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Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  708 ratings  ·  100 reviews
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 c
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Paperback, 432 pages
Published July 13th 2010 by Nation Books (first published December 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

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Grace
This book came highly recommended by Frank Schaeffer as in 'son of' Francis Schaeffer the father of the religious right.

As a person who has had to walk away from religion and church because of the hatred and bigotry that has surfaced since President Obama was elected I must say that this book only served to confirm many of the things that I saw were wrong with christian politics. Blumenthal delves into the Rusdoony/North dominion theology and how this has served as a catalyst to the religious r
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Vesna
This is the first book (that I know of) that makes an explicit connection between Fromm's writings about authoritarian personalities and religious right in America. I follow politics fairly closely, and had some knowledge about evangelical movement, but this book is just so chock full of details which put this movement into a more complete perspective. It is not exactly a surprise that a lot of those born-again Christians are nuts, but perverts and wackos this author writes about are truly astou ...more
Mal Warwick
Plumbing the Depths of Republican Pathology

Not a day goes by that national news reports don’t prominently feature the “Tea Party,” the creation of former Republican Congressioinal leader Dick Armey and the wealthy Right-Wing donors behind him. Those of us who disagree with the fundamental tenets of this made-to-order “grassroots movement” — and that’s a huge majority of the American people — tend to gnash our teeth, roll our eyes, and perform other uncomfortable physical acts whenever we learn a
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Bglassman Glassman
Max Blumenthal might be offended if I compare him to Michael Moore, because there are some enormous differences between them. But the similarities are too great to ignore. They both wade into the situations they are exposing, and they are not afraid to expose some pretty tough characters. Moore has a film crew. Blumenthal has, as far as I can tell, only himself. But he's not afraid to ask tough questions, and he's not afraid to point out lies when he hears them. That's not a common trait in repo ...more
Todd Martin
From the outside the deranged right with their spittle-flecked ranting, gun toting, abortion doctor killing right to lifers, legions of closeted homosexuals (who simultaneously decry gay marriage), and cravings for nuclear Armageddon appear to have the coherent wordview that you'd expect from a group of paranoid schizophrenics. "Republican Gomorrah Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party" explains the twisted logic that motivates what is left of the republican party ... and it's not a prett ...more
John
Blumenthal has compiled an in depth look at the Christian Right in his book "Republican Gomorrah". He profiles Dr. James Dobson's (Focus on the Family/Family Research Council) rise to power inside American politics while also treading into the psychological connections between authoritarianism and personal trauma. There are interesting discussions of Erich Fromm's "Escape from Freedom" as well as third stream evangelicalism, and the diciples of Rushdoony (a promotor of theocracy within the US). ...more
Andrew
As a general rule, I'm not a big fan of the Republican Party, or, in particular, The Conservative Right. But what I had originally accepted as The Party simply being ideologically opportunistic, what I'm reading suggests that Republicanism is no longer a political party, but has become a kind of Religion within a religion. And these guys are ruthless and want blood from their enemies. What's both startling (a a little frightening) is who, exactly, their enemies are, and, more disturbingly, WHY t ...more
Katherine
Incredible, terrifying interview about this book on "Fresh Air" 9/10/09. (I actually knew much of this already, but appreciated hearing an analysis of what's happened since Obama was elected).
Nick
Another excellent but scary read about the recent changes in the conservative movement in the US. While I think Blumenthal goes way out on a limb in some of his armchair psychologizing about the motivation behind the actions of the religious right, just recounting the events and contacts between evangelical fringe characters and desperate politicians is enough to send a chill down anyone's spine. Perhaps the most disturbing is how a few people with strange and frankly heretical views of Christia ...more
Sharon
I've been saying for many years that religious fundamentalism of any stripe should disturb all thinking people. In "Republican Gomorrah," reporter Max Blumenthal plumbs the depths of the Religious Right and its growing involvement in GOP politics -- and shows just how the Christian Reconstructionists have taken over the party.

This well-sourced book (more than 60 pages of end-notes document every single issue Blumenthal brings to light) shows exactly how the GOP became the party that dehumanizes
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Kelly
Political analysis that is both accurate and flippant has a limited shelf-life, and reading this book is like taking a long, painful, irritating trip down memory lane. I recommend it unreservedly to anyone who has the stomach to spend a few uninterrupted hours reading about the phenomenon of closeted gay Republicans and the back-room deals of huckster televangelists.

The book has some clear strengths. It provides some juicy gossip and is a quick, easy read. Max Blumenthal's views on GOP politics
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David
In college a friend of mine, who was an ardent Calvinist, told me to read Rousas John Rushdoony, but I never got around to it, and forgot about him. Until I read Blumenthal. According to Blumenthal, he current mindset in the conservative right began with Rushdoony, a son of an fugitive from Armenia, who believed in setting up a state based on Jewish law. For example, he advocated stoning adulterers and homosexuals. Not a compassionate Christians. From his writings other people got ideas about re ...more
Judie
We live in scary times. The extreme conservatives are afraid everyone who doesn't agree with them is a traitor going to destroy this country through tolerating more individual freedoms, such as divorce, abortion, homosexuality, and premarital sex. (At the same time many are looking forward to the apocalypse to carry the believers to Heaven while everyone else burns in Hell.)
The liberals are afraid that the Christian Right Wing is taking over the USA and that the individual freedoms which had bee
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Ray
When I picked up the book, I suspected that the focus might be to highlight the affect on society by ultra-religious conservatives, i.e., anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-secular, anti stem cell research, anti Planned Parenthood, anti-condom distribution in Aids afflicted Countries, etc., etc., etc. However, it's more a book which takes many conservatives to task for their individual failings. There are many included in Blumenthal's sights, including the Reverend Ted Haggard, Congressmen Tom DeLay, ...more
Louise
Strident conservatives, whom I've met in everyday life, have characteristically had difficult childhoods. I've noted abuse or alcoholism in their families and sometimes both. I had informally concluded conservatism was correlated with discipline which these wounded children need to get through their days and weeks. My theory is obviously shattered by outrageously undisciplined conservatives in the media and politics who seem to know no behavioral bounds and appear not to see their own hypocrisy. ...more
Matthew
I found this a well-documented and rather appalling look at the Christian right, but in this case, it's basically preaching to the choir. I doubt it would be as effective with a member of the Christian right.
Pang
I heard about this book while listening to a program on NPR called Worldview. The host was interviewing the author. The topic was really interesting to me. The book, however, gave me a different impression in the end. I guess I was expecting the book to be different than what it is. To me the book was a little more than a glorified gossip column. BUT it sure was a juicy gossip column! It talked about the hypocritical lives that a lot of leading Christian right figures were leading. Majority of t ...more
Thomas
This book traces the development of the religious right as a political movement. Blumenthal leaves us in no doubt as to his point of view, and he doesn't hesitate to dwell on the more salacious details of evangelical leaders' private lives, so it can't be thought of as a balanced, dispassionate account. However, he gets some important things right. I would hate for an outsider to get the idea that all evangelical Christians in the USA are like the people he discusses here, but this form of Chris ...more
Andy
There are several books trying to explain to "liberals" the mindset of the "conservatives." Blumenthal succeeds by connecting well-documented extremes of dysfunctional behavior among leaders of the "religious right."

What ties it all together is the culture of personal crisis that is at the core of the movement. This is deeply emotional stuff related to child abuse, drug addiction, rejection, depression, repressed sexual urges, etc. The "cheap grace," acceptance, and charismatic, authoritarian l
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Byron
Feb 24, 2012 Byron rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in politics
This is the book you were hoping someone would write about the Republicans. It's explains why the party has become overrun with religious nuts, and why they keep getting caught up in gay sex scandals. Meanwhile you don't see Democrats getting caught browsing rentboy.com, cruising the men's room at the airport in Minnesota and what have you nearly as often, despite the fact that there's more gay Democrats than Republicans. As Blumenthal breaks down in this book, it's not just that a lot of Republ ...more
Lynn
This book was interesting, but I kept asking myself "compared to what?" I'd love to hear some stats comparing the hypocritical Republican sexual transgressions with those of the Democratic party or even non-evangelical Republicans.

The book never claimed to be a public policy study about ethical breaches, so I can't really fault it for not being one, but I would have loved it if it was!

Also, I would have appreciated if the author had done more comparison between the Republican party before and a
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Sarah
Really interesting look at the religious right and how it's come to occupy its key place in American (especially Republican) politics. This is a topic I've always had an interest in, and this is one of the better overview books about the movement I've found. It's obviously coming from a critical perspective on the movement under discussion (which I share), but it's thorough and not flippant.

Each chapter is organized around key individuals or groups and then flows into the next chapter about ind
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Donna
This book should be a wake-up call for America about the colossal mess we've gotten ourselves into by being too tolerant and politically correct. We've treated any looney philosophy that calls itself a religion as respectfully as if it made sense. We've stood in silence while cheats and liars and con artists get elected to public office again and again, protected and forgiven by the powers that be so long as they make a good show of repentance. We've permitted religious extremists like James Dob ...more
Adrienne Fusaro
Scandalous! A little late to the party on this one but all of those tidbits about the far religious right were connected in this book. There is definitely something insidious and dark in this country and it's tucked away in born again conversions and Pentecostal churches around America. But still - its scandalous! They are one big Jerry Springer sideshow!
Jennie
Max Blumenthal has done what few contemporary commentators have managed to do. He has sifted through the extreme rhetoric of the Right Wing of the Republican Party to analyze the underlying conditions that have fueled their assault on our democracy.

Republican Gomorrah helps to cast a bright light on the dark side of Fundamentalist Christianity and its bigotry. In doing so, his book goes a long way toward helping those seeking to understand why ordinary Americans often align themselves with the
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Jane
I'm halfway through. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to know what goes on behind closed doors amongst some members of the Republican Party and the self-described Christians who support them, no matter how unChrist-like and criminal the candidate. The biography of some very prominant figures reads like a rap sheet.

-James Dobson's (Focus on the Family) Senate supoened e-mails.
-Fight for segregation by "Christian" "Leaders".
-Racism of "Christian" "Leaders".
-Call for execution of hom
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John
Interesting, though somewhat depressing, read, focusing on the highly dysfunctional James Dobson of "Focus on the Family" and his takeover of the congressional Republican caucus, and Bush Administration, to the extent that both dared do nothing without his direct approval.
First part chronicles chronicles the rise of Dobson (who strongly advocates regularly beating children) and his allies; the second part highlights scandals of Vitter, Craig, etc., giving few new details, but highlighting the bo
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Lou Schuler
As much as I respect Max Blumenthal for fleshing out his premise that Christian far-right politics is based on personal trauma and self-loathing, I found myself wishing for less of a polemic and more of a straight-ahead journalistic expose.

Maybe the story is incompatible with that kind of reporting. And maybe the people who need to read this -- those who support a Christian-right agenda -- wouldn't read it no matter how neutral the author's voice seemed. All I know for sure is that the people w
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Jason
As a liberal/secular Republican and an ex-evangelical-Christian, I found Blumenthal's delving into the seedy underbelly of the Religious Right to be entertaining, informative (although it'll certainly be much more informative for other readers) and at times therapeutic. He's singing to the choir, as many evangelical Christians and most right-wing republicans will find plenty to take offense to (including some unfair generalization and questionable psychological analysis), if not be incensed by.

T
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Michele Weiner
More information about the religious right and its origins, but with more recent history about James Dobson, Ted Haggard, and so on. It also connects the movement to psychological theories of personality, especially those of Erich Fromm, a humanist theorist who challenged Freud's system of thought. Anyway, Fromm says that authoritarian beliefs are an "escape from freedom." Authoritarian people, especially the dominators such as Tom Delay, often come from abusive or dysfunctional backgrounds. The ...more
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