Wrath of Angels: The American Abortion War by Jim Risen, Judy Thomas |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Wrath of Angels: The American Abortion War

Wrath of Angels: The American Abortion War

by Jim Risen, Judy Thomas
     
 

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Abortion has been at the emotional center of America's culture wars for a generation. Ever since the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade  decision, aborion has in many ways defined American politics, creating an ideological demilitarized zone between liberals and conservatives. Above all, the 25-year-long war over abortion has been responsible for

Overview

Abortion has been at the emotional center of America's culture wars for a generation. Ever since the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade  decision, aborion has in many ways defined American politics, creating an ideological demilitarized zone between liberals and conservatives. Above all, the 25-year-long war over abortion has been responsible for the most significant social phenomenon of our times -- the political and cultural mobilization of Evangelical America. Furthermore, it has served as the lightning rod for the most intense and prolonged debate on the issue of separation of church and state since the founding of the nation.

Now for the first time, in a compelling and very human narrative, Wrath of Angels traces the rise and fall of the American anti-abortion movement and reveals its critical role in the creation of the Religious Right. The book explores why the passionate battle to end abortion failed to achieve its goal and yet in the process became one of the most important -- and least understood -- social protest movements of the 20th century. The anti-abortion movement was the catalyst that convinced Protestant fundamentalists to end their long cultural isolation, leaving their church pews for the streets. And, while they failed to change the law, they were transformed themselves, emerging as one of the most potent political forces in America at the end of the century.

James Risen, an investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times, and Judy L. Thomas, a reporter for Kansas City Star, are widely acknowledged as the leading journalistic experts on the anti-abortion movement. Their narrative history captures all the drama of the abortion battles of the past 25 years and reveals how a movement with its roots in the Catholic left's antiwar protests of the 1960s was gradually transformed into a rallying point for the newly muscular Religious Right. Wrath of Angels documents the origins of the use of civil disobedience in the anti-abortion movement and offers the definitive explanation of why the movement ultimately descended into violence -- and collapsed as a political force. It tells the compelling story of the shootings of abortion doctors in the 1990s and draws upon exclusive interviews with the anti-abortion extremists who have been convicted in these crimes.

Anti-abortion activism represents the largest social protest movement since the 1960s. With clarity and objectivity, Risen and Thomas unleash the stormy wrath of angels, the volatile eruption of fundamentalist fury into American politics.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Risen and Thomas, reporters respectively for the Los Angeles Times and the Kansas City Star, penetrate deep inside the anti-abortion subculture in this detailed journalistic chronicle, which draws on more than 200 interviews with activists, families and experts on both sides of the battle. The authors chart the split in the right-to-life movement in the wake of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion as a "direct-action faction" frustrated by the incremental lobbying tactics of the anti-abortion mainstream that took to increasingly radical, violent measures. Led first by Catholic leftists rooted in the 1960s tradition of antiwar and social protest, it was later co-opted by militant born-again Christians, the authors contend, as Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority helped forge an unstable alliance among Protestant fundamentalists, Catholic antiabortion groups and the religious right. The book's strength lies in its chilling in-depth profiles of antiabortion militants such as evangelical Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, and born-again seminarian Michael Bray, mentor to convicted clinic bomber Thomas Spinks. Photos. (Jan.)
Library Journal
During the past 25 years, abortion has mobilized conservative Protestant fundamentalists, now a major political force, and it continues to play a role in American politics. Here, journalists Risen and Thomas trace the history of the anti-abortion movement from its beginning in the leftist Catholic antiwar movement, with its opposition to all forms of killing, to its transformation into a splintered, right-wing, fundamentalist movement with violent factions willing to bomb clinics and murder doctors to save the unborn. The authors, who have done extensive research, include interviews with anti-abortion extremists such as Randall Terry, John Bray, and Joan Andrews. The documentary approach makes the book interesting. By focusing on a specific time period, it is less comprehensive than Leslie J. Reagan's When Abortion Was a Crime (Univ. of California, 1997), but the extensive bibliography provides access to more information. Highly recommended for all collections.Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L., Cal.
Booknews
Journalists Risen and Thomas capture all the drama of the abortion battles of the past 25 years and reveal how a movement with roots in the Catholic-left's antiwar protests was gradually transformed into a rallying point for the newly strengthened Religious Right. They also provide information on the life of Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry, and on the extremists who shot abortion doctors in the 1990s. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465092727
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
01/07/1998
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.43(w) x 9.54(h) x 1.39(d)

Meet the Author

Jim Risen is an investigative reporter in the Washington bureau of the Los Angeles Times. Judy Thomas reports for the Kansas City Star. Both have been nominees for the Pulitzer Prize.

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