Jeff Sharlet

Jeff Sharlet, New York Times bestselling author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (Harper, 2008) and a contributing editor for Harper’s and Rolling Stone, has been writing about the intersection of religion, politics, and culture for more than a decade. His writing on religion has earned him praise from writers such as Barbara Ehrenreich, who calls The Family “one of the most compelling and brilliantly researched exposés you’ll ever read,” and condemnation from the likes of Ann Coulter, who declares Sharlet one of the “stupidest” journalists in America.
Since 2003, Sharlet has been an associate research scholar at New York University’s Center for Religion and Media, where he has taught graduate seminars in American religious history and journalism. He has also spoken on religion, politics, and media at Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and at colleges across the country. At NYU, Sharlet created, a review of religion and the media, with a grant from the Pew Charitable Trust.
In 2000, Sharlet cofounded an online literary magazine,, winner of an Utne/Alternative Press Award, which in 2004 led to a book coauthored with Peter Manseau, Killing the Buddha: A Heretic’s Bible (Free Press), a travelogue based on a year Sharlet and Manseau spent exploring the “margins of faith” – a cowboy church in Texas, a military pagan coven in Kansas, a Pentecostal exorcism in North Carolina. The book was celebrated on NPR’s Morning Edition as “a mix of hymn and history, poem and prophecy, story and sermon” and named by Publishers Weekly one of the top 10 religion titles of a year. has been anthologized as Believer, Beware, published by Beacon Press in 2009. Library Journal calls it “shocking, exhilarating, and never dull — highly recommended.”
In addition to Harper’s and Rolling Stone, Sharlet has written for Mother Jones, New York, The Nation, New Statesman, The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, Nerve, Salon, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Columbia Journalism Review, Oxford American, The Baffler, Lapham’s Quarterly, The Forward, and Pakn Treger, an award-winning magazine of Jewish history literature which he created for the National Yiddish Book Center. He has commented on religion and politics for NBC News, CNN, NPR, BBC, CBC, Al Jazeera, Air America, Radio France, The New York Times, Newsweek, and other media venues. A 2005 Harper’s cover story was part of Harper’s winning National Magazine Award entry, and a 2003 Harper’s cover story was anthologized in Best Music Writing 2004. A 2007 feature for Oxford American is anthologized in the 2008 edition of Best Music Writing. Sharlet is currently working on The Hammer Song, a history of postwar American protest music to be published by Basic Books in 2009. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife, historian Julia Rabig, and a fascist cat named Richard.

Book(s) By Jeff Sharlet

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