Religion, Politics, Media in the Broadband Era

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Religion, Politics, Media in the Broadband Era by Alice Bach Sheffield Phoenix, Sheffield, 2004. 190 pp. $70.00 (cloth). ISBN 1-905048-07-6.

THE THOUGHT THAT RUNS through this book is that "God is on our side" for people who are religious (of whatever denomination) and conduct politics. "It seems clear that only a deity could be on so many sides simultaneously," writes Alice Bach, tongue-in-cheek (p. 3). The book engages the relationship between subject and audience, whatever the mediation and in whatever media. Relentlessly, yet in a cheerful tone, Bach exposes the harm religion does, without ever leaving religion to those who abuse it. From within her own Catholic persuasion, she is as critical as the contemporary world needs.

This book does what its title promises. It discusses the contemporary intertwinements of religion and politics as mediated by the media. Between ancient Israel and its sacred texts to contemporary America, back to Israel and its oppression of Palestinians, to George Bush's rhetoric, Bach's savvy prose takes its readers for a bumpy ride. Each page offers many ideas and facts, and asks its own harsh questions. While written accessibly, in clear prose full of wit, the scholarship that went into this book is daunting, but never becomes a burden for its reader. …