April 30, 2012

"No one who writes for a living wouldn't want to be the person behind Jonah Goldberg's 'Liberal Fascism..."

"... which was not only a number-one New York Times' bestseller, but also a seminal publication in the growing canon of conservative-leaning books. What I would wish on no writer, however, is having to face the challenge and pressure of writing a follow-up to such a stunning debut. But with 'The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas'..., not only has Goldberg (editor-at-large for National Review Online) avoided the sophomore slump -- in many ways he has an even bigger triumph on his hands."

So begins a review over at Breitbart.com of a book I actually do want to read. (And if you do, please buy it here.) Speaking of "stunning," I'm stunned by the density of the packing in of implausible overstatements.

Breitbart.com strains at self-delegitimizing. Sad.

22 comments:

Scott M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil 3:14 said...

Fawning is not becoming

Scott M said...

I read LF just prior to the 2008 Democrat primary heating up. While Goldberg was brutal in his criticism of Hillary, he provided ample citation should someone want to go fact-check his work. I made it a point to do so and found even more ridiculous quotes/writings by Hillary than made it into LF. Bill Mahar referring to her as a moderate back then simply got more funny the more citations I followed.

The most common critque I see leveled at LF is that Goldberg either doesn't sufficiently define "fascism" or defines it toward his own end. I believe he addressed those accusations in a forward on later reprints, but I haven't had a chance to read up on them. However, on of my big takeaways was his discussion about how the left had successfully altered the language of politics in this country by making violence=right wing, which, as we've seen just in the past couple of years, simply isn't the case. Violence knows no political ideology as home.

Mogget said...

And due to the wonders of Kindle, I'll have a copy waiting for me tomorrow when I wake up...

David said...

That writer should quit blogging.

Carl Vero said...

Ah, the think-for-yourself theme, with a conservative twist.
Liberals invited me to 'think outside the box'. They then insisted I jump into the taxation-is-liberation box, the illegal-immigrants-make-a-lawful-nation box, the deficit-is-wealth box, and the Michelle-Obama-is-svelte box. Too much hop. I neither have the age for it (I've been 29 for years) nor the energy (you'd have to be Bugs Bunny on batteries).
I'll rather get a concession stand in Charlotte, NC for Hussein Hoops.

Robert Cook said...

His review reads like the enthusiastic effusions of a 15-year-old fanboy who has just finished the lastest Larry Niven/Jerry Pournelle collaboration, (or whatever present day analog is the most apt equivalent).

Regarding his declaration that "No one who writes for a living wouldn't want to be the person behind Jonah Goldberg's LIBERAL FASCISM,", I'm sure there are many professional writers who would eagerly contradict him.

Scott M said...

His review reads like the enthusiastic effusions of a 15-year-old fanboy who has just finished the lastest Larry Niven/Jerry Pournelle collaboration, (or whatever present day analog is the most apt equivalent).

Honestly, as a fan of the genre, I don't think there is a contemporary analog for that duo, more's the pity.

Any wannbe professional writer would love to have Goldberg's success, regardless of the subject matter. I think that was the point.

AprilApple said...

'The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas'

Love. It.

Andy R. said...

I have read some really hilarious put-downs about "Liberal Fascism", but since I haven't read it myself, I can't join in with the mocking and laughing.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Fulsome, sure. But "self-delegitimizing", how?

Joe said...

How appropriate considering the NPR fawning this morning over a new book which basically states Democrats Good, Republicans Bad, and with could be subtitled "If the Republicans just compromises with the left's loony ideas, we would live in a perfect world."

(What cracked me up before I changed the station was the assertion that there is a great deal of animosity in Britain, but the majority can still govern. Given how fucked up Britain is, it was a silly argument, the real point being that socialist ideology is so entrenched in the British civil service and the government that it really doesn't much matter what the majority thinks.)

Canuck said...

The first person to call his debate opponent "Hitler" looses. In general.

liberal = classical economics & contract theory. As opposed to Sir Robert Filmer's Patriarcha, or the Natural Power of Kings.

MikeR said...

I had also read the review, and I sure thought that I would have appreciated one single solitary example of good or interesting writing from the book. Zip.

Alex said...

Andy - you practice liberal fascism every day on this blog. One of the fascists' tactics is the never-ending attack. You are relentless.

Rusty said...

Andy R. said...
I have read some really hilarious put-downs about "Liberal Fascism", but since I haven't read it myself, I can't join in with the mocking and laughing.



Then you should really take the time to learn how to read.


liberal = classical economics & contract theory.

Classic liberal

EDH said...

Speaking of "stunning," I'm stunned by the density of the packing in of implausible overstatements.

Whenever I read an effusive review bordering on the formulaic, I always think of the montage scene in "Boogie Nights" when they are reading the review of their latest porn movie.

"Jack Horner has found something special in newcomer Dirk Diggler. It's another stellar sexual standout from Horner and Company. Diggler delivers a performance worth a thousand hard-ons. His presence when dressed is powerful and demanding. Stripped to the bone, he is more eruptive than a volcano on a bad day.

Amber Waves' cherry lips do a wonderful job of handling Diggler's wide load.

Reed Rothchild's stiff biceps do a slapping good job with Becky Barnett's supple ass.

But it's Diggler that remains the stand-out in this film. After only two films Diggler's suck-cess can only grow and grow and grow and grow and grow and grow and grow and grow and grow..."

EDH said...

And yes, it's a laugh riot if you picture Jonah Goldberg as Mark Wahlberg portraying Dirk Diggler in all those scenes.

EDH said...

Especially showing his "O Face".

Mike said...

Even as I read Liberal Fascism some years back, and mostly enjoyed it, I couldn't help noticing that much of it was facile and too pat. It did a service by effectively connecting the dots between early 20th century progressives and totalitarianism, but tended to leave out things that might contradict that thesis, making it open to criticisms of being intellectually lightweight. The most glaring ommission, in my mind, was that in the entire book there's nary a peep about the Spanish Civil War and the Franco dictatorship that followed.

Scott M said...

The new one pre-ordered along with a e-version of LF.

bagoh20 said...

I feel for you too-cool-for-the-room types, so afraid of any show of passion. It's neither cruel nor neutral, but it's a very very good thing.