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Christian Nation: About the Book and Author
Now Featured at the Patheos Book Club
Christian Nation: A Novel
By Frederic C. Rich
About the Book
Christian Nation is a work of speculative political fiction, arising from the counterfactual of a McCain/Palin victory in 2008 followed soon after by McCain's sudden death and Sarah Palin's ascension to the presidency.
When the book opens, eight years have passed since the Holy War ended in victory for the fundamentalist Christian forces. Americans live in bondage to a comprehensive authoritarian law called The Blessing, enforced by a totally integrated digital world known as the Purity Web. The Narrator, Greg, whose best friend led the opposition to the theocratic movement, is brought to a secret abandoned cabin in upstate New York and told to remember and write.
The Christian right made no secret of its decades-long quest for political power, and did not hide what they would do if they got that power. Greg writes: "They said what they would do, and we did not listen. Then they did what they said they would do." Struggling with perspective and memory, the memoirist recounts the country's long slow descent to religious authoritarianism, propelled by economic distress, a second major terrorist attack, and the fanatical ambitions of an extremist evangelical minority.
Living out their 20's and 30's against the backdrop of dramatic political change, Greg recounts how he (a Wall Street lawyer), his girlfriend Emilie (a New York investment banker) and his best friend Sanjay (a gay Indian-American internet entrepreneur) react and interact as the country slowly slips toward theocracy. The three struggle with the tension between personal ambition and moral responsibility, and the memoirist ultimately finds that he must make a choice.
Readers will find themselves haunted by the question his shadowy hosts demand that Greg answer in the book, echoing Hannah Arendt's struggle to explain the origins of totalitarianism in the 20th century: "What happened, why did it happen, how could it have happened?"
About the Author
Frederic C. Rich is a partner with a law firm based in New York. He has studied at Princeton University; King's College, Cambridge; and the University of Virginia. He lives in New York City and the Hudson Valley.