51m08jdce8l_aa240_.jpg (Please welcome our new Book Salon editor, James F. Trumm — JH)

I'm a boomerang kid who fled the midwest at 17, lived in New England for the next 19 years, and then returned to Northwest Ohio to teach, write, and raise kids.  I'm a promiscuous reader; I'll get into bed with just about any old book.  I’ve reviewed books for the Toledo Blade and other publications and maintain my own blog at framed.typepad.com.  Now I’ll be helping to shoulder editorial duties at the FDL Book Salon.

Despite my experience, I can't run the book salon alone, so I'm counting on loyal FDL readers to help. Specifically, I'd like to hear your ideas on what the book salon should do and be.  Keeping in mind that we want to feature recent books that appeal to a liberal audience, what books would you like to see featured?  Are there any topics you'd like to see explored more? Drop me some comments here, or if you'd rather, send me your suggestions at jftrumm AT gmail DOT com.

The first salon I’ll be hosting will feature American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America by Chris Hedges.  This is the kind of title that jumps out at me from across a crowded bookstore.  On Sunday, June 3 at 5:00 EDT, Chris will be online to discuss the book, the title and the scary state of the dominionist Christian right. His thesis is clear:

Dominionism seeks to redefine traditional democratic and Christian terms and concepts to fit an ideology that calls on the radical church to take political power.  It shares many prominent features with classical fascist movements….

There aren't many people better qualified to write a book with the words "Christian" and "War" in the subtitle.  Chris Hedges is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and was a war correspondent for the New York Times, where he covered conflicts in Bosnia, the Middle East and El Salvador.  He synthesized this unusual combination of skills in his 2003 book, War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning.  Now in American Fascists, he delves into the goals, plans and aspirations of the Christianist right and offers surprisingly sympathetic insights into the lives of the movement followers.  He also touches on the economic and spiritual devastation wrought by the loss of American manufacturing jobs, on the blight of hideous commercial buildings that cluster in every city and town in America, and on the paradox of tolerance.

Please join us right here at FDL on Sunday, June 3 at 5:00 for a discussion that will be as enlightening as it is alarming.