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Hijacking America: How the Secular and Religious Right Changed What Americans Think

Hijacking America: How the Secular and Religious Right Changed What Americans Think

Susan George

ISBN: 978-0-745-65885-8 May 2013 Polity 288 Pages




George Bush leaves the White House in January 2009 and the United States goes back to “normal”, right? Wrong, argues Susan George in this fascinating, thorough and often chilling account of the decades-long transformation of American society and political culture. Using the four “Ms” – money, media, marketing, management—but above all with a keen sense of mission, the American secular and religious right has made its “long march through the institutions” and changed the way Americans think.

As the left went about its business in blissful ignorance, convinced that its policies, programmes and projects spoke for themselves and would always prevail; the right’s well-oiled machine of foundations, lobbies, think-tanks, publications, political cadres, lawyers and activist organisations slowly and strategically took over. A broad alliance of neo-liberals, neo-conservatives and the religious right successfully manufactured a new common sense, assaulted Enlightenment values and targeted the top of society where culture is created and legitimized, because they knew that ideas have consequences—and not just in the United States.

Hijacking America is that rarity of a book, a thoroughly researched page-turner. Clearly and gracefully written, it will enthral the general reader while providing plenty of factual nourishment for the student of politics, culture, religion or international relations. And for all those who hope for a different America in the future, the first step is to hold the present one up to the light and understand how it got that way.

Introduction: How the Secular and Religious Right Captured America 1

1 Manufacturing Common Sense, or Cultural Hegemony for Beginners 13

2 Foreign Affairs 61

3 The American Religious Right and its Long March through the Institutions 99

4 Extinguishing the Enlightenment: The Assault on Knowledge 153

5 Lobbies, Corridors, and Seats of Power 200

Conclusion: Why Undertake this Book? 243

Notes 255

Index 271

"The forces that have been 'hijacking America,' lucidly exposed in this well-informed and searching study, are doubtless powerful as well as ominous. Their influence is not confined to the United States. Unless they are contained and reversed, prospects are not bright for a decent and civilized world."
Noam Chomsky

"A powerful, shocking and extremely important book. In a gripping investigation, Susan George uncovers the central problem with the US state and shows us how to confront it."
George Monbiot

"Susan George has sounded a timely warning: the US intends to brook no rivals."

"Noteworthy in Obama's campaign was his appearance before the AIPAC convention and his subsequent silence on the invasion of the Gaza Strip. George's call for the organisation of the US left remains pertinent."
Development in Practice

  • Major new book from Susan George – a leading political commentator whose previous books have been massively influential and widely read and reviewed.

  • Fascinating, thorough and often chilling account of this decades-long transformation of American society and political culture.
  • Argues that the United States has undergone a fundamental shift to the right in its thinking and culture in recent decades and that this will be very difficult to reverse.

  • Provocative and radical, this book is likely to attract lots of media attention and a large activist audience.

  • Highly topical before and after next year’s election, especially given that many progressives hope passionately that the Bush era is no more than an a short-term aberration.