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American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America
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American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,711 Ratings  ·  262 Reviews
Twenty-five years ago, when Pat Robertson and other radio and televangelists first spoke of the United States becoming a Christian nation that would build a global Christian empire, it was hard to take such hyperbolic rhetoric seriously. Today, such language no longer sounds like hyperbole but poses, instead, a very real threat to our freedom and our way of life. In "Ameri ...more
Hardcover, 254 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by Free Press (first published January 1st 2007)
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Feb 09, 2016 Lilo rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone who has a few working braincells and does not wish to live in a theocracy
There are 180 reviews of this book on Goodreads. Most of them are highly informative and to the point. Please read them—read them all! And then, read the book. It is a MUST-READ.

I do not see any reason to repeat what other reviewers have said, so this review will be very short:

I didn't like Chris Hedges’ run-on writing style. Yet this is not important. The well-researched contents of this book are so alarming that the poor writing style matters no more than an unattractive color matters on a roa
Will Byrnes
This is a very alarming portrait of some of the darkest forces at work in America, or anywhere for that matter. Hedges argues that the extreme wing of the contemporary Christian movement in the US shares much with the actions and worldview of other historical fascist movements, movements that often mask the full extent of their drive for totalitarianism and their willingness to make concessions only until they achieved unrivaled power. There is little in here that I was not aware of, as far as t ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 01, 2013 Mike (the Paladin) rated it did not like it
I held off on reviewing this book. Anyone who has read many of my reviews and has actually read this book will know I'll disagree with it's conclusions. I got involved in a discussion of it in the comments section of someone else's review that got rather...heated. But I decide I was now "committed", so to speak. So, despite the fact that some may like to have me "committed" I take keyboard in hand so to speak and brave the waves of electrons.

In this case, I not only disagree with the book's conc
Douglas McGaw
Oct 22, 2007 Douglas McGaw rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
The danger of the "Christian" right wing to our freedom and right to live as we desire is vastly underrated, and Hedges does a brilliant job of exposing this danger. By defining what is right and wrong, by viewing history and even prehistory through the prism of a literal interpretation of the Bible, they seek to impose their worldview on all and to hell - literally - with those who refuse to accept their way. Hedges has solid credentials as a "person of faith", but sees clearly the inherent dan ...more
May 07, 2008 Jami rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
So, Ellis and I just finished reading this as Book #1 in our newly-founded 2-person book group, and while it wouldn't have been my first pick, I actually really enjoyed reading it, and it was an excellent book for discussion.

Chris Hedges describes the idealogy of the extreme Christian Right group based here in America, and frankly, I found it to be pretty scary. The idea behind creating an entirely Christian nation (as the Christian Right would like to do) is not only un-democratic, but it is al
Nov 19, 2008 Huyen rated it liked it
I used to think Christian fundamentalism in America was like an ad hoc movement of some hypnotized chickens. But according to this book, it seems to be a pretty big deal. I always think it’d be good to look at the reason why people believe in such absurd nonsense before critiquing them. The only chapter that serves that purpose is chapter two, cultural despair. This is where it arouses my sympathy: many people, facing economic difficulties and psychological crisis, feel unrooted, lost, desperate ...more
Having hung out with a lot of main line Christians as well as a lot of evangelicals and card-carrying fundamentalist loonies in my day, I have to commend Chris Hedges on his attempt to characterize that last group there. He does a stellar job of describing the inner workings of the loonies. He pretty much has 'em nailed. I also deeply appreciate his use of Arendt and Popper in providing a theoretical framework with which to understand the dangers of fundamentalist lunacy. This book is readable, ...more
Mar 04, 2009 Bruce rated it it was amazing
American Fascists should be read by people willing to think. Those with closed minds should buy at least three copies, and pass it around their friends [Maybe one of them will start thinking.:] The very beginning of this book is an abstract of an essay by Umberto Eco entitled “Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt.” It is an annotated list of traits found in all forms of authoritarianism (Fascism). By itself this short essay goes a long way toward describing the so-called Chr ...more
Laura Jean
Jun 02, 2008 Laura Jean rated it liked it
Shelves: america
More thoughtful than the title suggests, Chris Hedges lays out an informed analysis of the dominionist movement in the United States and how it has used the sympathies of the Christian Right to further anti-free speech and anti-freedom of religion/freedom from fear/freedom of expression agendas.

While every person's religious belief is protected by the Constitution, a totalitarian agenda is not. What has increasingly happened since the late sixties is a movement within the Christian Right to est
Sep 15, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book stirred up so many emotions in me. Simply because from the ages of 5-13 I was a part of this "Christian Right" due to my attendance in a very fundamentalist Christian school. At this school I was inundated with talks of the Rapture, how we had to always prepare for so called "end of days", how Ouija boards could levitate and destroy themselves if you told them too, and that every second of every day someone was going to hell. Horrible things to tell an impressionable child who at the a ...more
David Stephens
Aug 30, 2012 David Stephens rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
As a fervent reader, I understand the desire to derive meaning from stories, especially the stories of one’s own life. It is unpleasant to think of the universe as a vast, meaningless place where people have no real purpose but simply move about and eventually disappear. However, sometimes this desire to elicit meaning from life can cause serious problems. It goes from providing a group of people with a purpose to curtailing the lives of other human beings. This phenomenon is the focus of Chris ...more
Mar 09, 2007 Jason rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: bob jones
I initially saw author Chris Hedges speak on BookTV about this book, and was enchanted by the fiery invective and seething passion he had for his subject matter. It was a powerful sermon aimed at the "dominionist" movement in fundamental Christianity, led by people like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. On the surface, his argument is obvious at points, as this group is already much maligned by mainstream media and the liberal elite. But his perspective is refreshing, as he not only delves into t ...more
Mar 20, 2010 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who loves this country
Recommended to Joe by: James Lay
Very interesting and scary book. I do not want America to become a Christian nation. We have been a nation founded on Judeo/ Christian beliefs. We need to keep it that way. Many of our forefathers left England in the name of religious freedom.
Seperation of church and state is one of the major things that have made this country great. The religious right wants to take our freedom of religion away. They are corrupting the Bible in their efforts to do so. They want to control education in America.
Jan 06, 2015 Jay rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-studies
This book popped up on my "Recommendations" from Goodreads this morning - I had completely forgotten that I had read it in 2007. I gave it four stars because I think his premise is correct on many points - for example that the politics of what is now anointed as "conservatism" by the Christian and not-so-Christian right is informed by an apocalyptic vision of the imminent second coming of Our Lord and Savior (I believe that He is coming, also, but when that is is up to the Father: "But about tha ...more
Aug 17, 2009 Nancy rated it it was amazing
The word "brilliant" is not one I often use on a non-fiction book, but it is the exactly correct word for this book. Chris Hedges is a former New York Times journalist, award-winning, who now devotes his talents to investigating current conditions in the world and sharing his analysis with those among us who are concerned for the survival of our democracy.

Hedges' analysis of the Christian Right's rise to power in the U.S. is frightening. It both mirrors the Nazis' rise in Germany, but also adds
Feb 14, 2011 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was meeting a few everyday German people when I was a child that instilled in me a morbid fascination with the history of Nazi Germany. Learning about the horrors that occurred in their country for many years, I wondered how people who seemed so ordinary—so much like us—could have ignored (much less been complicit in) such unimaginable cruelty.

The answer, of course, is that over a period of years, skillful propaganda and cultural manipulation had sold “Aryan” Germans a world view about their
Mar 28, 2015 Alex rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A brilliantly researched and written argument that highlights the totalitarian elements of religion and its inhuman role in modern politics. Should be required reading for high school students but hey, in a country where 'intelligent design' is considered factual in way too many communities, that aint gonna happen :)
Apr 28, 2012 Tim rated it really liked it
The most disturbing book I have yet read about America. God help us all if these loons ever get their way.
William Galaini
Apr 10, 2014 William Galaini rated it really liked it
Despite the constant stream of screaming we receive in both ears regarding America's cultural and socioeconomic direction, the subject is a matter to be taken seriously. While so many snake-oil salesmen attempt to offer us their own variety of tonic, we must navigate the din toward the truth of the matter.

One of those inescapable truths is that we are a nation of all people of all walks of life. And we must remain as such. We see what the pursuit hegemony has done to Russia and China and we want
Claire S
My Dad's Mom was actually cut from cloth very similar to this, except she might not have been quite as much about world domination (she lived in Wisconsin). But her and others I've known give me real life experience - although I'm sure much less scary than the real real extremists shown here.

This part from Will's review:
P 21
Dominionists wait only for a fiscal, social or political crisis, a moment of upheaval in the form of an economic meltdown or another terrorist strike on American soil, to mo
Colleen Toporek
Jun 30, 2010 Colleen Toporek rated it really liked it
I found this to be a passionate and well-researched analysis.

He is scrupulous in pointing out that narrow, judgmental, and violent views are not characteristic of Christians; nor are they an aspect of evangelical Christianity, per se. The groups that advocate theocracy are a very particular strain of "Christian." He makes a fascinating point about the dangers of exclusivity in religion by stating, rather poetically, that mystery is one of the key facets of faith. And uncertainty and change are
Apr 03, 2008 Joshua rated it liked it
Chris Hedges paints a rather frightening, regressive, misogynistic view of the underground Christian Right, a fundamentalist movement he alleges is closely linked to neo-conservatism and the American Republican party. Citing a plethora of anecdotal evidence -- which, I feel, both makes his thesis of Christo-fascism increasingly terrifying, yet also manages to come off as patently absurd -- Hedges tells a tale of a vocal minority of Christians actively working to dominate and oppress those they ...more
Aug 09, 2010 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book reminds me of how sad I feel around the very committed Christians of whom make up most of my world. I long for them to be progressive, tolerant in the best sense, or at the very least stop demonizing the people who don’t believe the exact brand of belief they adhere to. Figures like Rushdoony and Schaeffer (though not so much the “buffoons” of the TBN empire) influence their theology as much as the Bible. The organized effort to dominate, as Hedges shows, pervades their “worldview,” la ...more
Ismael Galvan
May 04, 2013 Ismael Galvan rated it it was amazing
American Fascists: The Christian Right and The War on America by Chris Hedges, graduate from seminary at Harvard Divinity School and two decade war correspondent, points out the elephant in the room. Much of the country is aware of the extreme Christian Right’s agenda for dominating our government, education, private life, and foreign policy. In short, their aim is to turn the US into a Christian theocracy and thereby enforce a Christian global rule. Their buffoonish rhetoric would be laughable ...more
Dec 28, 2012 Mark rated it really liked it
Entering the mindset of the average homosexual-hating fundamentalist Christian makes for one hell of a trip. Given the subject matter and the stark title, the author clearly knew he had to provide evidence for allegations which strike to the heart of US politics.

Part of the decision to read the book in the first place was in reaction to recent news stories involving a certain hate group thought by many to represent the outer limits of American religious extremism. I was completely unprepared to
Nadine Lumley
May 19, 2012 Nadine Lumley rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book, wonderful writer, can't say enough good things about it.

"American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America"

Chris Hedges’s book examines how Christian dominionists are seeking absolute power and a Christian state. This movement bears a strong resemblance to the young fascist movements in Italy and Germany in the 1920s and ’30s.

"Fascism should rightly be called corporatism as it is the merge
Heather Denkmire
Oct 02, 2010 Heather Denkmire rated it really liked it
I'll be mulling over some of his conclusions for a while. Specifically, he says there's no point in trying to work with the Dominionists/extreme fundamentalists as they aren't interested in dialogue. I see his point, but I'm still not sure that fighting a slammed door with a slammed door is the answer.

That said, this is a great (though disturbing) primer on the theme I've been reading lately, the radical right (in particular the Rushdoony/Dominionists) plotting and successfully taking over funda
Genine Franklin-Clark
Aug 05, 2012 Genine Franklin-Clark rated it really liked it

Scary. Very scary. I just unfriended on Facebook a guy who was described frightenly accurately in this book; a "nice" guy, "Christian", well-to-do, apallingly hateful and close-minded. I had thought that if I remained calm and reasonable and presented facts from impartial sources(as the book said I would do), this guy would engage in a dialogue. Nope. I'm "one of Satan's minions". Wow.

One result of my reading this book: I'll no longer be quiet to be polite when crazy folks spew hate and lies.

May 23, 2013 Allen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Every generation has an Anti-Christ. At one time it was Napoleon, then it was Hitler and so on. In my youth it was "The Communists". Today it is "The Muslims". Hedges describes and documents in frightening detail the people we have most to fear. Christian Extremists have been slowly working their way into political power in an unholy alliance with the Republicans. This book tells why they are to be feared and how they work. It ought to be MUST reading for everyone concerned about freedom and dem ...more
Susan Ozmore
Apr 23, 2016 Susan Ozmore rated it liked it
It's been a number of years since I read this book, but was reminded of it by reading someone else's review. (As I recall my reaction,) I live in the South and these ideas are not new to me, however the extent to which they have become entrenched in our political system was. I was involved with several evangelical churches during my 20's and lived with a certain amount of cognitive dissonance which I could no longer tolerate as I moved into my 30's, so much of the history is familiar to me. (I'm ...more
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Raised fundamentalist? 4 27 Jul 04, 2012 03:28PM  
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Christopher Lynn Hedges is an American journalist, author, and war correspondent, specializing in American and Middle Eastern politics and societies.
Hedges is known as the best-selling author of War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.
Chris Hedges is currently a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York Ci
More about Chris Hedges...

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“The split in America, rather than simply economic, is between those who embrace reason, who function in the real world of cause and effect, and those who, numbed by isolation and despair, now seek meaning in a mythical world of intuition, a world that is no longer reality-based, a world of magic.” 48 likes
“The triviality of American popular culture, its emptiness and gossip, accelerates this destruction of critical thought. It expands the void, the mindlessness that makes the magic, mythology, and irrationality of the Christian Right palatable. Television, the movement’s primary medium, allows viewers to preoccupy themselves with context-free information. The homogenized empty chatter on the airwaves, the banal amusement and clichés, the bizarre doublespeak endlessly repeated on cable news channels and the huge spectacles in sports stadiums have replaced America’s political, social and moral life, indeed replaced community itself. Television lends itself perfectly to this world of signs and wonders, to the narcissism of national and religious self-exaltation. Television discourages real communication. Its rapid frames and movements, its constant use of emotional images, its sudden shifts from one theme to an unrelated theme, banish logic and reason with dizzying perplexity. It, too, makes us feel good. It, too, promises to protect and serve us. It, too, promises to life us up and thrill us. The televangelists have built their movement on these commercial precepts. The totalitarian creed of the Religious Right has found in television the perfect medium. Its leaders know how television can be used to seduce and encourage us to walk away from dwindling, less exciting collectives that protect and nurture us. They have mastered television’s imperceptible, slowly induced hypnosis. And they understand the enticement of credo quia absurdum—I believe because it is absurb.” 12 likes
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