IFAS | Freedom Writer | May/June 1997 | review.html

B OOK R EVIEW
James Dobson's War on America

James Dobson's War on America by Gil Alexander-Moegerle. Prometheus Books (1997). 307 pages with index.

In 1977, best-selling religion author and former White House Family Conference Task Force member James Dobson formed the Focus in the Family corporation, an ultra-right wing group that currently boasts a $125 million annual budget and a mailing list of 3.5 million families. He hosts a daily half-hour radio show carried by 1,500 stations in North America and 3,400 more worldwide, with an estimated audience of over five million loyal listeners who turn in to hear him expound on "traditional Christian family values."

Although these facts are astounding, what Dobson can do with this power is frightening. This psychologist turned religious media guru has a personal agenda so ambitious that John Hockenberry of ABC News noted, "On Capitol Hill, he's treated like some kind of powerful lobbyist."

When Dobson opposes or supports legislation and calls on his followers to support him in pressuring Washington, it is common for the Hill to be bombarded with a half-million to a million phone calls and letters within hours.

Dobson lobbies Washington more powerfully than any other individual or organization within the religious right. But he does so without answering to the larger public for his positions, avoiding contact with the mainstream press, and shunning the talk-show circuit. And, like many moralists who call themselves "God's chosen," Dobson, according to the new book James Dobson's War on America, has plenty to hide.

James Dobson's War on America offers an insightful and detailed expose of this religious power broker and his strong-arm corporation. Based on ten year's personal experience with the Focus on the Family organization, the author reveals his observations of the very private world of James Dobson his ultraconservative religious beliefs, his deepest inner feelings, the marketing formula that helped him amass a fortune, his inner rage, his intense racism, sexism, and homophobia, the internal difficulties that led to board room allegations of mismanagement of donor funds, and his radical political plan for America.

The most telling description of James Dobson might be put succinctly: he is not what he appears to be. This book is a must-read for all people who hold their personal freedoms very dear.

Reprinted with permission from Ground Zero News.

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.