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The Book of Jerry Falwell:
Fundamentalist Language and Politics
Susan Friend Harding

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"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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File created: 4/21/2017

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