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When the Christian Right burst onto the scene in the late 1970s, many political observers were shocked. But, as God's Own Party demonstrates, they shouldn't have been. The Christian Right goes back much farther than most journalists, political scientists, and historians realize. Relying on extensive archival and primary source research, Daniel K. Williams presents the firs When the Christian Right burst onto the scene in the late 1970s, many political observers were shocked. But, as God's Own Party demonstrates, they shouldn't have been. The Christian Right goes back much farther than most journalists, political scientists, and historians realize. Relying on extensive archival and primary source research, Daniel K. Williams presents the first comprehensive history of the Christian Right, uncovering how evangelicals came to see the Republican Party as the vehicle through which they could reclaim America as a Christian nation. A fascinating and much-needed account of a key force in American politics, God's Own Party is the only full-scale analysis of the electoral shifts, cultural changes, and political activists at the movement's core--showing how the Christian Right redefined politics as we know it.


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When the Christian Right burst onto the scene in the late 1970s, many political observers were shocked. But, as God's Own Party demonstrates, they shouldn't have been. The Christian Right goes back much farther than most journalists, political scientists, and historians realize. Relying on extensive archival and primary source research, Daniel K. Williams presents the firs When the Christian Right burst onto the scene in the late 1970s, many political observers were shocked. But, as God's Own Party demonstrates, they shouldn't have been. The Christian Right goes back much farther than most journalists, political scientists, and historians realize. Relying on extensive archival and primary source research, Daniel K. Williams presents the first comprehensive history of the Christian Right, uncovering how evangelicals came to see the Republican Party as the vehicle through which they could reclaim America as a Christian nation. A fascinating and much-needed account of a key force in American politics, God's Own Party is the only full-scale analysis of the electoral shifts, cultural changes, and political activists at the movement's core--showing how the Christian Right redefined politics as we know it.

30 review for God's Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right

  1. 5 out of 5

    Clif

    Jesus! The man, from what we know of him, was forgiving, called for all to listen to what he had to say without condemning them and was upset only with the piling up of wealth by the few at the expense of the many. Above all his message was that reward is in the afterlife, not this one and that to amass wealth is in itself a deprivation for others. Sharing is caring! The man was a socialist. This would make one believe that anyone calling himself or herself a Christian in modern America would be i Jesus! The man, from what we know of him, was forgiving, called for all to listen to what he had to say without condemning them and was upset only with the piling up of wealth by the few at the expense of the many. Above all his message was that reward is in the afterlife, not this one and that to amass wealth is in itself a deprivation for others. Sharing is caring! The man was a socialist. This would make one believe that anyone calling himself or herself a Christian in modern America would be in the streets over income inequality and the rule of the 1%. Yet nothing could be further from the minds of those who most vehemently call themselves followers of Jesus. Becoming rich is praised by American fundamentalists and evangelicals. Their leaders publish books about material success and credit Jesus with it. Socialism? It along with Communism are absolute evil to be destroyed while private profit is sacred to the point that if you make a bundle, think of Jesus smiling in the background. As for social tolerance, let the person who departs from a specific conservative lifestyle beware, no afterlife for you. The Christianity for which America is known should always be in quotes, "Christianity", because it is in name only; at a complete remove from the man upon whose words it is supposed to be based. God's Own Party is an engrossing documentation of the attempt by "Christians" in America to force their way of life upon the nation as a whole. All of the big names we've heard over the years are here from the preachers - Billy Graham, Billy James Hargis, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell - to the ultra conservatives such as Phyllis Schlafly, Anita Bryant and Pat Boone, Boone known for his comment that he would rather his daughters were blown to heaven in a nuclear war than that they live under communism. As you would expect in a book about how the GOP was taken over by the religious right, also found are the presidents that appeared to offer the road to power for religion. Ironically, the most truly Christian president of all, Democrat Jimmy Carter, was an epic disappointment because he turned out to be, regarding social issues in America, a true follower of Christ's teachings. Daniel Williams carefully follows the history without judging the participants. He reaches conclusions only when history has given the evidence. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the way American politics works. Regarding Pat Robertson's failure to be elected president then turning to lobbying, Williams notes that having failed to come in through the front door, Robertson decided to enter through the back. Not only is it an account of a powerful lobby but also one that shows influence can only go so far in a democracy. When a lobby faces popular dislike of an the agenda being pushed then it will run up against a wall that cannot be breached. This is why attempts to force school prayer on America, or outlaw gay marriage have not succeeded at the national level. The best that can be hoped is for success in certain states, or to finesse a victory through the action of the Supreme Court. Even a Supreme Court ruling can be superceded with a new law. Williams provides a great review of all the ways in which a minority of Americans became invigorated with their sense of political power and attempted in a variety of ways to push the country along their very specific path with abortion being the rally point. As is always the case, no movement can be absolutely united. The charismatics (fans of speaking in tongues), the fundamentalists (believers in biblical inerrancy) and the evangelicals (success is yours with Jesus!) try to get their guy in the White House but are always disappointed when the chief executive finds that religious euphoria has to bow to political reality. This work goes on my reference shelf as it effectively lays out the interplay of religion and politics in America since the 1920's. My only regret is that it has to end at the date of publication, 2010, and cannot cover the rise to power of a man of absolutely no religious belief on the strength of the religious vote, the crowning contradiction of the movement, testimony to the desperation born of frustration with religion repeatedly denied political rule, a good thing for which we can thank the Constitution.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Wilson

    Excellent read. I was greatly encouraged by this book == the book is about the making of the Christian Right. While we are all very aware of how many times Christian activists have been double-crossed by the Republos, this book makes it very clear how deep in the soup we would all be if there had been no pressure from evangelical Christians.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    The Republican Party. The Religious Right. They're pretty much considered inseparable in today's American political climate. But it wasn't always so. How exactly did the Religious Right become such a formidable force in US politics, remaking a major party in their image along the way? The traditional answer among evangelicals is that the movement spontaneously emerged in reaction to the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. More cynical historians trace the movement back to the racists The Republican Party. The Religious Right. They're pretty much considered inseparable in today's American political climate. But it wasn't always so. How exactly did the Religious Right become such a formidable force in US politics, remaking a major party in their image along the way? The traditional answer among evangelicals is that the movement spontaneously emerged in reaction to the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. More cynical historians trace the movement back to the racists and reactionaries who protested school desegregation. Author Daniel K. Williams has a different answer - there has pretty much always been a movement toward political activism among religious conservatives in the US - but only starting in the 70's did they begin to be unified as a single voice. And even then - the story is complicated. Williams's book surveys conservative political activism from the early 1920's to 2009. In those early days, religious fundamentalists saw the nation sliding into moral decay as people flocked to the cities. Women cut their hair short, Hollywood films were full of filth, people were smoking and drinking and *gasp* dancing!. Fundamentalists at the time made an effort to stem the tide, throwing their weight first behind Prohibition and then later, unsuccessfully, trying to stop the end of Prohibition. However, they weren't very organized and at the end of the day they simply didn't have the ear of the politicians in power. That would change. Starting in the 50's a new breed of conservative Christians calling themselves evangelicals (as opposed to the fundamentalists) emerged. Their leader was evangelist Billy Graham, and he had the ear of President Eisenhower. The evangelicals of the time were pretty conservative, but they were moderates on the subject of civil rights. Most of them weren't exactly marching with MLK, but they at least tacitly approved of desegregation. Fundamentalists, meanwhile, opposed desegregation, civil rights, and inter-racial marriage. The two groups did not see eye-to-eye. Other big issues to both fundamentalists and evangelicals was opposition to communism, not to mention those damn papists in the Catholic church. But there was too much division between the two groups to cooperate, and at the time most American Christians actually belonged to 'mainline' Protestant congregations, which were more moderate than either. However that would rapidly change in the 60's. Many of the names that pop up in the early part of this history are still familiar - Billy Graham, of course, but also Jerry Falwell, the Bob Joneses (jr & sr), Tim LeHaye, Bill Bright, and others. By the 70's fundamentalists and evangelicals were able to cooperate together to a greater degree, mostly because both groups accepted that civil rights was basically a done deal that they could move past. Meanwhile, these groups were growing as the mainline denominations shrank. The rise of televangelists and mega-churches meant for the first time they had legitimate demographic power. However, things still hadn't shaken out to the current status quo. At the time there was no consensus on whether the Democrat or Republican party was the natural home of the Religious Right. Nor were things like abortion, gay rights, or school prayer the wedge issues they are today. Southern Protestants like the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) had a tradition of staying out of politics, for starters. Abortion was seen as a Catholic issue (the Catholic Church was 'Pro-Life' centuries ago). School prayer wasn't a big deal to many Protestants because they didn't want the government dictating prayer anyway. Homosexuality wasn't even on the radar of most church leaders. In the 1970's, believe it or not, the SBC came out in favor of a liberal 'therapeutic abortion' policy - abortion in the case of rape or when the pregnancy was a danger to the mother's health. Ronald Reagan, of all people, would sign a bill legalizing exactly that into law in California about this time. Republicans, at the time, were the party of business and civil rights, and couldn't have cared less about these 'religious' issues. Black was white, up was down, cats and dogs were living together! It took a long time of a small groups of people being very upset for these issues to start gaining traction. In 1979 conservatives in the SBC basically engineered a coup, throwing out the moderate leadership. Televangelists like Jerry Falwell decided to start political action groups. The religious right fell out of love with Jimmy Carter and instead turned to Ronald Reagan, who embraced them like no politician before. By the 80's, conservative Christians were consistently voting Republican, and the party began to open its arms to them. Today's evangelicals often seem monolithic in nature. Good Christians vote Republican, think about specific issues in certain ways, and just generally move in lockstep. What I found insightful about this book is that it shows that it wasn't always this way by any stretch. There was a time when Christianity was not a cultural and political movement. Faith was seen as a private thing, rather than as a campaign platform. How refreshing! Another important lesson from this book is that, as powerful as the Religious Right has become in the last 30-40 years, it has actually claimed very few policy victories. Roe v Wade is still the law of the land and shows no sign of being overturned. State-mandated prayer still has no place in school. Feminism continues marching along. Gay people can now get married. What does this mean? That the Religious Right doesn't actually represent America. Most Americans still see their country as a place of diverse ideas and beliefs - and they're okay with that. The number of Americans who want to see the government pushing specific religious agendas appears to have a hard cap. There is not, actually, any such thing as a 'Moral Majority'. Those who call themselves evangelicals or identify with the right would do well to remember that. Overall I found this book to be very interesting and informative, if this is a subject you want to know more about. The author does a great job of tracing the politics of the times, the people involved, and the issues that motivated them. He does not spend time editorializing on the issues themselves. Enjoyable and eye-opening. Definitely recommended. One last thing - this book wraps up at the beginning of Barack Obama's first term. I dearly hope that a subsequent edition will add chapters on the Obama years - and especially on how religious conservatives wound up backing the appallingly amoral Donald Trump in his presidential campaign. The next chapter on the religious right in America is still being written.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Boyd

    "My kingdom is not of this world" Jesus told us but mankind has had little interest in heeding His words. God's Own Party is a good examination of that, showing a Christian Right that starts in opposition to the Civil Rights Movement and the dangers presented by the Catholic church and continues to work today to establish a theocracy which many would be hard pressed to recognize as being based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. There are so many good points in this book but I'll cover just a few "My kingdom is not of this world" Jesus told us but mankind has had little interest in heeding His words. God's Own Party is a good examination of that, showing a Christian Right that starts in opposition to the Civil Rights Movement and the dangers presented by the Catholic church and continues to work today to establish a theocracy which many would be hard pressed to recognize as being based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. There are so many good points in this book but I'll cover just a few of my favorites. "Jimmy Carter did not expect a conflict with evangelicals when he entered the White House. At the beginning of his administration, he gave every indication that he would be one of the most religiously devout presidents that the nation had had in decades. . . .His view of religion centered on personal piety, not public morality. He continued to cling to a centuries old Baptist tradition of church -state separation. " In spite of being a regular church attender, Sunday school teacher, and writer of devotionals, Jimmy Carter did not meet the rights standard which divorced, non-church attending, astrology believing, sure as heck not able to teach Sunday school Reagan did. In short, Carter was a Christian, these men were looking for a politician who would give their brand of "faith" power - and tax cuts. I loved how the book highlighted hypocrisy - from Anita Bryant who feared the affect gays would have on family life and wound up neglecting her own to moralistic ministers who inevitably yielded to the very sins they hated in others. The book also explained some things to me. Growing up I attended both Catholic and public schools and in both was taught that separation of church and state came about because of incidents like what happened under Henry the 8th and Queen Mary, both of whom tortured their people for being the wrong kind of Christian at the wrong time. Seeing everything that had happened in Europe as a result of a state religion, our founders were determined to offer freedom of religion here. Yet recently I've heard crazy theories that indicate the opposite and I wondered where they had come from. Seems like they came from Reagan who said, "The first amendment was written not to protect the people and their laws from religious values, but to protect those values from government tyranny." The first amendment is to protect us from having religious values inform our laws. It protects us from government tyranny only in the sense that it keeps government from being involved in church - and church from being involved in state. I'm flabbergasted that people are so quick to shove this vital protection aside in order to form a culture of which they approve (but can not themselves live up to.) I also wondered about the term moral majority because growing up in a conservative area I never saw the majority having Christian values. The book cleared this up for me when I learned about the inflation of numbers utilized by Falwell et al - they didn't have a majority but they talked like they did. Jesus would be so proud. In conclusion, this book showed me the very great gulf that exists between the Christian Right and genuine followers of Jesus Christ. For all those wondering about a guide the underhanded politics that put our current president in power and why people who call themselves Christian resemble in no way the founder of their faith, look no further. This book is a pedantic but thorough look at how the so called "right" became so very wrong.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laura Robinson

    Really ought to be required reading for every Christian in America. Written from a careful, objective perspective, Williams looks starts with the decidedly progressive 19th c. evangelical movement's transformation into the conservative movement familiar to people today, under the influence of anti-communism, anti-feminism, and anxiety about pluralism and secularism in the public square. Also uplifting. If the unholy alliance (my words, not Williams) between Christianity and the GOP rose up in su Really ought to be required reading for every Christian in America. Written from a careful, objective perspective, Williams looks starts with the decidedly progressive 19th c. evangelical movement's transformation into the conservative movement familiar to people today, under the influence of anti-communism, anti-feminism, and anxiety about pluralism and secularism in the public square. Also uplifting. If the unholy alliance (my words, not Williams) between Christianity and the GOP rose up in such a short period of time, Lord knows it can be dismantled just as quickly. Let's find some politicians and faith leaders to do it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Great book. As I have said, I love books that explain how we've gotten where we are. This is a history of the stumbling, staggered rise of the Christian right to dominate the GOP. Its the story of those who have put on the full armor of the Good Ol Party. After reading the Sutton book on Aimee McPherson, this was a great follow up. It begins in the culture wars of the 1920's and goes on to Nixon's duping of Graham, the Moral majority and the worldly waltz of Pat Robertson. It is a shallow and na Great book. As I have said, I love books that explain how we've gotten where we are. This is a history of the stumbling, staggered rise of the Christian right to dominate the GOP. Its the story of those who have put on the full armor of the Good Ol Party. After reading the Sutton book on Aimee McPherson, this was a great follow up. It begins in the culture wars of the 1920's and goes on to Nixon's duping of Graham, the Moral majority and the worldly waltz of Pat Robertson. It is a shallow and narrow orthodoxy that Christians are willing to accept in the disingenuous talk of politicians.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Zack

    This was a fascinating exploration of a clearly relevant contemporary topic, told in lucid, bipartisan prose. The worry with histories like this is that they are extremely biased, or argumentative; but Williams here presents a rather straightforward account that engages a LOT of material straight from the participants themselves, painting a comprehensive portrait of the development of the Christian Right in all its guises, for good or for ill. Williams's writing is straightforward but persuasive This was a fascinating exploration of a clearly relevant contemporary topic, told in lucid, bipartisan prose. The worry with histories like this is that they are extremely biased, or argumentative; but Williams here presents a rather straightforward account that engages a LOT of material straight from the participants themselves, painting a comprehensive portrait of the development of the Christian Right in all its guises, for good or for ill. Williams's writing is straightforward but persuasive, gradually and effectively building the picture in the minds of the readers, carefully exploring motivations, fallout, in-fighting, and other elements that show how Christian leaders have been remarkably human in both inspiring and despicable ways. The title and headline of the book is provocative, rightly so given the actual story unfolding in its pages. For those interested in religion, politics, and the contemporary situation we find ourselves in, this is a book from which people on both sides of the issues can learn, and which provides a great deal of material for discussion.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Katie Hanna

    Interesting, but I feel like the argument is missing something . . . can't quite put my finger on what it is. I have to read four other books on the exact same topic for my final historiography paper, though; so once I get a chance to compare them all, hopefully I'll be able to figure it out :-) Interesting, but I feel like the argument is missing something . . . can't quite put my finger on what it is. I have to read four other books on the exact same topic for my final historiography paper, though; so once I get a chance to compare them all, hopefully I'll be able to figure it out :-)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Fr3tensisX

    Great comprehensive overview of the many facets of the rise of the Religious Right up to the Obama period.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alex Stroshine

    An enthralling account of the Christian Right's rise and marriage to the GOP. Daniel K. Williams begins in the 1920s and ends in the early years of President Barack Obama's first term (the majority of the book spans the Nixon-George W. years). Williams reminds us that conservative Christianity's ties to the Republicans are remarkably new, that for a long time the South was dominated by the Democrats. As the twentieth century advanced, conservative Christians shifted from alarm and fear towards c An enthralling account of the Christian Right's rise and marriage to the GOP. Daniel K. Williams begins in the 1920s and ends in the early years of President Barack Obama's first term (the majority of the book spans the Nixon-George W. years). Williams reminds us that conservative Christianity's ties to the Republicans are remarkably new, that for a long time the South was dominated by the Democrats. As the twentieth century advanced, conservative Christians shifted from alarm and fear towards communism to alarm and fear towards secular liberalism. It is fascinating seeing fundamentalists and evangelicals initially avoid politics before the Christian Right became a dominant force; more focus would have been given to individual, rather than social, transformation. Additionally, until the radical cultural revolutions of the 1960s, religious conservatives probably did not feel as if their moral order was threatened. Once abortion, gay rights, feminism and other contested social issues began fissuring the nation, conservative Christians turned to politics to preserve the moral order from liberal usurpation. It is also amazing seeing the transformation of inter-Christian relations and how astonishingly recent conservative Protestant and Roman Catholic ties have been (although fundamentalists such as the Bob Jones clan stubbornly scorned this softening stance). Abortion and opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, spearheaded by Catholic Phyllis Schlafly (the latter bringing together conservative Protestant, Catholic and Mormon women), helped establish a political ecumenism among religious voters. Though many Protestants were nervous about John F. Kennedy's Catholicism, now the Christian Right flocks to conservative Catholic politicians such as Rick Santorum and Paul Ryan. As well, within Protestantism fundamentalists have often been leery of charismatics. Williams carefully differentiates and discusses the political activity of both evangelicals (in the vein of figures like Billy Graham, Charles Colson and Rick Warren) and fundamentalists (in the vein of Jerry Falwell and Randall Terry). Williams also pays particular attention to Baptists, especially Falwell and the Southern Baptist Convention. Williams notes that it was only in 1979 that the SBC was subject to a conservative takeover; before that it had been a more mainline denomination. I was surprised to learn that the Moral Majority, even at its height, wasn't very large and that Pat Robertson's (who figures prominently in the book) later Christian Coalition was much larger and influential, especially with Ralph Reed at the helm. The Republicans continually wooed the Christian Right but as Williams makes clear, for the most part the Christian Right was duped. Occasionally legislation passed that appeased them but the Christian Right has been unable to prevent or turn back abortion and same-sex marriage. Though many conservative Christians have been elected to office, they have proven ineffectual and even Ronald Reagan, the darling of the Republican party, let down religious conservatives by appointing more moderate/liberal nominees to the Supreme Court. While the book is excellent and detailed,it is strange reading "God's Own Party" in summer 2016, with Donald Trump, the least religious Republican (presumptive) presidential nominee in decades poised to lead the GOP into the election in the fall. Williams ends the book speculating as to whether the Christian Right will survive while also concluding with a brief analysis of shifting social engagement by younger evangelicals to have rejected the antiquated and defensive culture war mentality of Falwell, Robertson, et al. Though Trump has (shockingly!) received the endorsements of Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell Jr., many religious conservatives are also aghast at his demeanour and statements and many have suggested voting for a third party or abstaining from voting at all. It will be interesting to investigate the Christian Right's activity during this election cycle. Readers would do well to read this alongside David R. Schwartz's "Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism."

  11. 5 out of 5

    Adam Calvert

    Wow! A history of hope, a history of despair. A history of victory, a history of defeat. A story of people with character rising up in great courage and conviction, and a story of people with few principles giving up and giving in. And as these histories and stories occur on both the political and religious sides, Daniel K. Williams writes a remarkable, well-documented narrative of the birth and rise of Christian involvement in politics in the 20th and 21st centuries in America. Showing a mastery Wow! A history of hope, a history of despair. A history of victory, a history of defeat. A story of people with character rising up in great courage and conviction, and a story of people with few principles giving up and giving in. And as these histories and stories occur on both the political and religious sides, Daniel K. Williams writes a remarkable, well-documented narrative of the birth and rise of Christian involvement in politics in the 20th and 21st centuries in America. Showing a mastery of historical facts in the political realm and even being able to distinguish between a fundamentalist and an evangelical in the Christian realm, Williams is clearly qualified to write about this subject with authority. And along with that authority he brings an amazing writing ability to continually engage the reader. Regardless of your views of the Democratic or Republican party (or even if you have a distaste for a two-party system), this book will certainly educate you on American history with regards to Christian fundamentalism, Evangelicalism, and the political strategies employed by both Democrats and Republicans as they begin to recognize the importance of the Christian vote in today's America. Some things in this book you may already know. Some things are sure to surprise you! Either way, Williams well articulates to all whether for good or for ill how the Grand Old Party became "God's Own Party" as the majority of born-again Christians have at some point (whether out of conscious choice or out of necessity) adopted the Republican party as their own, and how the Republican party (whether out of conscious choice or out of necessity) has adopted the "Christian Right" as their own(!). Whatever the case, this is a compelling read for understanding the issue, and it deserves to be read by all those interested in this fascinating subject.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Qwerty

    The author explains the origins of the Christian Right movement, in particular that movement's capture of the Republican Party. The author traces the origin of the movement in the 1920's in its reaction against the teaching of evolution and later communism, though this is somewhat unconvincing. Except for the chapters on Billy Graham and his influence in the Eisenhower and Nixon administrations, the book doesn't really get going until the 1970s and the Christian Right's reactions against what it The author explains the origins of the Christian Right movement, in particular that movement's capture of the Republican Party. The author traces the origin of the movement in the 1920's in its reaction against the teaching of evolution and later communism, though this is somewhat unconvincing. Except for the chapters on Billy Graham and his influence in the Eisenhower and Nixon administrations, the book doesn't really get going until the 1970s and the Christian Right's reactions against what it would later call "secular humanism", e.g., abortion, gay rights, and restrictions on school prayer. Although my biased opinion is that this is a reactionary theocratic movement, proceeding from some idealized vision of a Christian nation that never really existed, it is fascinating to read about the tactics and political successes of this well mobilized, ideologically-driven minority. One small criticism, the author does differentiate between Evangelicals and Fundamentalists, but the theological differences (if any) aren't really very well explained and I walked away with the understanding that the differences are probably based more on style than anything else.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Roger Green

    As I always say, one book is never enough, but Williams's book helped me understand the Christian Right and its various roots. It helped me understand why so many conservative Christians feel persecuted and how they strategize to build that feeling of persecution into political motivation. It helped me to better understand Super PACs and how people with narrow interests but lots of money can influence national politics and national culture. I did not grow up in an overtly religious household but As I always say, one book is never enough, but Williams's book helped me understand the Christian Right and its various roots. It helped me understand why so many conservative Christians feel persecuted and how they strategize to build that feeling of persecution into political motivation. It helped me to better understand Super PACs and how people with narrow interests but lots of money can influence national politics and national culture. I did not grow up in an overtly religious household but I understand the conservative Protestant culture I grew up in (and despised) better. The deep-seated resentment I have toward where I grew up, why I cannot speak with some family members except to be cordially respectful, it's all in a book about things I don't think I care about but nevertheless affect me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Paul Heidebrecht

    A straight forward account of the Christian Right with no bias one way or the other. I learned it's not a recent phenomenon. Conservative Christians have been trying to restore the US to what they believe is a Christian nation for over a century. Overall, they have failed in their endeavors but they have never given up even now. Their most recent strategy was to gain control of the Republican Party. But their heroes--Nixon, Reagan, Bush--never quite fulfill their hopes. Now in 2012 they have a c A straight forward account of the Christian Right with no bias one way or the other. I learned it's not a recent phenomenon. Conservative Christians have been trying to restore the US to what they believe is a Christian nation for over a century. Overall, they have failed in their endeavors but they have never given up even now. Their most recent strategy was to gain control of the Republican Party. But their heroes--Nixon, Reagan, Bush--never quite fulfill their hopes. Now in 2012 they have a choice between a Mormon and an an adulterer, not exactly a high moment in their effort. Where else in the world are evangelicals so politically focused?

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dane

    The successes and foibles of the Christian Right. Williams does a good job being impartial and objective.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lashonda Slaughter Wilson

    Interesting look at the rise of the Religious Right, not much analysis at the end and no conclusion kind of leaves me wanting to get a bit more into the conclusions the author had....

  17. 4 out of 5

    Richie Valdes

    Great account of the rise of political engagement by the religious right in the 20th century. Would love to see an update to this edition after the 2016 election.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Luke Evans

    Excellent work. Best book on rise of Evangelical political movement in GOP

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mark Cheathem

    Excellent, excellent book. If you want to understand the ties between fundamentalist/evangelical Christians and the Republican party in the past 100 years or so, then you should read this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    Pretty decent.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kirstie

    A good academic history of the movements. Entertaining read if you have an interested in this area.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tim Chavel

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wesley Baker

  24. 4 out of 5

    Holly Genovese

  25. 5 out of 5

    Madeleine

  26. 5 out of 5

    Aislinn Donnchadda

  27. 4 out of 5

    Neva Davies

  28. 4 out of 5

    Blake

  29. 5 out of 5

    Andrés Beltran

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nan

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