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‘I see this as a global fascist moment’: author Jeff Sharlet on interviewing far-right Americans

Sharlet, who spent a dozen years talking to ordinary people about their predilection for violence, has long sounded the alarm Jeff Sharlet and I meet outside the Titanic museum in sleepy Springfield, Massachusetts. It seems an opportune place to meet Sharlet – journalist, author and professor – halfway between his home in Vermont and mine in Brooklyn. We are here to talk about the fragmentation of American democracy, and I knew the Titanic museum would strike Sharlet as an apt spot: a reliquary of dissolution, another ship lost at sea. Sharlet’s latest book, The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War, is the culmination of more than a dozen years’ reporting on the US religious right and its machinations. The core of the book is Sharlet’s reporting from the midwest and the high plains, talking to ordinary people about their extraordinary predilection for violence. They see a country gone wrong under decades of “immoral decadence” and often see the expansion of rights for women, the poor and people of color as proof of this turpitude. Continue reading...

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