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Jeff Sharlet 90F Wins MOLLY Journalism Prize

Congratulations to Hampshire College graduate Jeff Sharlet 90F, who was presented the 2011 MOLLY National Journalism Prize at a ceremony in Austin, TX, on June 9.

Sharlet received the award for his reporting in Harper’s Magazine about one of the most powerful Christian fundamentalist groups in America and its ties to anti-gay pogroms in Uganda.

Recent interview with Sharlet on studying literary journalism at Hampshire College >>

The MOLLY National Journalism Prize was established by The Texas Observer to recognize print or online journalism of exceptional merit that focuses on civil liberties and social justice, and embodies the intelligence, deep thinking, and/or passionate wit that marked the work of the late Molly Ivins.

Honorable mention awards were presented to columnist Maureen Dowd of The New York Times and Joshua Kors for his reporting in The Nation.

Sharlet’s 2008 bestseller The Family courageously exposed one of the most powerful Christian fundamentalist sects in the U.S. Its members include members of Congress, corporate leaders, generals, and foreign heads of state. His follow-up book, C Street, further investigated this group’s ties to anti-gay pogroms in Uganda, to multiple Republican sex scandals, and to the U.S. military.

Sharlet was honored with the 2011 MOLLY for an excerpt of C Street that appeared in Harper’s under the title “Straight Man’s Burden.”

This is the third award for excerpts from C Street: The same excerpt, on Uganda, won the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission's 2011 Outspoken Award. A chapter on fundamentalism in the military won the Military Religious Freedom Foundation's 2010 Thomas Jefferson Award.

There is a coincidental Five College connection to the MOLLY Awards, as Molly Ivins was a 1966 graduate of Smith College.

"I thought of Molly Ivins' eye for the absurd in politics often when I was reporting this story in Kampala, where American Christian Right ideas, backed up by American dollars, have found fertile ground and grown to ridiculous—which is to say dangerous—proportions," said Sharlet.

In addition to The Family and C Street, Sharlet’s work includes Killing The Buddha: A Heretic’s Bible, which he coauthored with Peter Manseau. He’s a contributing editor of KillingTheBuddha.com and TheRevealer.org, published by the New York University Center for Religion and Media, at which Sharlet is a visiting research scholar.

Sharlet is a contributing editor to Rolling Stone and has written for Mother Jones, New York, The Nation, New Statesman, The New Republic, Oxford American, The Washington Post, Salon, Columbia Journalism Review, and numerous other publications. He’s been a semi-regular guest on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show and made appearances on Comedy Central’s Daily Show, Hardball, CNN, NPR, BBC, CBC, Air America, Radio France, and other media venues.

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