Monday, January 19, 2009

Domination and the Arts of Resistance or The God Strategy

Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts

Author: James C Scott

The purpose of this book is to suggest how we might more successfully read, interpret, and understand the often fugitive political conduct of subordinate groups. A comparison of the hidden transcript of the weak with that of the powerful and of both hidden transcripts to the public transcript of power relations offers a substantially new way of understanding resistance to domination.

Books about: The Yale Guide to Childrens Nutrition or Welcome Home

The God Strategy: How Religion Became a Political Weapon in America

Author: David Scott Domk

In The God Strategy, David Domke and Kevin Coe offer a timely and dynamic study of the rise of religion in American politics, examining the public messages of political leaders over the past seventy-five years--from the 1932 election of Franklin Roosevelt to the early stages of the 2008 presidential race. They conclude that U.S. politics today is defined by a calculated, deliberate, and partisan use of faith that is unprecedented in modern politics.
Sectarian influences and expressions of faith have always been part of American politics, the authors observe, but a profound change occurred beginning with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. What has developed since is a no-holds-barred religious politics that seeks to attract voters, identify and attack enemies, and solidify power. Domke and Coe identify a set of religious signals sent by both Republicans and Democrats in speeches, party platforms, proclamations, visits to audiences of faith, and even celebrations of Christmas. Sometimes these signals are intended for the eyes and ears of all Americans, and other times they are distinctly targeted to specific segments of the population. It's an approach that has been remarkably successful, utilized first and most extensively by the Republican Party to capture unprecedented power and then adopted by the Democratic Party, most notably by Bill Clinton in the 1990s and by a wide range of Democrats in the 2006 elections.
"For U.S. politicians today, having faith isn't enough; it must be displayed, carefully and publicly. This is a stark transformation in recent decades," write Domke and Coe. With innovative, accessible research and analytical verve, they document how thishas occurred, who has done it and why, and what it means for the American experiment in democracy.

L. Kriz - Library Journal

Religion has always been a part of the political subtext in the United States, but it is now a defining fault line, with Democratic and Republican leaders undertaking partisan use of faith. Domke and Coe, both in communication programs at universities, use texts of presidential speeches and other documents to show how politicians craft text to demonstrate their idea of religious faith. Asserting that the turning point for political religious language started with Ronald Reagan in 1981, the authors analyze and graph the language of faith and God of presidents from the 1932 election of Franklin D. Roosevelt to the beginnings of the 2008 presidential race. Their findings are part of the "God strategy" in which the nation is invoked, set apart, renewed, and sanctified with God's blessings in speeches. The conclusion: except for the malaise in the presidency of Jimmy Carter, the remaining presidents-Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush-have reached new heights in speaking the language of faith and fusing God and country. A worthy work for most libraries presenting a new way to listen to the presidential speeches in the upcoming election.

Table of Contents:
Introduction: A New Religious Politics     3
One Nation under God, Divisible     11
Political Priests     29
God and Country     49
Acts of Communion     71
Morality Politics     99
Religious Politics and Democratic Vitality     129
Epilogue: Act II     151
Acknowledgments     157
Notes     159
Index     225

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