Kresta in the Afternoon – November 21, 2018 – Hour 1

+  The Peril of Clerical Hypocrisy

  • Description: Ken Woodward is one of the nation's leading experts on how the American media understands American religion. He joins us with a unique look at the crisis in the
  • Segment Guests:
    • Ken Woodward
      Ken Woodward edited Newsweek's Religion section from 1964 until his retirement in 2002. He remained a writer-at-large at Newsweek until 2009. He is the author of several books including Getting Religion: Faith, Culture, and Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to the Ascent of Trump.
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    • Getting Religion: Faith, Culture, and Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to the Ascent of Trump

      "In this thoughtful book, Ken Woodward offers us a memorable portrait of the past seven decades of American life and culture. From Reinhold Niebuhr to Billy Graham, from Abraham Heschel to the Dali Lama, from George W. Bush to Hillary Clinton, Woodward captures the personalities and charts the philosophical trends that have shaped the way we live now." –Jon Meacham, author of Destiny and Power Impeccably researched, thought-challenging and leavened by wit, Getting Religion, the highly-anticipated new book from Kenneth L. Woodward, is ideal perfect for readers looking to understand how religion came to be a contentious element in 21st century public life. Here the award-winning author blends memoir (especially of the postwar era) with copious reporting and shrewd historical analysis to tell the story of how American religion, culture and politics influenced each other in the second half of the 20th century. There are few people writing today who could tell this important story with such authority and insight. A scholar as well as one of the nation’s most respected journalists, Woodward served as Newsweek’s religion editor for nearly forty years, reporting from five continents and contributing over 700 articles, including nearly 100 cover stories, on a wide range of social issues, ideas and movements. Beginning with a bold reassessment of the Fifties, Woodward’s narrative weaves through Civil Rights era and the movements that followed in its wake: the anti-Vietnam movement; Liberation theology in Latin America; the rise of Evangelicalism and decline of mainline Protestantism; women’s liberation and Bible; the turn to Asian spirituality; the transformation of the family and emergence of religious cults; and the embrace of righteous politics by both the Republican and Democratic Parties. Along the way, Woodward provides riveting portraits of many of the era’s major figures: preachers like Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell; politicians Mario Cuomo and Hillary Clinton; movement leaders Daniel Berrigan, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Richard John Neuhaus; influential thinkers ranging from Erik Erikson to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross; feminist theologians Rosemary Reuther and Elizabeth Schussler-Fiorenza; and est impresario Werner Erhardt; plus the author’s long time friend, the Dalai Lama. For readers interested in how religion, economics, family life and politics influence each other, Woodward introduces fresh a fresh vocabulary of terms such as “embedded religion,” “movement religion” and “entrepreneurial religion” to illuminate the interweaving of the secular and sacred in American public life. This is one of those rare books that changes the way Americans think about belief, behavior and belonging. (learn more)

+  Cult City: The Forgotten Truths of Jonestown (2 segments)

  • Description: It's been 40 years since more than 900 people died at "Jonestown," a remote settlement in the jungle of Guyana. Since then the lives and deaths of leader Jim Jones and his supporter Harvey Milk have been shrouded in myth and mystery. Jones, once a popular figure among the Hollywood elite, has become a fascist, fundamentalist Christian. And the controversial Milk has become a martyr for the LGBT cause. Dan Flynn joins us with a new look at what happened.
  • Segment Guests:
    • Dan Flynn
      Dan Flynn is the author of several books, most recently Cult City: Jim Jones, Harvey Milk and 10 Days that Shook San Francisco. He's also written Blue Collar Intellectuals, A Conservative History of the American Left, and Intellectual Morons. He is a senior editor of the American Spectator and has written for the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and more.
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    • Cult City: Jim Jones, Harvey Milk, and 10 Days That Shook San Francisco

      The untold story of the intersecting lives of the Reverend Jim Jones and Harvey Milk—marking the 40th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre and Milk’s assassination November 1978. The Reverend Jim Jones, the darling of the San Francisco political establishment, orchestrates the murders and suicides of 918 people at a remote jungle outpost in South America. Days later, Harvey Milk, one of America’s first openly gay elected officials—and one of Jim Jones’s most vocal supporters—is assassinated in San Francisco’s City Hall. This horrifying sequence of events shocked the world. Almost immediately, the lives and deaths of Jim Jones and Harvey Milk became shrouded in myth. The distortions and omissions have piled up since. Now, forty years later, this book corrects the record. The product of a decade of research, including extensive archival work and ­dozens of exclusive interviews, Cult City reveals just how confused our understanding has become. In life, Jim Jones enjoyed the support of prominent politicians and Hollywood stars even as he preached atheism and communism from the pulpit; in death, he transforms into a fringe figure, a “fundamentalist Christian,” and a “fascist.” In life, Harvey Milk outed friends, faked hate crimes, and falsely claimed that the U.S. Navy dishonorably discharged him over his homosexuality; in death, he is honored in an Oscar-winning movie, with a California state holiday, and with a U.S. Navy ship named for him. His assassin, a blue-collar Democrat who often voted with Milk in support of gay issues, is remembered as a right-winger and a homophobe. But the story extends far beyond Jones and Milk. Author Daniel J. Flynn vividly portrays the strange intersection of mainstream politics and murderous extremism in 1970s San Francisco—the hangover after the high of the Summer of Love. In recounting the fascinating, intersecting lives of Jim Jones and ­Harvey Milk, Cult City tells the story of a great city gone horribly wrong. (learn more)

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