"New York Times Bestselling Author" Kurt Andersen has put together a 462-page (counting the index) screed against religion in America.
"Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History" is mostly about this author's hatred of all religions.
I should have realized, before even opening it, that the very idea of a 500-year history of America in less than 500 pages was some kind of fantasy in itself. And it is.
Andersen's fantasy is that he can trace everything he hates about America to various religious movements, beginning with the Puritans and continuing with Joseph Smith and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and then all the way through contemporary "born-again" believers and Scientologists.
As he really gets into the subject, at the end of the fifth chapter, he writes, "America was a primitive outlier. Individual freedom of thought in early America was specifically about the freedom to believe whatever supernaturalism you wished. Four centuries later that has been a freedom, revised and unfettered and run amok, driving America's transformation" (p. 36).
I have NOT read the entire book, and I can't imagine wasting any more time than I've already wasted on it.
Don't buy this book. Don't even check it out of your local library (which is what I did). It's a waste of time and money. It isn't history; it's a bloated diatribe against everything this author dislikes.