On two successive Mondays, Mar. 26 and Apr. 2, 2007, UFPPC's book discussion group will examine two recent books arguing that the danger of fascism in America is now a real and present one.  --  The two volumes are Chris Hedges's American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (Free Press, 2007), and Gerry Spence's Bloodthirsty Bitches and Pious Pimps of Power: The Rise and Risks of the New Conservative Hate Culture (St. Martin's, 2006).[1]  --  More information below....


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WHAT:  Digging Deeper XXIX: American Fascism?
WHO:  Led by Mark Jensen
WHEN:  Monday, March 26 & April 2, 2007 -- 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
WHERE:  Mandolin Café, 3923 South 12th St., Tacoma, WA 98405

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United for Peace of Pierce
County Study Circle:
March 26 & April 2, 2007
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DIGGING DEEPER XXIX:  AMERICAN FASCISM?

Since fascism emerged as a political doctrine in the 1920s in Italy, there have been warnings that the United States could develop in the same direction.  Huey Long (1893-1935) once quipped:  “Of course we will have fascism in America, but we will call it democracy!”  On another occasion, he said:  “If fascism ever comes to America, it will come wrapped in an American flag.”  The Great Depression, the McCarthy period, the late 1960s, the Reagan era, and the Bush II administration are historical periods that have seen widespread concern that fascism could come to power in America.

United for Peace of Pierce County’s book discussion group “Digging Deeper” will spend two weeks examining two recent books arguing that the danger of fascism in America is now a real and present one.

· Chris Hedges, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (Free Press, 2007).  “The F-word crops up in the most respectable quarters these days.  Yet if the provocative title of this exposé by Hedges (War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning) sounds an alarm, the former New York Times foreign correspondent takes care to employ his terms precisely and decisively.  As a Harvard Divinity School graduate, his investigation of the Christian Right agenda is even more alarming given its lucidity.  Citing the psychology and sociology of fascism and cults, including the work of German historian Fritz Stern, Hedges draws striking parallels between 20th-century totalitarian movements and the highly organized, well-funded ‘dominionist movement,’ an influential theocratic sect within the country’s huge evangelical population.  Rooted in a radical Calvinism, and wrapping its apocalyptic, vehemently militant, sexist, and homophobic vision in patriotic and religious rhetoric, dominionism seeks absolute power in a Christian state.  Hedges's reportage profiles both former members and true believers, evoking the particular characteristics of this American variant of fascism. . . . [T]his urgent book forcefully illuminates what many across the political spectrum will recognize as a serious and growing threat to the very concept and practice of an open society.”  —Publishers Weekly.  --  Chris Hedges spent two years researching this volume.  Now in his 40s, Hedges is a former war correspondent and New York Times Middle East bureau chief now making the transition to authorship.  He spoke in Tacoma at the University of Puget Sound on Oct. 13, 2005.  His War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning has figured on this book group’s reading lists more than once.

· Gerry Spence, Bloodthirsty Bitches and Pious Pimps of Power: The Rise and Risks of the New Conservative Hate Culture (St. Martin’s Press, 2006).  “Despite its inflammatory title, this book offers a thoughtful exploration of the vitriol of conservative commentators in the media and their effect on the broader society.  Spence, an attorney who has represented Karen Silkwood and Randy Weaver of Ruby Ridge fame, lambastes Nancy Grace, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and other conservative commentators.  While they attack liberals and others with whom they disagree, they don't dare attack their corporate sponsors, who commit all manner of misdeeds.  Spence cites troubling parallels between the propaganda of Fascist Mussolini and Nazi Hitler and what he calls 'corporacy,' the growing corporate ownership and control of the media and American thought and discourse. . . . Hate sells, Spence laments, in this stinging rebuke of the hypocrisy of commentators who cash in on the frustrations of average Americans without regard for the longer term consequences.  Spence's passion should appeal to a broad range of readers concerned about the current political environment.”  —Booklist.  --  Gerry Spence, 78, is a famous trial attorney from Wyoming who has successfully represented clients in a number of famous cases, including the suit brought by the family of Karen Silkwood and the defense of Randy Weaver.  He has written sixteen books; fifteen of them are still in print.

Since July 2004, United for Peace of Pierce County has been conducting “Digging Deeper,” a Monday-night book discussion group, often in the form of a study circle.  Topics have included peak oil, climate change, the corporation, Iran, the writings of Robert Baer, Islam, and the evolutionary psychology of human aggression, as well as abiding themes of war, peace, politics, and social change.  Occasionally, the group has spent several weeks reading longer works, like Daniel Yergin’s The Prize or Robert Fisk’s The Great War for Civilisation.

DIGGING DEEPER meets every Monday from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Mandolin Café, 3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma, WA.

Participation is free.  Participants should procure their own copies.  Info:  contact Mark Jensen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 253-535-7219).

Regular meetings of United for Peace of Pierce County are held on 1st and 3rd Thursday evenings at First Congregational Church, 209 South “J” St., Tacoma, WA.

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United for Peace of Pierce
County Study Circle
March 26 & April 2, 2007
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