The Unlikely Disciple: Book summary and reviews of The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose

The Unlikely Disciple

A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University

by Kevin Roose

The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose X
The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose
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Book Summary

No drinking. No smoking. No cursing. No dancing. No R-rated movies.

Kevin Roose wasn't used to rules like these. As a sophomore at Brown University, he spent his days drinking fair-trade coffee, singing in an a cappella group, and fitting right in with Brown's free-spirited, ultra-liberal student body. But when Roose leaves his Ivy League confines to spend a semester at Liberty University, a conservative Baptist school in Lynchburg, Virginia, obedience is no longer optional.

Liberty is the late Reverend Jerry Falwell's "Bible Boot Camp" for young evangelicals, his training ground for the next generation of America's Religious Right. Liberty's ten thousand undergraduates take courses like Evangelism 101, hear from guest speakers like Sean Hannity and Karl Rove, and follow a forty-six-page code of conduct that regulates every aspect of their social lives. Hoping to connect with his evangelical peers, Roose decides to enroll at Liberty as a new transfer student, leaping across the God Divide and chronicling his adventures in this daring report from the front lines of America's culture war.

His journey takes him from an evangelical hip-hop concert to choir practice at Falwell's legendary Thomas Road Baptist Church. He experiments with prayer, participates in a spring break mission trip to Daytona Beach (where he learns to preach the gospel to partying coeds), and pays a visit to Every Man's Battle, an on-campus support group for chronic masturbators. He meets pastors' kids, closet doubters, Christian rebels, and conducts what would be the last print interview of Rev. Falwell's life.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"This highly readable, entertaining, and thought-provoking narrative offers an insider's account of fundamentalist Christian culture from an outsider's secular perspective." - Library Journal.

"Complicated" is how Roose describes Falwell, which is a good descriptor for his undercover student experience." - Publishers Weekly.

"Problematic but engaging participant observation." - Kirkus Reviews.

"[Kevin] tells his story entertainingly ... level-headed, nuanced, keenly observant." - Booklist.

"Hallelujah for Kevin Roose. This is a remarkable book. He takes us on a fascinating, funny, nuanced journey that doesn't condescend or make glib judgments. It's just what the culture wars need. If I didn't already have kids, I'd adopt Kevin." - A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year Of Living Biblically.

The information about The Unlikely Disciple shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Kevin Roose

Kevin Roose is a senior at Brown University, where he studies English literature and writes regular columns for the Brown Daily Herald. His work has been featured in Esquire, SPIN, mental_floss, and other publications. You can visit his Web site at www.kevinroose.com.

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