Jeff Sharlet has been studying and reporting on far-right movements in the US for decades, but something feels different now. From Waco and Ruby Ridge in the ‘90s to the 2014 Bundy family standoff with the federal government in Nevada, from the rise of Donald Trump to the “martyrdom” of Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed raiding the Capitol on Jan. 6, from the overturning of Roe v. Wade to COVID-19, from the Q-Anon conspiracy to the veneration of vigilantes like Kyle Rittenhouse, new and long-brewing currents of rightwing rage and resentment are converging to change the American political landscape in ways that we will have to contend with for years, if not decades, to come. In the latest installment of our ongoing “Rise of the Right” series on The Marc Steiner Show, Marc speaks with Sharlet about his new book The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War, the volatile moment America is in right now, and what we need to do to confront the far right today.
Jeff Sharlet is the New York Times best-selling author and editor of eight books, including The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, adapted into a Netflix documentary series, and This Brilliant Darkness. His reporting on LGBTIQ+ rights around the world has received the National Magazine Award, the Molly Ivins Prize, and Outright International’s Outspoken Award. His writing and photography have appeared in many publications, including Vanity Fair, for which he is a contributing editor; the New York Times Magazine; GQ; Esquire; Harper’s; and VQR, for which he is an editor at large. He is the Frederick Sessions Beebe ’35 Professor in the Art of Writing at Dartmouth College, where he lives in the woods with many animals.
Studio/Post-Production: David Hebden
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