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Preview — The Jesus Machine by Dan Gilgoff
The Jesus Machine: How James Dobson, Focus on the Family, and Evangelical America Are Winning the Culture War
by Dan Gilgoff
Led by the immense behind-the-scenes influence of Dr. James Dobson, Focus on the Family has grown from its roots as a California radio show dispensing parenting advice to an unrivaled media ministry broadcasting on more than two thousand stations in the United States alone. Dobson has supplanted Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Ralph Reed as the political spokesman for te ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 29th 2008 by St. Martin's Griffin
(first published March 6th 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 92)
This book was a great in-depth look at the origins and evolution of the Christian right more broadly and Focus on the Family in particular. Despite the title it was pretty even-handed, treating his subjects with relative objectivity. As someone used to just thinking of the religious right as big bad guys, it was fascinating to seea more nuanced look at the different branches of the movement, the different ideologies, and how they relate to the larger evangelical community. The prose is very enga ...more
May 19, 2010 Denise rated it 5 of 5 stars · review of another edition
An expose on how James Dobson, Focus on the Family, and all their subordinate political groups are pushing American politics to the side of evangelical Christianity. Convincing church pastors to become "patriot pastors" and preaching moral "issues" dictated by these same political groups...using the Arlington Group (a secret society of the religious right's top power brokers--Dobson, Jerry Falwell, James Kennedy, etc) to formulate how to CONTROL their evangelical church-goers to vote their AGEND ...more
This book was not what I expected it to be. Rather than a straight-up progressive attack on James Dobson and his place in the evangelical right, this is more of a dispassionate history of Focus on the Family and James Dobson. The latter parts of the book definitely focus more on the political impacts that the movement has had and I thought that the last few chapters lost some focus (the chapter on "life after Dobson" didn't paint as full a picture of the future scenarios as would have been warra ...more
A very well researched and interesting look at the development and evolution of the Christian Right's involvement in national politics. The content didn't quite reflect the title, though, and while well researched, the writing tended to ramble along as if the author were trying to fit his hundreds of pages of notes into a single book, without necessarily following a clear outline.
I had to return this to the library...the first part wasn't worth my time so I figured the second part wouldn't be either. It was also outdated because it kept talking about "recent attempts to amend THE CONSTITUTION to prohibit marriage equality." Yeah, apparently people wanted to do that while I was still living under a political rock.
As a research book for a class this book makes all the stops. However, it fails in its attempt to remain unbiased, it emphasizes the monster that is Dobson, and never really puts in another perspective. But I guess that could be me assuming there's a soft side to everyone...Dobson just may be the exception.