Zealot, by Reza Aslan
Reza Aslan’s Zealot arrived with an enormous splash. An engaging and personal interview on NPR’s Fresh Air attracted widespread interest. Then a Fox News interview commandeered Internet coverage. The network’s religion correspondent, Lauren Green, began by asking why Aslan, a Muslim, would write a book about Jesus. In his reply Aslan perhaps overstated his scholarly qualifications to write about the New Testament. The contentious interview was pure gold for Aslan and Random House: Zealot rocketed to Amazon’s no. one best-seller spot. Several accomplished biblical scholars quickly posted reviews of the book—something that rarely happens. At this point, any review must reckon with Zealot’s remarkable marketing journey.
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