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Already fretting over the U.S. Census Bureau prediction that by 2050 whites will no longer be in the majority in the U.S. and worried by the loss of jobs and home equity, a certain element of the white population has been unhinged by the election of the nation's first black president, argues Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bunch. Thus, the Tea Party, Birthers, Oath Keepers, the 9.12 Project, and other right-wing radicals are on the rise, spurred by television and Internet hustlers, most prominently Glenn Beck. Bunch traveled the circuit from Delaware to Arizona, attending anti-immigration meetings and shooting rallies, to record the astonishing anger, fear, and discontent that has formed into a backlash against President Obama, alleging that he is not a U.S. citizen, that he means to take away guns from private citizens, and that he is directing FEMA to set up internment camps, all of which Bunch debunks. Bunch also profiles the cynical hustlers making money on this visceral fear, comparing Beck to Elmer Gantry as he morphs from evoker of the Founding Fathers and defender of the Constitution to evoker of God the father and defender of Christian morality, all the while hawking gold and survival food packets through Glen Beck, Inc. Despite writing in a sometimes awkward second-person voice, Bunch has rendered an insightful close-up look at the individuals and social forces that promise to churn American politics in the face of huge social and demographic changes.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2010 Booklist
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In this timely work, Bunch (senior writer, Philadelphia Daily News; Tear Down This Myth) surveys today's extreme conservatives, including movements and groups that have formed since Barack Obama's presidency, and since the economic downturn, including the Tea Party and the Oath Keepers. Bunch argues that paranoia and fear, channeled through backlash-espousing websites and media outlets like Fox television, fuel the many unemployed supporters of the backlash to speak out against big government and spending. On the scene at various events and gatherings in several different states, Bunch provides an eye-opening, journalistic account of the activities and political views of the backlash, which he defines as staunchly anti-immigration, anti-gun-control, and anti-health care. VERDICT An entertaining and engaging read for a general audience interested in current events and American politics. Also recommended for political science researchers.-Karen Okamoto, John Jay Coll. of Criminal Justice Lib., New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.