Seth and Maggie Ginsberg do their best to navigate an oppressive theocracy where fundamental Christianity is the only legal religion, and abortion, homosexuality, and adultery are outlawed. When a co-worker outs Seth as a Jew, Seth escapes to Mexico, while Maggie is sent to a Savior Camp. American Judas is a dystopian tale about a young couple’s life after opportunistic U.S. politicians abolish the wall of separation between Church and State.
January 1, 2013
Courtesy of Mickey Dubrow
- American Judas includes radio transcripts. Why do you think the author decided to include them? Did the radio host, Pauly Pilgrim, remind you of any contemporary radio hosts?
- On page 13, Seth says that he believes that God doesn’t grade us on attendance, but rather according to what’s in our hearts and by how we treat each other. Rabbi Leah responds by saying, “Jews come together to worship because we need each other.” How do you feel about their conversation about religion? Do you agree or disagree?
- Parts of the novel are satirical. Did humor make the novel easier to read or was it distracting?
- Who is your favorite character in the novel and why?
- Which character changed the most from how they were at the beginning of the novel, and in what way?
- How did you feel about Seth’s decision to attend an underground synagogue, but not tell his wife?
- Describe the relationship between Reggie and Seth. Were you surprised that Reggie betrayed Seth? Do you think he had a good reason for turning him in?
- In the novel, America has become a repressive Christian theocracy. Do you think this could actually happen? Are there ways in which it is already happening? If so, discuss any personal experiences you’ve had that illustrate how America is like a Christian theocracy.
- Why do you think the author wrote this? What is his most important message?
- Do you think the novel had a hopeful ending? Why or why not?
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