Jeff Sharlet

The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War -- Jeff Sharlet, Hardcover

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An unmatched guide to the religious dimensions of American politics, Jeff Sharlet journeys into corners of our national psyche where others fear to tread. The Undertow is both inquiry and meditation, an attempt to understand how, over the last decade, reaction has morphed into delusion, social division into distrust, distrust into paranoia, and hatred into fantasies--sometimes realities--of violence.

Across the country, men "of God" glorify materialism, a gluttony of the soul, while citing Scripture and preparing for civil war--a firestorm they long for as an absolution and exaltation. Lies, greed, and glorification of war boom through microphones at hipster megachurches that once upon a time might have preached peace and understanding. Political rallies are as aflame with need and giddy expectation as religious revivals. At a conference for incels, lonely single men come together to rage against women. On the Far Right, everything is heightened--love into adulation, fear into vengeance, anger into white-hot rage. Here, in the undertow, our forty-fifth president, a vessel of conspiratorial fears and fantasies, continues to rise to sainthood, and the insurrectionist Ashli Babbitt, killed on January 6 at the Capitol, is beatified as a martyr of white womanhood.

Framing this dangerous vision, Sharlet remembers and celebrates the courage of those who sing a different song of community, and of an America long dreamt of and yet to be fully born, dedicated to justice and freedom for all.

Exploring a geography of grief and uncertainty in the midst of plague and rising fascism, The Undertow is a necessary reckoning with our precarious present that brings to light a decade of American failures as well as a vision for American possibility.



Author: Jeff Sharlet
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Published: 03/21/2023
Pages: 352
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.19lbs
Size: 9.25h x 6.35w x 1.23d
ISBN: 9781324006497

Review Citation(s):
Library Journal Prepub Alert 10/01/2022 pg. 15
Publishers Weekly 01/02/2023
Kirkus Reviews 01/15/2023
Booklist 02/15/2023 pg. 7

Product Tags:

20th Century, B&M Picks, Hardcover, History, Jeff Sharlet, Nationalism & Patriotism, Political Ideologies, Political Science, Social Science, Sociology, United States, United States - Politics and government -, W. W. Norton & Company

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