BCL Staff Picks for 2009
Synopsis: They are "the Family" -- soldiers in the army of God, waging spiritual war in the halls of American power. Their base is a quiet, leafy estate along the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia, and Jeff Sharlet is the only journalist to have reported from inside its walls. His experience with fundamentalist Christianity’s elite corps launched him into a deeper examination of the movement’s roots in American history, and its surprising allies past and present, including Dwight D. Eisenhower, dictators from Indonesia to El Salvador, and present-day politicians from both sides of the aisle. THE FAMILY dramatically revises conventional wisdom about American fundamentalism, revealing its crucial role in the unraveling of the New Deal, the creation of the Cold War, the no-holds-barred economics ofglobalization, and the slow but steady destruction of the wall of separation between church and state .
Part history, part investigative journalism, THE FAMILY is an eye-opening, elegantly written examination of the spiritual awakenings that have convulsed this nation, making a powerful case that these awakenings -- from Jonathan Edwards’ belief that "We are sinners in the hands of an angry God" to today’s alarming nexus of church and state -- are manifestations of an American mood that has been present since the beginning.
The author lived undercover with the Family at their house "Ivanwald" in Arlington, Virginia, and an article about his experience appeared as a feature article in Harper’s (March 2003). His subsequent work on elite Christian fundamentalism has appeared regularly in Harper’s and Rolling Stone.(From bn.com)