Brooks, LaHaye, Dobson

A reader notices:

Reading David Brooks' review of your new book yesterday, I found myself focusing on the same passage that you highlighted in your response:

"When a writer uses quotations from Jerry Falwell, James Dobson and the Left Behind series to capture the religious and political currents in modern America, then I know I can put that piece of writing down because the author either doesn't know what he is talking about or is arguing in bad faith."

Something about the passage struck a chord in the memory. It only took about ten minutes of googling to find the following passage from a column he wrote for The Atlantic in December of 2001:

"We in the coastal metro Blue areas read more books and attend more plays than the people in the Red heartland. We're more sophisticated and cosmopolitan - just ask us about our alumni trips to China or Provence, or our interest in Buddhism. But don't ask us, please, what life in Red America is like. We don't know. We don't know who Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins are, even though the novels they have co-written have sold about 40 million copies over the past few years. We don't know what James Dobson says on his radio program, which is listened to by millions."

How can this passage be seen as anything but an effort, through the citation of Dobson and LaHaye's influence, "to capture the religious and political currents in modern America." Just asking.