Absolute Convictions

<I>Absolute Convictions: My Father, a City and the conflict that divided America</i><br> By Eyal Press. <I>Henry Holt. $26.00</i>

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February 1973: Dr. Shalom Press, a young Israeli doctor, arrived in Buffalo, New York, to begin his ob-gyn residency. Less than a month earlier, Roe v. Wade (which he’d not even heard of) had rolled across the land. Settling into his placid new home, he had no idea that he’d soon be, familiarly enough, in a battleground of clashing creeds, complete with terrorism and flying bullets, and that one of those bullets was meant for him.

Press became a close colleague of Dr. Barnett Slepian, the abortion provider murdered by a sniper in 1998. His death was the culmination of almost two decades of escalating antiabortion activism in Buffalo, which went from prayer meetings and clinic blockades to harassment and death threats. In Absolute Convictions, Eyal Press bears witness as his father, a modest but tough sabra, faces down his American-as-rhubarb-pie opposition, gets politicized, is tagged a “baby killer,” and winds up on a fanatic’s hit list.

Press, a journalist with an impressive propensity for investigation, goes beyond simple memoir to search for the tipping point between moral rhetoric and cold-blooded murder. Attending the trial of James Kopp, the man who shot Slepian and nearly killed his dad, Press realizes Kopp is not crazy but terrifyingly focused, a man at war with modernity, God’s own army of one.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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