UFPPC's Monday evening book discussion group, "Digging Deeper," which has been going strong since July 2004, will spend the month of April discussing Kevin Phillips's important new volume, American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century.  --  There's no charge, but participants are responsible for obtaining a copy of the book on their own....

WHAT: Study circle on Kevin Phillips's American Theocracy
WHO: Facilitated by members of United for Peace of Pierce County
WHEN: April 3, 10, 17, & 24, 2006, 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Mandolin Café, 3923 South 12th St., Tacoma, WA

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DIGGING DEEPER XV: AMERICAN THEOCRACY
United for Peace of Pierce County (WA)
April 3, 10, 17, & 24, 2006

Ever since The Emerging Republican Majority (1969) accurately predicted the coming Republican ascendancy in American politics, Kevin Phillips has been famed for his powers of political analysis. No longer a Republican, Phillips, 65, has in recent years become one of the most important critics of the party’s policies.

Phillips’s new volume, American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century, argues that radical right-wing fundamentalist religion, dependency on imported petroleum, and gargantuan U.S. trade and budget deficits have combined to endanger America’s core values. Published by Viking on March 21, 2006, the book has already vaulted to the top of online sales at Amazon. com.

UFPPC’s Monday-evening book discussion group, Digging Deeper, has been meeting weekly since July 2004. There’s no charge for getting involved. We’ll spend four weeks (Apr. 3, 10, 17, & 24, 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.) reading and discussing American Theocracy at the Mandolin Cafe (3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma, WA). There is no charge for participation. However, you’re requested to make a purchase from the café, for whose hospitality United for Peace of Pierce County is deeply grateful.

On American Theocracy:

Brad Hooper, Booklist: “This former Republican strategist has written several books on the relationship between wealth and politics in this country, including the New York Times best-sellers Politics of Rich and Poor (1990) and Wealth and Democracy (2002). Phillips' abiding theme is given a workout again in his new book, with his major thesis spelled out on the first page of the preface: three demons threaten the continued well-being of the U.S. These are our ‘reckless dependency on shrinking oil supplies,’ a ‘milieu of radicalized (and much too influential) religion,’ and a ‘reliance on borrowed money’ (domestic and international debt, that is). His stiff -– no, harsh -– words are aimed primarily at the Republican Party for allowing these three trends to have gotten out of control, but Democrats, without offering clear and tangible alternatives, are not let off the hook. The author's investigation into these three problems is set in a historical context as he posits the undeniable fact that all previous world economic powers have ultimately failed in continued strength (each one, however, believing ‘they were unique and that God was on their side’). Phillips is eloquent, absorbing, and frightening, and this book will follow its predecessors onto the best-seller lists.”

Publisher's Weekly (March 2006): “The title of political analyst Phillips's latest book may overstate his case (in the text, he prefers the term ‘theocratic direction’), but his analysis likely will strike chords among those troubled by our current political moment. Phillips (American Dynasty) expounds upon historical parallels for each of his three subjects. In his section on ‘Oil and American Supremacy,’ for example, he points to Britain's post-WWI involvement in the Middle East as an analogy to Iraq, and in his section on radicalized religion, he warns of ‘the pitfalls of imperial Christian overreach from Rome to Britain.’ The five major measures of U.S. debt -– from national to household – keep setting records, he observes in his section on ‘Borrowed Prosperity,’ and the real estate boom spurred by the Federal Reserve, he argues, cannot continue. Phillips identifies the escalating clout of the financial services industry and suggests that Americans should emulate policies in Asia that encourage savings and in Europe that encourage manufacturing. The lesson of the past, he warns, is that intractable national issues ‘generate weak and compromising politicians or zealous bumblers.’ A critic of the Bush family, Phillips sees little hope in Hillary Clinton. Expect him to make some provocative appearances on chat shows.”

MEETING SCHEDULE -- Mondays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on April 3, 10, 17, & 24, 2006, at the Mandolin Café, 3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma, WA.

Contact Mark Jensen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 253-756-7519.

United for Peace of Pierce County meets at 7:00 p.m. on 1st and 3rd Thursdays at First United Methodist Church, 423 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma, WA


Digging Deeper, UFPPC’s book discussion series, has been meeting weekly since July 2004. We have considered these books bearing on matters related to UFPPC’s mission statement: "We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy": Kevin Phillips, American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush (Viking, 2004); Craig Unger, House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties (Scribner, 2004); Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack (Simon and Schuster, 2004); Evan Wright, Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War (Putnam, 2004); Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies (Free Press, 2004); David Ray Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 (Interlink, 2004); James Mann, Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet (Viking, 2004); Dana Priest, The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace with America's Military (Norton, 2003); Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (Metropolitan Books, 2004); Joel Bakan, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power (Free Press, 2004); Catherine Lutz, Homefront: A Military City and the American Twentieth Century (Beacon, 2001); Robert McChesney, The Problem of the Media: US Communication Politics in the Twenty-First Century (Monthly Review Press, 2004); Peter Dale Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Columbia, and Indochina (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003); Rahul Mahajan, Full Spectrum Dominance: US Power in Iraq and Beyond (Seven Stories Press, 2003); Anonymous [Michael Scheuer], Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror (Brassey's, 2004); Daniel Yergin, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power (Simon & Schuster, 1991); Michael T. Klare, Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum (Metropolitan Books, 2004); Ross Gelbspan, Boiling Point: How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists and Activists Are Fueling the Climate Crisis -- and What We Can Do to Avert Disaster (Basic Books, 2004); Thom Hartmann, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: Waking Up to Personal and Global Transformation (Three Rivers Press, 1999); Richard Heinberg, The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies (New Society, 2003); Kenneth S. Deffeyes, Hubbert’s Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage (Princeton UP, 2001); Amory Lovins et al., Winning the Oil Endgame: Innovation for Profit, Jobs, and Security (Rocky Mountain Institute, 2005); Mark Lynas, High Tide: The Truth about Our Climate Crisis (Picador, 2004); Brian M. Fagan, The Long Summer: How Climate Changed Civilization (Basic Books, 2004); Patrick J. Michaels, Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media (Cato Institute, 2004); Richard B. Alley, The Two-Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future (Princeton University Press, 2002); T.E. Graedel and Paul J. Crutzen, Atmospheric Change: An Earth System Perspective (W.H. Freeman, 1992); Spencer R. Weart, The Discovery of Global Warming (Harvard University Press, 2003); Douglas V. Hoyt & Kenneth H. Schatten, The Role of the Sun in Climate Change (Oxford University Press, 1997); Jim Wallis, God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It (HarperSanFrancisco, 2005); Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (Viking, 2004); Ted Nace, Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy (Berret-Koehler, 2001); P.W. Singer, Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry (Cornell University Press, 2003); Roland Marchand, Creating the Corporate Soul: The Rise of Public Relations and Corporate Imagery in American Big Business (University of California Press, 1998); Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (Back Bay Books, 2000); Elizabeth A. Fones-Wolf, The Selling of Free Enterprise: The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism, 1945-1960 (University of Illinois Press, 1994); David C. Korten, When Corporations Rule the World, 2nd ed., (Berret-Koehler, 2001); Elliott D. Sclar and Richard C. Leone, You Don’t Always Get What You Pay For: The Economics of Privatization (Cornell University Press, 2001); Ezra N. Suleiman, Dismantling Democratic States (Princeton University Press, 2003); Naomi Klein, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies (Picador, 2002; orig. ed. 1999); John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (Berrett-Koehler, 2004); Kevin Phillips, Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (Broadway Books, 2002); Paul Roberts, The End of Oil: On the Edge of a Perilous New World (Houghton Mifflin, 2004); Arundhati Roy, An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire (South End Press, 2004); Lester R. Brown, Outgrowing the Earth: The Food Security Challenge in an Age of Falling Water Tables and Rising Temperatures (W.W. Norton, 2005); Thomas L. Friedman, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2005); Ron Hira & Anil Hira, Outsourcing America: What's Behind Our National Crisis And How We Can Reclaim American Jobs (AMOCOM, 2005); Bruce Lincoln, Holy Terrors: Thinking about Religion after September 11 (University of Chicago Press, 2003); Samantha Power, “A Problem from Hell”: America in the Age of Genocide (Basic Books, 2002; paperback edition by Perennial, 2005); Geraldine Brooks, Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women (Anchor, 1995); Kalle Lasn, Culture Jam: How to Reverse America’s Suicidal Consumer Binge -- And Why We Must (Perennial, 2000); Derrick Jensen, The Culture of Make Believe (Chelsea Green, 2004; orig. ed. 2002); Emma Larkin, Finding George Orwell in Burma (Penguin, 2005); Robert Pape, Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (Random House, 2005); Matthew R. Simmons, Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy (Wiley, 2005); Andrew Gumbel, Steal This Vote: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America; George Lakoff, Don’t Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate -— The Essential Guide for Progressives (Chelsea Green, 2004; orig. ed. 2002); V.S. Ramachandran, A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness: From Impostor Poodles to Purple Numbers (Pi Press, 2004); William Engdahl, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, revised ed. (Pluto Press, 2004); Chris Hedges, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (Anchor, 2002); Chris Hedges, Losing Moses on the Freeway: The 10 Commandments in America (Free Press, 2005); Richard Bulliet, The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization (Columbia University Press, 2004); Bernard Lewis, What Went Wrong: The Clash between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East (Harper Perennial, orig. ed. 2001); George Packer, The Assassin's Gate: America in Iraq (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005); Edward Said, Orientalism (Vintage, 1979); Robert Fisk, The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East (Knopf, 2005), Jimmy Carter, Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis (Simon & Schuster, 2006), Anatol Lieven, America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism (Oxford University Press paperback, 2005; orig. ed. 2004), Cornel West, Democracy Matters (Penguin paperback, 2005; orig. ed. 2004), Thomas Frank, What’s the Matter with Kansas: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (Owl Books paperback, 2005; original hardcover edition, Metropolitan Books 2004).