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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party » User review

Hearts of Darkness

  • Nov 27, 2010
Of all the critiques about the Republican Party to appear in the past decade or so, this probably competes as one of the best. The author looks into the personal lives of many of the movers and shakers of the party, and shows how they often had similar experiences growing up, and how instead of learning from them and becoming better people, they became demagogues who exorcise their demons on the public stage. Citing individuals like Tom Delay, Newt Gingrich, Pat Robertson among others, the author shows how many of them came from abusive households, broken families or experienced child molestation while young, and then grew up to blame their troubles on homosexuality, abortion, feminism, and other social issues instead of confronting their pasts for what it was; bad parenting. The author also shows how these individuals linked up over time and space to influence elected leaders, decide elections, smear certain people, and elevate others to celebrity status. Probably the most engaging part of this book is how the author parallels the behaviors of these individuals to behavior analyzed and explained in works of psychology throughout the 20th century, especially those that analyzed the rise of the Nazis. All told, a great book and probably one of the best of the decade.

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December 20, 2010
Sounds like a really compelling read. I love insights into political leaders. Great review!
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Newton Ooi ()
Ranked #542
Hi everyone, so here is the rundown of me. I like reading and writing, nonfiction for both. I love movies, especially original ones. I like nonfiction music, eating out, and basketball. I love to travel, … more
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About this book


Journalist Blumenthal documents the movement of conservative evangelicals from the political wings to center stage, delving into the psyches of those who now lead a Republican Party "fixated on abortion, homosexuality and abstinence education; resentful and angry." Guided by Eric Hoffer's 1951 cult classic The True Believer ("Faith in a holy cause, is to some extent a substitute for the lost faith in ourselves,") and Eric Fromm's 1941 psychoanalytical study of the Nazi movement (Escape from Freedom), Blumnthal suggests that childhood abuse has shaped the personalities of key leaders, including Focus on the Family guru James Dobson. Blumenthal is at his best examining these characters up close, including presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich and his born-again conversion; John Hagee, a Pentecostal pastor who lauded Hitler for "forcing the Jews to Israel"; Sarah Palin, whose political aspirations first came to her as part of a religious conversion; and evangelical pastor Ted Haggard, a self-proclaimed spiritual warrior caught in a relationship with a male prostitute. For those who enjoyed Jeff Sharlet's Capitol Hill exposé The Family, this makes a spicy follow-up.
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ISBN-10: 1568583982
Author: Max Blumenthal
Genre: Nonfiction
Publisher: Nation Books

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"Hearts of Darkness"
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