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Review: C Street

December 3, 2010

Investigative reporter Jeff Sharlet infiltrated the Fellowship (or the Family, as it’s more commonly known), a conservative, Christian-based political organization.  He previously wrote about his experience with them in The Family and follows up in C Street (the location of the Family’s house).   Sharlet contends that many of our politicians are hiding their corruption under the guise of religious piety.  He says they feel they’ve been elected not by their constituents, but rather by God, so they don’t hesitate to allow their fundamentalist beliefs to affect their political agendas.

C Street is divided into three parts.  The first part is basically an overview of the Family, it’s members and their goals and ambitions.  In the second part, Sharlet asserts that these fundamentalist politicians are supporting the Ugandan genocide of homosexuals.  The third part claims that fundamentalists are taking over the American military.

When I started listening the C Street by Jeff Sharlet, I was appalled.  After all, many of the politicians he named are from South Carolina, where we currently live.  It was just before the latest election, so I talked about the first part of the book a lot – I’m sure everyone was sick of hearing about it.  I have to admit that I found the middle section on the Ugandan genocide to be rambling and a little difficult to follow on the audio version.   I thought the third part of the book was disturbing.  Sharlet contends that fundamentalism has a strong influence on our military and members of other religions are harassed.  Something that I felt was particularly disturbing  is a  military chaplain who is encouraging women to give up their commissions so that men can have them instead, in the name of religion.   He teaches the women that God wants them to marry and have children, not pilot airplanes.  In doing so, the chaplain is going against a system that is put into place to assure the most qualified become pilots.   I understand the need for those in the military to seek solace in religion, but the things he wrote of seem to go against the separation of church and state.

I listened to the audio version of this book and it gave me a lot to think about and research.  However, I do think I might have been better served with the print version – that way I would have been able to see any footnotes or references and it would have been easier to keep the names of all of the politicians straight in my head.  The audio book is read by Jeremy Guskin and he does a good, but not great, job.  His reading was fine for a book like this, but I won’t be adding him to my list of favorite readers.

Review copy provided by Hachette Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
30 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2010 5:25 am

    This one sounds really interesting. I can understand why you would prefer the print version. I have a hard time with audiobooks, I much prefer print books.

  2. December 3, 2010 5:46 am

    Wow, this sounds really neat! I am a big book note/folder/etc just because I have to keep track of my thoughts. Listening to a book, I’d probably have to keep a notebook by my side!

  3. December 3, 2010 7:28 am

    I’ve been on the reserve list for The Family for a long time – I really want to read it but I know it will appall me as well!

  4. December 3, 2010 8:14 am

    Hmmmm. It sounds like an interesting book but I’m not sure it’s one that I would necessarily “enjoy.” I have a feeling that it would be a difficult read for me — just because it deals with some heavy topics.

  5. December 3, 2010 8:44 am

    This was the book Marty from Hachette said was so very good, and I am interested in reading it. It does indeed sound disturbing, but I think it’s an important thing to know about. I am glad to hear that it gave you so much to think about and look forward to reading it myself one of these days.

  6. December 3, 2010 8:47 am

    Sounds like a very powerful book. Like a can of worms bursting open. The chaplain sounds like a piece of work.

  7. December 3, 2010 9:24 am

    This sounds like a book that could unsettle a person pretty easily. From your description of the read, I can fully understand how a printed version might have been a better way to go with this material.

  8. December 3, 2010 9:51 am

    This is a really heavy book to read. Your review is interesting. I have a feeling the book might bore me or make me angry. Not sure I want to read it. I can see where if it’s about politicians in your area that might tip the scales toward a higher rating.

  9. December 3, 2010 10:54 am

    I checked this one out from the library, but didn’t have time to read it before it was due. I did skim a little bit of the first section with the history of the family.

  10. December 3, 2010 11:48 am

    I really love a good, scandalous piece of non-fiction. My husband accuses me of being too gullible and believing just about anything, but I personally think there are more appalling issues out there than we would want to know about. I will definitely not chase after the audio though. Some things are just meant to absorbed visually.

  11. December 3, 2010 11:50 am

    Sounds like it might be interesting but definitely not one for me.

  12. December 3, 2010 12:28 pm

    While it does sound interesting I think I’ll give this one a pass. But your review was very good.

  13. December 3, 2010 1:18 pm

    I like reading these types of books. They always make me think and get angry. It’s on my list.

  14. December 3, 2010 1:57 pm

    Yikes! Stuff like this scares me.

  15. December 3, 2010 2:03 pm

    Eh, I do not think this is the book for me

  16. December 3, 2010 2:13 pm

    I’ll be on the lookout for this one. I know I’ll blow my top but that’s good – we need to get angry about things that are happening in the world. Otherwise we might as well be mushrooms.

  17. December 3, 2010 2:36 pm

    Doesn’t sound like one I’d be interested in.

  18. December 3, 2010 3:42 pm

    Ooh the military chaplain sounds very unethical and disturbing to me, too. You hear about this kind of thing happening a lot in the military though. My girlfriend is in the air force and has had to contend with sexism her entire career. Anyway, looks interesting. 🙂

  19. December 3, 2010 4:18 pm

    not sure I buy what he is selling, but yes, I would like to see the footnotes.

  20. December 3, 2010 4:49 pm

    This sounds like a book that brings to light some important issues but the intermixing of church and state and it’s effect on politics is disheartening. I’ve gotten very concerned about the extreme right and their effects on politics and this seems to confirm that. I think that I’d be too angry if I read this book!

  21. Beth Hoffman permalink
    December 3, 2010 4:55 pm

    This book is definitely not for me, but I enjoyed reading your review, which was excellent, as always!

  22. stacybuckeye permalink
    December 3, 2010 8:13 pm

    Just reading your review made me angry – as politics tends to do- and I’m not sure I could handle the book. I often accuse the extreme far righters of many of these things! (Don’t worry the extreme far left gets the same treatment but their views are not nearly as accepted by most).

  23. December 3, 2010 8:17 pm

    Excellent, honest review, Kathy. You write so clearly. Have a great weekend. 🙂

  24. December 3, 2010 8:47 pm

    I know my husband would like to read this one. I think I would find this hard to follow with the audio.

  25. December 3, 2010 10:51 pm

    Wow! This book sounds really interesting. I hadn’t heard of it until this review. I’m definitely adding it to my TBR list.

  26. December 4, 2010 7:45 pm

    This book definitely through the fire higher especially since it was already a burning issue. I find it hard to digest anyone going on about a woman’s place in society, we’ve come so far (eg women’s suffrage etc) that to go backwards in our progress would be so frustrating.

  27. December 5, 2010 7:04 pm

    I would definitely want to read this but not in audio version. Having tried audio a few years ago I still prefer flipping pages. LOL

  28. December 5, 2010 8:34 pm

    I do like a book that makes me jump onto the internet and research a bit more, or to pick up another book that is referenced to it. I think I’d be a little disturbed as well — just from the examples you’ve mentioned, I’m a bit annoyed with the chaplain. I can envision myself having verbal outbursts as I read this book.

  29. December 6, 2010 1:47 pm

    Hmmm…it does sound like a book where you want to learn more. I’m afraid I’d get so angry reading something like this.

  30. December 7, 2010 7:38 am

    When I listen to nonfiction, I often check the print book out of the library so I see the visuals and read the footnotes and get the spellings of the names (etc.). I’ll keep this one on my radar. Mr. BFR would like this.

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