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The Book of Jerry Falwell: Fundamentalist Language and Politics Hardcover – 26 Mar 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (26 Mar. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691059896
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691059891
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,370,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Winner of the 2001 Award for Excellence in Religious Studies in Analytical-Descriptive Studies, American Academy of Religion

Honorable Mention for the 2001 Cawelti Book Award, American Culture Association

Honorable Mention for the 2000 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Sociology and Anthropology, Association of American Publishers

"Harding has brought the finely tuned eyes and ears of an anthropologist to her research inside Falwell's fundamentalist Baptist community. Her analysis is incisive and empathetic."--Linda L. Giedl, The Christian Science Monitor

"This is a highly readable book."--Library Journal

"Harding's central subject is the rhetoric of fundamentalism, the language of its persuasion. But she also explains how Falwell, and others like him, have brought the fundamentalist community into politics . . . Harding's headlong exuberance propels [the book] and carries us deep into the mind and heart of a subculture that is increasingly mainstream."--Ronald D. Elving, Washington Post

"An eloquent and incisive study of religious fundamentalism in the United States. . . . [A] theoretically rich and highly original work."--Jeremy Stolow, Sociology of Religion

"Harding's own mastery is on display throughout her book. . . . By the end . . . she has skillfully shown the myriad ways in which fundamentalist rhetoric created and transformed both the fundamentalist community itself and the wider American culture. Her work should be required reading not only for students of American religion, but for anyone who wishes to study sympathetically and fruitfully a different religious culture."--Jonathan Moore, Christian Century

"So much has been written about resurgent Christian fundamentalism that it is difficult to imagine that someone might find something fresh to say about it. Yet Susan Friend Harding gives us some amazing glimpses into contemporary fundamentalism's heart and soul. . . . [A] bold, artful, and largely convincing book."--Joel Carpenter, Journal of Religion

From the Back Cover

"The Book of Jerry Falwell is a brilliant and fascinating account of how the Reverend Jerry Falwell and his colleagues changed the face of Protestant fundamentalism in the United States in the 1980s. Sensitive and sophisticated, it challenges conventional wisdom about the Christian right and makes the world of fundamentalist believers available to the rest of us. Harding is an original thinker, and, along the way, she gives us new insights into the power of rhetoric and the way it creates the world for us all."--Frances Fitzgerald, author of Cities on a Hill

"Few social scientists understand the power of language as well as Susan Harding does. And nobody has done a better job of investigating the language of fundamentalists. The Book of Jerry Falwell will jar its readers again and again--from its thought-provoking title to Harding's account of Falwell's controversial fund-raising techniques to her own 'encounter' with the holy spirit. Just when scholars thought they had put the wraps on fundamentalism and relegated Falwell's Moral Majority to the archives, Harding asks us to reconsider. This is a book that demands (and will surely generate) widespread debate."--Robert Wuthnow, author of After Heaven: Spirituality in American Since the 1950s

"Susan Harding's Book of Jerry Falwell tells the fabulous tale of Falwell's empire building and the rise of the moral majority in the 1980s through a densely textured ethnographic reading of people, institutions, media, and events. Here biblical language is profoundly generative, living, and political. The book is a model of cultural theory and critique as it shows how seemingly opposed movements in history such as fundamentalism and secular modernity are, in fact, mutually constituting and that the critic sees this only by standing in the gap-entering their force fields yet resisting conversion."--Kathleen Stewart, University of Texas, Austin

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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.1 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
3.0 out of 5 starsVery good, though it has some issues
26 June 2015 - Published on
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D. Racer
5.0 out of 5 starsCommunication means learning the language
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5.0 out of 5 starsNot my cup of tea but well researched
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David L Rattigan
4.0 out of 5 starsFascinating
29 November 2002 - Published on
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