As a sophomore at Brown University, Kevin Roose spent his days drinking fair-trade coffee, singing in an a cappella group, and generally fitting right in with Brown's free-spirited, ultra-liberal student body. But Roose leaves his Ivy League confines to spend a semester at Liberty University, a conservation Baptist school in Lynchburg, Virginia.
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 Introduction to Youth Ministry and Evangelism 101, hear from guest speakers like Sean Hannity and Karl Rove, and follow a forty-six-page code of conduct--called "The Liberty Way"--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.
Roose's journey takes him to an evangelical hip-hop concert, a Friday night Bible study group, and choir practice at Rev. 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, and Christian rebels, and in a twist of fate, conducts what would turn out to be the last print interview of Rev. Falwell's life. [adapted from jacket]