Rock & Roll Apologetics

New and noteworthy books on the Beatles, hate, and other subjects.
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The Beatles, the Bible, and Bodega Bay
Ken Mansfield
Broadman & Holman, 368 pages, $24.99

The author was the United States manager of Apple Records during the most feverish days of Beatlemania, and he has written that most rare document: a memoir about life with celebrities that avoids bile and score-settling.

What the publishers call the "fabwhitebook" is a beautiful work of printing, alternating between Mansfield's extensive memorabilia and color beachside photography evoking his adopted town of Bodega Bay, California.

The book also goes back and forth between Mansfield's days at Apple and his post-Beatles life in California, which makes for a herky-jerky narrative. Still, Mansfield's story is a helpful reminder that even a life backstage with The Beatles—a fantasy of many a baby boomer—proved empty apart from a relationship with God.

Hate Hurts
Caryl Stern-LaRosa and Ellen Hofheimer Bettmann
Scholastic, 332 pages, $9.95

Hate Hurts is part of a "Close the Book on Hate" project cosponsored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Barnes & Noble chain. One hesitates to find fault with such an earnest project, but Hate Hurts defines hate so glibly that it trivializes the horrifying real thing. So, for instance, this book assumes that homosexual orientation is innate and immutable—which constricts any orthodox religious voice on the question.

Similarly, one will not learn from Hate Hurts that extremist groups have harassed evangelical Protestants and Catholics in their houses of worship.

Because Christians are the majority in the United States, at least in the popular imagination, this book portrays them as more likely the perpetrators of hate, rather than its occasional targets. (One woman recalls her childhood "sense ...

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