Sarah Palin may not be writing a second autobiography for Christian audiences as previously reported, but perhaps her evangelical co-author will persuade her to include more details about her faith.
Shortly after she was nominated as John McCain's vice presidential candidate, media outlets seemed to dig for details about her Pentecostal background. But the focus on Palin's faith appeared to fade after the election as she became a grandmother, battled with her daughter's ex-fiancee, and resigned from her Alaska office.
Palin's 400-page memoir, Going Rogue: An American Life, is due out from HarperCollins and Zondervan November 17. (Coincidentally, it's the same day Zondervan releases Rick Warren's The Hope You Need. Warren became the target of criticism after he was chosen to lead the benediction at President Obama's inauguration.)
Going Rogue's product description suggests that Palin will write about "the importance of faith and family," but is still fairly vague. She chose to work on her book with Lynn Vincent, co-author of Same Kind of Different As Me (which is becoming a movie starring Samuel L. Jackson), and a former writer for World magazine.
Politico's Ben Smith wrote about how Vincent could help Palin appeal to the Christian audience:
Vincent's posture on the confrontational, conservative right matches Palin's post election stand, in which she has powerfully secured her standing as a leading figure of the Republican party while doing little to broaden her appeal beyond the party's base.
That's also the posture likely to sell books.
"She doesn't need a writer who understands government—she needs a writer who understands the Christian heart—that's what the book's going to be about and that's who the book's going to appeal to," said [Sara Nelson, a longtime publishing industry watcher].
It will be interesting to see if Palin includes as much about her faith and analysis of religion and politics as Obama did in The Audacity of Hope, which included an entire chapter on Obama's faith, giving examples of how it impacted his views on abortion, same-sex marriage, and social justice. (Sections are available on Google Books starting on p. 195.)
Dan Gilgoff argues that Palin embodies the evangelical ethos because she is so countercultural. But at this point, it appears her countercultural stance is more political than it is religious.
Do you plan to buy Palin's new book? If so, do you expect to find much about her faith? Now that we are nearly a year past the 2008 election, how do you view Palin as a political figure?
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