Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party

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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 convention about the party's opposition to sex education (and hence, the rise in teen pregnancies like that of Palin's daughter), or his expose of the eccentric multimillionaire theocrat behind California's Prop 8 anti- gay marriage initiative, Blumenthal has become one of the most important and most constantly cited journalists on how fringe movements are becoming the Republican Party mainstream.

Republican Gomorrah is a bestiary of dysfunction, scandal and sordidness from the dark heart of the forces that now have a leash on the party. It shows how those forces are the ones that establishment Republicans-like John McCain-have to bow to if they have any hope of running for President. It shows that Sarah Palin was the logical choice of a party in the control of theocrats. But more that just an expose, Republican Gomorrah shows that many of the movement's leading figures have more in common than just the power they command within conservative ranks. Their personal lives have been stained by crisis and scandal: depression, mental illness, extra-marital affairs, struggles with homosexual urges, heavy medication, addiction to pornography, serial domestic abuse, and even murder. Inspired by the work of psychologists Erich Fromm, who asserted that the fear of freedom propels anxiety-ridden people into authoritarian settings, Blumenthal explains in a compelling narrative how a culture of personal crisis has defined the radical right, transforming the nature of the Republican Party for the next generation and setting the stage for the future of American politics.

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About the author

Max Blumenthal is one of the most constantly cited young liberal journalists in America and is regularly featured on the Rachel Maddow Show, Democracy Now!, and Countdown with Keith Olbermann. His articles and video documentaries have appeared in The Daily Beast, The Nation, The Huffington Post, Salon.com, Al Jazeera English, and many other publications. He is a correspondent for The Daily Beast, a research fellow for Media Matters for America, and a Journalism Writing Fellow for The Nation Institute. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Nation Books
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Published on
Sep 1, 2009
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780786750443
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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In Goliath, New York Times bestselling author Max Blumenthal takes us on a journey through the badlands and high roads of Israel-Palestine, painting a startling portrait of Israeli society under the siege of increasingly authoritarian politics as the occupation of the Palestinians deepens.

Beginning with the national elections carried out during Israel's war on Gaza in 2008-09, which brought into power the country's most right-wing government to date, Blumenthal tells the story of Israel in the wake of the collapse of the Oslo peace process.

As Blumenthal reveals, Israel has become a country where right-wing leaders like Avigdor Lieberman and Bibi Netanyahu are sacrificing democracy on the altar of their power politics; where the loyal opposition largely and passively stands aside and watches the organized assault on civil liberties; where state-funded Orthodox rabbis publish books that provide instructions on how and when to kill Gentiles; where half of Jewish youth declare their refusal to sit in a classroom with an Arab; and where mob violence targets Palestinians and African asylum seekers scapegoated by leading government officials as "demographic threats."

Immersing himself like few other journalists inside the world of hardline political leaders and movements, Blumenthal interviews the demagogues and divas in their homes, in the Knesset, and in the watering holes where their young acolytes hang out, and speaks with those political leaders behind the organized assault on civil liberties. As his journey deepens, he painstakingly reports on the occupied Palestinians challenging schemes of demographic separation through unarmed protest. He talks at length to the leaders and youth of Palestinian society inside Israel now targeted by security service dragnets and legislation suppressing their speech, and provides in-depth reporting on the small band of Jewish Israeli dissidents who have shaken off a conformist mindset that permeates the media, schools, and the military.

Through his far-ranging travels, Blumenthal illuminates the present by uncovering the ghosts of the past—the histories of Palestinian neighborhoods and villages now gone and forgotten; how that history has set the stage for the current crisis of Israeli society; and how the Holocaust has been turned into justification for occupation.

A brave and unflinching account of the real facts on the ground, Goliath is an unprecedented and compelling work of journalism.
On July 8, 2014, Israel launched air strikes on Hamas-controlled Gaza, followed by a ground invasion. The ensuing conflict led to 51 days of war that left over 2,000 people dead, the vast majority of whom were Palestinian civilians. During the assault, at least 10,000 homes were destroyed and, according to the United Nations, nearly 300,000 Palestinians were displaced. Max Blumenthal was on the ground during what he argues was an entirely avoidable catastrophe. In this explosive work of reportage, Blumenthal reveals the harrowing conditions and cynical deceptions that led to the ruinous war — details that slipped through the cracks of the mainstream media.

Here, for the first time, Blumenthal unearths and presents shocking evidence of atrocities he gathered in the rubble of Gaza after much of the Western media had packed up. He radically shifts the discussion around a number of controversial issues, like the use of civilians as human shields by Israeli forces; the arbitrary targeting of Palestinian civilians; and widespread incitement to genocide by Israeli military personnel, political leaders, and state-sponsored clerics. Blumenthal recorded testimonies from scores of Gazan residents, documenting potential war crimes committed by the Israeli armed forces. He also documented details of the battles that took place between Israeli forces and the armed guerrilla factions of the Gaza Strip, explaining their military and political significance with intimate proximity to the subject. And he explains the outcome of the ceasefire agreement that arrived after 51 days of fighting, showing how US and Egyptian-led diplomacy makes another, even more horrifying war almost inevitable.

The horrors the world witnessed in Gaza, Blumenthal argues, did not occur in a vacuum. They are reflections of the political trajectory of the state of Israeli society today. Here, Blumenthal demonstrates that while residents of Gaza are indeed victims who suffer immensely, they also engaged in dramatic acts of resistance. The 51 Day War exemplifies the fearless reporting and unflinching style that Blumenthal has become known for.
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 American Fascists, Chris Hedges, veteran journalist and author of the National Book Award finalist War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, challenges the Christian Right's religious legitimacy and argues that at its core it is a mass movement fueled by unbridled nationalism and a hatred for the open society.

Hedges, who grew up in rural parishes in upstate New York where his father was a Presbyterian pastor, attacks the movement as someone steeped in the Bible and Christian tradition. He points to the hundreds of senators and members of Congress who have earned between 80 and 100 percent approval ratings from the three most influential Christian Right advocacy groups as one of many signs that the movement is burrowing deep inside the American government to subvert it. The movement's call to dismantle the wall between church and state and the intolerance it preaches against all who do not conform to its warped vision of a Christian America are pumped into tens of millions of American homes through Christian television and radio stations, as well as reinforced through the curriculum in Christian schools. The movement's yearning for apocalyptic violence and its assault on dispassionate, intellectual inquiry are laying the foundation for a new, frightening America.

American Fascists, which includes interviews and coverage of events such as pro-life rallies and weeklong classes on conversion techniques, examines the movement's origins, its driving motivations and its dark ideological underpinnings. Hedges argues that the movement currently resembles the young fascist movements in Italy and Germany in the 1920s and '30s, movements that often masked the full extent of their drive for totalitarianism and were willing to make concessions until they achieved unrivaled power. The Christian Right, like these early fascist movements, does not openly call for dictatorship, nor does it use

physical violence to suppress opposition. In short, the movement is not yet revolutionary. But the ideological architecture of a Christian fascism is being cemented in place. The movement has roused its followers to a fever pitch of despair and fury. All it will take, Hedges writes, is one more national crisis on the order of September 11 for the Christian Right to make a concerted drive to destroy American democracy. The movement awaits a crisis. At that moment they will reveal themselves for what they truly are -- the American heirs to fascism. Hedges issues a potent, impassioned warning. We face an imminent threat. His book reminds us of the dangers liberal, democratic societies face when they tolerate the intolerant.
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