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The Family
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About the Author

Jeff Sharlet is a visiting research scholar at New York University's Center for Religion and Media. He is a contributing editor for Harper's and Rolling Stone, the coauthor, with Peter Manseau, of Killing the Buddha, and the editor of TheRevealer.org. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Reviews

Verdict: Sharlet's storytelling is elegant, and his evocation of the mood of theologian Jonathan Edwards's work is one of the most compelling this reviewer has ever read. Further, his analysis of what such seemingly mundane details as the wording of prayers reveal about the mindset of his subjects is perceptive. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries. Background: Sharlet (editor & founder, www.killingthebuddha.com) has unearthed an occurrence that is all the more startling for its being hidden in plain view: the transformation of Jesus's teachings by a widespread network of powerful elites in American government, military, and industry into a gospel of laissez-faire capitalism, American imperialism, and control of the masses. In 2002, Sharlet infiltrated this elite fundamentalist network, known as The Family, and lived for weeks with several of its members. Here, he draws on that experience as well as on archival sources and interviews to trace the roots of fundamentalism, follow the mid-20th-century development of The Family by way of cell groups and prayer breakfasts, and explore the populist conversion of these concepts in the present-day setting of the Colorado Springs church of superpastor Ted Haggard.--Nancy E. Adams, Harrisburg Area Community Coll., PA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"One of the most compelling and brilliantly researched exposes you'll ever read--just don't read it alone at night!"--Barbara Ehrenreich, New York Times bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch
"An astounding entree to a fascinating Christian network unknown to most Americans. . . . A must-read for any American who wants to know who is actually pulling the strings at the highest levels of power."--Heidi Ewing, co-director Jesus Camp
"[Sharlet] has managed to infiltrate the most influential and secretive fundamentalist network in America, and ground his reporting in the most astute and original explanation of fundamentalism I've ever read. . . . Indispensable."--Hanna Rosin, former religion reporter for the Washington Post and author of God's Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save the Nation
"Jeff Sharlet provides a fascinating account of how part of American Christianity has gone off on a dangerous tangent. It should worry everyone--maybe especially those of us who understand the Gospels to be a call to help the powerless, not prop up the powerful."--Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and The Bill McKibben Reader
"A brilliant marriage of investigative journalism and history, an unsettling story of how this small but powerful group shaped the faith of the nation in the 20th century and drives the politics of empire in the 21st. Anyone interested in circles of power will love this book."--Debby Applegate, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher
"A gripping, utterly original narrative about an influential evangelical elite that few Americans even know exists. . . . The Christian Right will never look the same again."--Michael Kazin, author of A Godly Hero: the Life of William Jennings Bryan and The Populist Persuasion: An American History
"I was once an insider's insider within fundamentalism. Unequivocally: Sharlet knows what he's talking about. . . . Those who want to be un-deceived (and wildly entertained) must read this disturbing tour de force."--Frank Schaeffer, author of Crazy For God: How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found The Religious Right, And Lived To Take All (Or Almost All) Of It Back
"Jeff Sharlet is one of the very best writers covering the politics of religion. Brilliantly reported and filled with wonderful anecdotes, THE FAMILY tells the story of an influential group that you haven't previously heard of, and need to know about."--Ken Silverstein, Washington editor of Harper's and author of The Radioactive Boy Scout

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