American Fascists

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American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America
American Fascists.jpg
AuthorChris Hedges
SubjectFascism, Christian right
PublisherFree Press
Publication date
322/.10973 22
LC ClassJC481 .H38 2007

American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America is a non-fiction book by American Pulitzer Prize journalist Chris Hedges, published in January 2007. Hedges is a former seminary student with a master's degree in divinity from Harvard Divinity School and was a long-time foreign correspondent for The New York Times.


Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"As a Harvard Divinity School graduate, his investigation of the Christian Right agenda is even more alarming given its lucidity. Citing the psychology and sociology of fascism and cults, including the work of German historian Fritz Stern, Hedges draws striking parallels between 20th-century totalitarian movements and the highly organized, well-funded 'dominionist movement,' an influential theocratic sect within the country's huge evangelical population. Rooted in a radical Calvinism, and wrapping its apocalyptic, vehemently militant, sexist and homophobic vision in patriotic and religious rhetoric, dominionism seeks absolute power in a Christian state. Hedges's reportage profiles both former members and true believers, evoking the particular characteristics of this American variant of fascism. His argument against what he sees as a democratic society's suicidal tolerance for intolerant movements has its own paradoxes. But this urgent book forcefully illuminates what many across the political spectrum will recognize as a serious and growing threat to the very concept and practice of an open society."[1]

Francine Prose of O, The Oprah Magazine wrote:

"Throughout, Hedges documents, and reflects on, what he feels is the bigotry, the homophobia, the fanaticism—and the deeply un-Christian ideology—that pose a clear and present danger to our precious and fragile republic."[2]

Rick Perlstein of The New York Times writes:

"Of course there are Christian fascists in America. How else to describe, say, the administrator of a faith-based drug treatment program who bound and beat a resident, then subjected her to 32 straight hours of recorded sermons?" Perlstein believes that this book, however, "is not a worthy attempt ... [Hedges] writes on this subject as a neophyte, and pads out his dispatches with ungrounded theorizing, unconvincing speculation and examples that fall far short of bearing out his thesis ... Hedges is worst when he makes the supposed imminence of mass violence the reason the rest of us should be fighting for the open society... The problem is that he can't point to any actual existing violence among the people he's reporting on"[3]

Joe Bailey of the Oregon Daily Emerald wrote that Hedges:

"confuses political activism with totalitarian violence. ... Like all Americans, conservative Christians have the right to pursue their political objectives through peaceful and democratic means. Which is precisely what they have done. Despite the peaceful and democratic nature of their activism, Hedges attacks conservative Christians with the nastiest of slurs, revealing a frightening ignorance. ... The old guard of the Christian Right is stuck in the culture war mentality that originated in the 1960s. When liberals like Hedges adopt a similar culture war mentality, they only fortify the divide and lend ammunition to their adversaries."[4]

Some critics have asked, "Where is all this violence Hedges warns us about"? In this CSPAN2 BookTV video, Hedges in the Q&A session, after his 27-minute formal presentation, discusses what is the structural violence wreaked since the emergence of corporate-statism two generations ago.[5]


  1. ^ Publishers Weekly Book Review[permanent dead link] Publishers Weekly, 2006-11-13, Retrieved on January 21, 2007
  2. ^ Heaven Help Us O, The Oprah Magazine, January 2007, Retrieved July 31, 2012
  3. ^ Perlstein, Rick, Christian Empire The New York Times, 2007-01-07, Retrieved on January 21, 2007
  4. ^ Bailey, Joe, Keeping the culture war alive[permanent dead link] Oregon Daily Emerald, 2007-01-17, Retrieved on January 21, 2007
  5. ^ What Does The Christian Right Want?: Chris Hedges on American Fascists (2007)

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