An acclaimed reporter presents the first major biography of the legendary, and divisive, conservative pastor who reshaped the landscape of American politics—Jerry Falwell. At a time when the Tea Party movement is dominating much of America's social and political discourse, the story of Falwell's Moral Majority will resonate strongly. Indeed, Falwell’s language may sound familiar to anyone who has heard recent speeches by figures like Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, or Michelle Bachmann.
Michael Sean Winters has written for publications including The New Republic, the New York Times, The Washington Post, Washingtonian, Slate.com, and America. He is a journalist for National Catholic Reporter and lives in Washington, D.C.
A blogger for National Catholic Reporter, Winters has written a balanced and highly readable account of the controversial pastor who roused evangelicals and mobilized them to engage in public life. Winters doesnt fawn over Falwell nor ridicule him, but instead provides a critical assessment of his strengths and weaknesses. Readers will find the personable and friendly Falwell, capable of befriending Ted Kennedy and Larry Flynt, as well as the shrill and divisive Falwell, who accused producers of The Teletubbies of modeling gay sexuality to children, or warning that the United States does not deserve to survive if Roe v. Wade is not overturned. Love him or hate him, Falwell had an extraordinary ability to capture the public spotlight and shape the culture wars in ways that resonate today. This biography is especially useful as a snapshot of Americas religious and political fortunes during the second half of the 20th century. Winters offers provocative theories along the way. He suggests, for example, that conservative Southerners like Falwell transferred the racial superiority they had lost in the wake of integration into a national superiority that conflated patriotism with religious faith. (Feb.) 2012 Reed Business Information.
“Jerry Falwell plowed the field that the Tea Party is flourishing in today. In this resonant and revealing biography, Michael Sean Winters captures the man, the political movement he created, and the beliefs that continue to sustain it now. Falwell matters. Winters explains why.”
“Left at the Altar describes the Democratic party’s fickle relationship with faith and values voters with passion and insight. Michael Sean Winters has lived, worked in, and studied this world. No one knows it-or tells the story-better.”
Winters credits Falwell with leading a movement that registered and motivated millions of voters. His legacy will be bringing a vast group of religious citizens into the voting booth. It is already hard to imagine our political landscape without them.