Monday, October 15, 2007

Billy Graham: The Prince of War

The Prince of War: Billy Graham’s Crusade for a Wholly Christian Empire by Cecil Bothwell is coming out in November. The Buzz about this new book is great, and we at BlogAsheville are excited to get our hands on it.

From the introduction:

“Graham’s enthusiastic supporters in big media have consistently portrayed him as apolitical. As recently as February 2005, Time magazine reported, “He has had the ear of Presidents for five decades, but except for his public disavowal of racial segregation, Billy Graham, 86, has stuck to soul saving and left the political proselytizing to others. He explained his self-imposed separation of church and state in the language of a Gospel preacher: ‘It’s not what I was called to do.’”

However, as I continued my study, I saw that , notwithstanding his professed calling, Graham worked the corridors of Congress as well as the private rooms of the White House, sometimes overtly, sometimes quietly, in secret letters and private phone calls. And, quite contrary to Time’s assertion, I soon saw that Graham arguably did more to abet segregation than to end it, actively opposing Martin Luther King’s use of civil disobedience while endorsing aggressive police tactics and punitive laws.

... The picture that emerged is decidedly not that of a disinterested man of the cloth. Rather, Graham came off as a well connected covert political operative. To the extent that this seems surprising, it stems from the public’s willful naiveté concerning a self-professed holy man coupled with intentionally biased reporting from the major media at the behest of ideologues including, most prominently, William Randolph Hearst and Henry Luce.

Perhaps, instead, we should pay heed to what Graham has actually said instead of accepting his own and others’ later versions of the facts. This tale is told in Graham’s words and those of the biographers, historians, public figures and Presidents who knew him well.

You may be as surprised as I was at the picture that emerges in these pages. It is not the story of a man of peace.”


Available Nov. 15 at independent bookstores and online.

Release event at Malaprop’s Bookstore and Cafe, Nov. 17, 7 p.m.


Rumor is you can pick up an advance copy at Malaprop's today!


Brainshrub said...

Cecil gave me an an advance copy to review - it is blowing my mind.

When it hits the bookstores, it's going to force fundamentalists to ask themselves why they support such a violent man.

Anonymous said...

Oh, if only this were true, Shrub!