, addiction to pornography, serial domestic abuse, and even murder. Inspired by the work of psychologists Erich Fromm, who asserted that the fear of freedom propels anxiety-ridden people into authoritarian settings, Blumenthal explains in a compelling narrative how a culture of personal crisis has defined the radical right, transforming the nature of the Republican Party for the next generation and setting the stage for the future of American politics.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With scarcely more than a pith helmet, a notebook, and a tattered copy of Escape from Freedom, Erich Fromm’s great study of authoritarian psychology, the dauntless Max Blumenthal set forth years ago to explore the dank forests of American Christianism. Now he has returned to civilization, bringing back a fine collection of shrunken heads and a riveting account of a religio-political subculture that’s even weirder than you thought it was. Republican Gomorrah is an irresistable combination of anthropology and psychopathology that exerts the queasy fascination of (let’s face it) something very like pornography."

Hendrik Hertzberg, senior editor, The New Yorker

“A brave and resourceful reporter adept at turning over rocks that public-relations-savvy Christian conservative leaders would prefer remain undisturbed.”
Rick Perlstein, New York Times Book Review


“Max Blumenthal’s bold and brash reporting style should not overshadow his keen understanding of the extremist ideology that passes for “conservatism” in America today. A witty writer who thinks for himself, he shows the mainstream media where the story is, not vice versa. And his short videos have transformed the conservative crack-up into must-see TV.”
—Joe Conason

 

Publishers Weekly
Journalist Blumenthal documents the movement of conservative evangelicals from the political wings to center stage, delving into the psyches of those who now lead a Republican Party "fixated on abortion, homosexuality and abstinence education; resentful and angry." Guided by Eric Hoffer's 1951 cult classic The True Believer ("Faith in a holy cause, is to some extent a substitute for the lost faith in ourselves,") and Eric Fromm's 1941 psychoanalytical study of the Nazi movement (Escape from Freedom), Blumnthal suggests that childhood abuse has shaped the personalities of key leaders, including Focus on the Family guru James Dobson. Blumenthal is at his best examining these characters up close, including presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich and his born-again conversion; John Hagee, a Pentecostal pastor who lauded Hitler for "forcing the Jews to Israel"; Sarah Palin, whose political aspirations first came to her as part of a religious conversion; and evangelical pastor Ted Haggard, a self-proclaimed spiritual warrior caught in a relationship with a male prostitute. For those who enjoyed Jeff Sharlet's Capitol Hill exposé The Family, this makes a spicy follow-up.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568584171
  • Publisher: Nation Books
  • Publication date: 7/13/2010
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 786,630
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Max Blumenthal is one of the most constantly cited young liberal journalists in America and is regularly featured on the Rachel Maddow Show, Democracy Now!, and Countdown with Keith Olbermann. His articles and video documentaries have appeared in The Daily Beast, The Nation, The Huffington Post, Salon.com, Al Jazeera English, and many other publications. He is a correspondent for The Daily Beast, a research fellow for Media Matters for America, and a Journalism Writing Fellow for The Nation Institute. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Escape from Freedom 1

Part 1

Chapter 1 God's Government 17

Chapter 2 Creating a Monster 23

Chapter 3 What God Wants Him to Do 32

Chapter 4 Marching Through the Institutions 38

Chapter 5 The Personal Crisis Industry 47

Chapter 6 The King of Pain 54

Part 2

Chapter 7 Satan in a Porsche 67

Chapter 8 The Killer and the Saint 73

Chapter 9 A Dangerous Woman 78

Chapter 10 Cheap Grace 84

Chapter 11 The Addict and the Enabler 97

Chapter 12 Casino Jack, the Face Painter, and the Sausage King 103

Chapter 13 Talk to Her 114

Chapter 14 The Bad Cop 125

Chapter 15 Boldly Affirming Uncle Tom 137

Chapter 16 Feeding Baby Monsters 153

Chapter 17 Human Tools 167

Chapter 18 The Conformists 183

Chapter 19 Lives Unlived 196

Chapter 20 The Wide Stance 209

Chapter 21 Pastor Ted's Excellent Adventure 218

Chapter 22 Ultimate Fighting Jesus v. Betty Jo "B. J." Blowers 223

Chapter 23 The Nightmare of Christianity 238

Part 3

Chapter 24 The Party of Dobson 253

Chapter 25 The Party of Death 267

Chapter 26 The Hate Boat 274

Chapter 27 A Matter of Tone 281

Chapter 28 The Family That Prays Together 287

Epilogue: The Anointing 313

Postscript: The Days of Rage 317

Acknowledgments 337

Notes 339

Index 403

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is NOT an anti Christian book..Thomas Jefferson would have agreed

    This is about a select group who call themselves Christian, who have then become intimate with the Republican party who then forgot that the founding fathers wanted a government of all the people not just some. Sometimes I have a love/dislike relationship with Christianity as its hyped here in the states. The love part comes from my private Christian walk which is a blend of Amish, Quaker and Protestant teachings. Remember when the Amish forgave the man who killed or maimed their children who were in school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania?

    History shows that when any group be they religious or secular gain power that horrid things can happen, since the Bible even notes that pride goes before the fall. And we are also reminded that ego can be a huge issue with any religious leadership core where people actually fear challenging the leaders. This is when as the book examines where followers can be labeled heretics, or even demon possessed. The very thing Christ of the Bible endured from the elites of his time.
    In some cases religious folks have a good idea, that over the years evolve into something often times the opposite of what they had begun. As the author also notes in many examples, American Christianity is very different, because its media driven. And when Christianity and government join hands it can be scary. Add in the media ministries it can become horrid if not kept in check. Having met Dr Rushdoony whom the author writes of, I can agree with most of the authors views. Have read all of Dr Rushdoonys books and the Chalcedom Report which is still available online.

    Then as the author notes, Focus on the Family grew very large in the eighties and until the last years economic down turn they relished in hating anything now fitting their small group think. And sadly, as the author also notes, these specific Christians never saw the wrong within their own midst. Like where the Bible tells us to rid the log from our own eye before we point out the sliver in someone else's eye (Matthew 7:3-5) . Maybe Thomas Jefferson was on to something when he did his work "The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth," and then later his Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth in which he expressed concern about how men in power had altered the words of Christ to fit their own needs, and as ' instruments of riches and power to themselves'. Did he know that some modern day Christians would seek to alter the words of Christ to fit their own needs and for riches and power for themselves?

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    A primer on the American right wing and its use of religion ti further it's causes

    This is a well written well researched book that takes you step by step through the process used by right wing ideologues to fuse together a coalition of voters united by certain limited religious beliefs, this they turned into a political force that made it possible to take control of all three branches of government culminating in the presidency of W Bush / Cheney.

    It is an amazing story that would benefit anyone who is politically aware or interested, great political thriller.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Outstanding in-depth analysis

    For true conservatives, it is really great to see that more and more books are coming out to expose how the Republican party has been hijacked by right-wing extremists who have few if any conservative values. This book gives details about how the Republican party got there and what role religious extremism played in this, while "Death of Conservatism" by Tanenhaus highlights possible ways to fix the mess.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2010

    Relevant Title

    Ironically, it's not hard to believe just how devoid of any sense of right and wrong that the bulk of the people discussed in this book have. The author takes the reader on a journey into the chasm of intolerance and hypocrisy that permeats in the Republican party and the Christian right within this country. From serial killers to sex starved perversion, the reader is thrown into the underworld that so few Republican voters want to recognize. The modern Repulican party truly seems to be a modern version of Gomorrah!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    Mostly Fair and Balanced, But...

    Mr. Blumenthal has too much psychology which he keeps hitting over and over again. In that way he reminded me of a liberal Rush, stating as fact things that are only opinions.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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