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Going Clear


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About the Author

Lawrence Wright is a graduate of Tulane University and the American University in Cairo, where he spent two years teaching. He is a staff writer for The New Yorker, and the author of one novel, God's Favorite, and six previous books of nonfiction, including In the New World; Saints and Sinners; Remembering Satan; and The Looming Tower, which was the recipient of many honors--among them, The Pulitzer Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the New York Public Library's Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism. He is also a screenwriter and a playwright. He and his wife are longtime residents of Austin, Texas.

Lawrence Wright official website: http: //


After years of extensive research, countless interviews and testimonials, and innumerable hours spent plowing through archives, New Yorker staff writer and Pulitzer Prize-winner Wright offers this absolutely compelling account of the Church of Scientology. Narrated by Morton Sellers, the book is a shocking look at what many have come to view as a cult. Not one for theatrics, Sellers lets the material speak for itself. His delivery is straightforward and understated, allowing the astonishing accounts presented to take center stage. That said, Sellers is able to keep his audience engaged for the duration, never resorting to over-the-top theatrics, despite some of the more-than-colorful, character-driven, real-life accounts that pop up throughout. All in all, this is an endlessly fascinating look at one of the most controversial organizations operating in the world today. A Knopf hardcover. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Praise for Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, by Lawrence Wright

"Powerful . . . essential reading." --Michael Kinsley, the front page of The New York Times Book Review "Who'd have thought a history of a religion would offer so many guilty pleasures? Lawrence Wright's enthralling account of Scientology's rise brims with celebrity scandal. To anyone who gets a sugar rush from Hollywood gossip, the chapters on Tom Cruise and John Travolta will feel like eating a case of Ding Dongs."
--Evan Wright, The Los Angeles Times

"An utterly necessary story . . . A feat of reporting. The story of Scientology is the great white whale of investigative journalism about religion."--Paul Elie, The Wall Street Journal

"Wright's account of the church's history and struggles is helpful, admirably fair-minded and, at times, absorbing . . . The book's most intriguing aspect, though is not its treatment of Scientology, in particular, but its raising general questions about the nature of faith and reason and the role of religion in American life."
--Troy Jollimore, Chicago Tribune "A wild ride of a page-turner, as enthralling as a paperback thriller . . .I could go on and on, listing Hubbard's tall tales, paranoid delusions and eccentricities, as well as Miscavige's brutalities and tidbits from the famously wacky and decidedly unscientific Scientologist cosmology."--Laura Miller, "Insightful, gripping, and ultimately tragic . . . The initial biographical section [about L. Ron Hubbard] could stand as an engrossing book in itself. . . .The second section,
"Hollywood," provides the answer to one of the great mysteries of the modern world: What's the deal with Tom Cruise and Scientology?"--Buzzy Jackson, The Boston Globe

"A hotly compelling read. It's a minutiae-packed book full of wild stories."
--Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Lawrence Wright brings a clear-eyed investigative fearlessness to Scientology--its history, theology, its hierarchy--and the result is . . . evidence that truth can be stranger even than science fiction."--Lisa Miller, The Washington Post
"A gripping, exhaustive, remarkably evenhanded investigation of the religion everyone loves to hate."--Lawrence Levi, Newsday
"It's incredible. It is an incredible, fascinating read. It is like a pirate novel, but there are celebrities in it. I admired [Wright's] chutzpah, he's like Don Quixote."--The Hairpin
"Revealing and disturbing . . . A series of devastating revelations that will come as news even to hardened Scientology buffs who follow the Church's every twist and turn."--The Daily Beast
"Devastating . . . A patient, wholly compelling investigation into a paranoid "religion" and the faithful held in its sweaty grip."--Kirkus Reviews
"Not only a titillating expose on the reported "you're kidding me" aspects of the religion, but a powerful examination of belief itself."--Entertainment Weekly
"A fascinating look behind the curtain of an organization whose ambition and influence are often at odds with its secretive ways. . . . For those aware of Scientology through its celebrity adherents (Tom Cruise and John Travolta are the best known) rather than its works, the sheer scope of the church's influence and activities will be jaw-dropping."
--Keir Graff, Booklist
"An eye-opening short biography of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and a long-form journalism presentation of the creature Hubbard birthed: a self-help system complete with bizarre cosmology, celebrity sex appeal, lawyers, consistent allegation of physical abuse, and expensive answers for spiritual consumers."--Publishers Weekly

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