Armageddon in Waco Critical Perspectives on the Branch Davidian Conflict

ISBN-10: 0226908453

ISBN-13: 9780226908458

Edition: N/A

Authors: Stuart A. Wright
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Description: On February 28, 1993, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) launched the largest assault in its history against a small religious community in central Texas. One hundred agents armed with automatic and semi automatic weapons invaded the compound, purportedly to execute a single search and arrest warrant. The raid went badly; four agents were killed, and by the end of the day the settlement was surrounded by armored tanks and combat helicopters. After a fifty-one day standoff, the United States Justice Department approved a plan to use CS gas against those barricaded inside. Whether by accident or plan, tanks carrying the CS gas caused the compound to explode in fire, killing all seventy-four men, women, and children inside. Could the tragedy have been prevented? Was it necesary for the BATF agents to do what they did? What could have been done differently? Armageddon in Waco offers the most detailed, wide-ranging analysis of events surrounding Waco. Leading scholars in sociology, history, law, and religion explore all facets of the confrontation in an attempt to understand one of the most confusing government actions in American history. The book begins with the history of the Branch Davidians and the story of its leader, David Koresh. Chapters show how the Davidians came to trouble authorities, why the group was labeled a "cult," and how authorities used unsubstantiated allegations of child abuse to strengthen their case against the sect. The media's role is examined next in essays that considering the effect on coverage of lack of time and resources, the orchestration of public relations by government officials, the restricted access to the site or to countervailing evidence, and the ideologies of the journalists themselves. Several contributors then explore the relation of violence to religion, comparing Waco to Jonestown. Finally, the role played by "experts" and "consultants" in defining such conflicts is explored by two contributors who had active roles as scholarly experts during and after the siege The legal and consitutional implications of the government's actions are also analyzed in balanced, clearly written detail.

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Book details

List price: $41.00
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 9/20/1995
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 420
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.298
Language: English

Stuart A. Wright is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Office of Research at Lamar University.  He is the author or editor of a number of titles including Armageddon in Waco: Critical Perspectives on the Branch Davidian Conflict .

Preface
Introduction: Another View of the Mt. Carmel Standoff
An Age of Wisdom, An Age of Foolishness: The Davidians, Some Forerunners, and Our Age
Davidians and Branch Davidians: 1929-1987
The Davidian Tradition: From Patronal Clan to Prophetic Movement
Construction and Escalation of a Cult Threat: Dissecting Moral Panic and Official Reaction to the Branch Davidians
Self-Fulfilling Stereotypes, the Anticult Movement, and the Waco Confrontation
"Babies Were Being Beaten": Exploring Child Abuse Allegations at Ranch Apocalypse
Manufacturing Consent about Koresh: A Structural Analysis of the Role of Media in the Waco Tragedy
Cops, News Copy, and Public Opinion: Legitimacy and the Social Construction of Evil in Waco
Public Narratives and the Apocalyptic Sect: From Jonestown to Mt. Carmel
Sects and Violence: Factors Enhancing the Volatility of Marginal Religious Movements
Religious Discourse and Failed Negotiations: The Dynamics of Biblical Apocalypticism in Waco
Waco, Federal Law Enforcement, and Scholars of Religion
Breaching the "Wall of Separation": The Balance between Religious Freedom and Social Order
The Waco Tragedy: Constitutional Concerns and Policy Perspectives
The Implosion of Mt. Carmel and Its Aftermath: Is It All Over Yet?
Appendix: Branch Davidians Who Died at Mt. Carmel
List of Contributors
Index
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