Sypsis: Americans live their lives through institutions: government, businesses, schools, clubs, and houses of worship. But many Americans are wary of the control these groups--especially government and business--exercise over their lives. Flea Market Jesus provides an up-close look at the rugged individualism of those trying hardest to separate themselves from institutions: flea market dealers. Having spent most of his life studying American religious organizations, Art Farnsley turns his attention to America's most solitary, and alienated, entrepreneurs. Farnsley describes an entire subculture of white Midwesterners--working class, middle class, and poor--gathered together in a uniquely American celebration of guns and frontier life. In this mix, the character Cochise voices the frustrations of flea market dealers toward business, politics, and, especially, religion. Part ethgraphy, part autobiography, Flea Market Jesus is a story about alienation, biblical literalism, libertarianism, and deep-seated religious belief. It is t about the Tea Party, the Occupy movement, or the Christian Right, but it shines a light on all of these by highlighting the potent combination of mistrust, resentment, and personal liberty too often kept in the shadows of public discourse among educated elites. Endorsements: Drawing on extensive participation in flea markets and systematic interviews with the people who sell their wares there, Arthur Farnsley has written a vivid and sympathetic portrayal of flea market dealers and the world they inhabit. But this book is about more than flea markets. Part memoir and part cultural analysis, Flea Market Jesus compellingly connects dealers' ecomic precariousness, religious beliefs, and alienation to broader currents in American politics and religion. --Mark Chaves, Duke University Had anyone else told me he was going to write an account of American individualism as it is concocted, practiced, and sometimes sold in a Midwest flea market that hosts buckskin-clad muzzle-gun shooters and tomahawk throwing on the side, I would have patted them on the back and beat a quick retreat. But t Art Farnsley. This has long been a part of his world. And the result is one of the most personally engaging and intellectually compelling accounts of individualism since Thoreau. Farnsley dips into his own marginality to play interlocutor to the conflicts between anti-individualistic institutionalism and anti-conformist individuality. After being introduced to a beguiling range of his lifelong flea market friends and their composite, Cochise, the book slips up on you like a few cold beers on a hot summer afteron. --Jay Demerath, University of Massachusetts, Amherst Author Biography: Arthur E. Farnsley II is Research Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. He is the author of Southern Baptist Politics (1994); Rising Expectations: Urban Congregations, Welfare Reform and Civic Life (2003); and Sacred Circles, Public Squares: The Multicentering of an American City (2004). His stories have appeared on the cover of Christianity Today and The Christian Century. He is also twenty-two-time knife and tomahawk champion of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association.