As many of you know, I write book reviews for the New York Journal of Books. Over the years, I have specialized on books concerning politics and religion, biographies and history. It is not unusual that I receive or request a book that is outside of my personal liberal or atheist point of view.
A year ago, I had the “privilege” to review Ann Coulter’s “Demonic” for the NYJB. I opened the review with, “There are times when a reviewer’s integrity is truly challenged, whether by conviction, beliefs, politics preconceived notions of the book, or hostility to the subject or writer.”
Last July, I was again asked if I would like to take on a new Coulter diatribe, “Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama” and immediately said yes. I knew it was Coulter’s version on American racism, but I was not really ready for this one.
Usually, a reviewer will receive a book about 6-weeks in advance, giving time for the reviewer to read the book and write an opinion piece. I received mine on September 17 with a September 25 release date. It’s call a “quarantine.” I do not know why the publisher released it.
Before I continue, please take a moment to watch Coulter’s interview on Friday, September 28 on ABC’s “The View.”
On Sunday, September 23, Coulter was on ABC’s “This Week,” sitting on an otherwise emanate panel. When speaking of her book, she spent as much time arguing with the other panel members as she did not listening during the rest of the panel discussion. Here is the clip: Ann Coulter ABC “This Week”
What does this have to do with “Mugged?” Coulter was able to brutally mug Democrats, Liberals and Progressives by the end of the fifth paragraph. She also rewrote American black history.
Page 1, paragraph three: “There had been real fight over civil rights for a century, especially in the [1950s and 1960], but by the end of the sixties, it was over… the entire history of civil rights consists of Republicans battling Democrats to guarantee the constitutional rights of blacks.”
The civil right fight was finished by 1970? I am wondering where Coulter gets her history lessons. I agree that prior to World War I, the Republic Party were the Liberals with Lincoln, the first Republican president, fighting a war to, in part, free the American blacks from slavery. It was Teddy Roosevelt, who many conservative I have spoken to simply reject, who understood that the ecology was so important to the health of this nation that he created the first national parks.
The Democrats were the conservatives and many, but not all, were pro-slavery. Democrats from the northern states certainly did not condone slavery. to many it was simply inhumane.
She seems to miss that it was Democrat Harry S Truman who integrated the United States Armed Forces. That it was Lyndon Johnson who signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the list goes on. That does not remove the great progress by Richard Nixon, bringing Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity during his administration, not, as Coulter suggests, during his term as Vice President.
She ignores the fact that many southern Democrats, Dixiecrats, would join the conservative movement after 1948, join the Klan and burn crosses in the name of Jesus in support of white supremacy.
The real difference between the conservatives and liberals is that Democrats will admit to their conservative side, where I am yet to find a Republican who will admit to their liberal side.
I do not know how Coulter can call New York mayor Michael Bloomberg a liberal. In fact, to be elected as mayor of my home town, it is an absolute advantage to be a Republican and a conservative. OK, Bloomberg seems to have lost his mind in 2012, but that is not the mayor Coulter is talking about.
By the end of the first chapter of “Mugged,” my head was spinning in the muck and mire cast by Coulter. Coulter refuses to see the true history of America. She diminishes such classics as A Raisin in the Sun and To Kill a Mockingbird to “liberal racism.” She poo-poos films as Roots, Amistad, The Tuskegee Airmen and The Color Purple as harmful to the American blacks. That somehow the O.J. Simpson verdict was due to white liberals kowtowing to the black community, that the bad behavior of the Los Angeles police officers who beat Rodney King was overblown because the victim was black.
These unmitigated and unsubstantiated charges continue as the second-to-last paragraph of the chapter crows that “non-Fox media leaped on the Trayvon Martin shooting (February, 2012) and that somehow the case against George Zimmerman fell apart. The case is still very much open and Martin was allegedly murdered by Zimmerman.”
While both liberals and conservatives bend the truth, massage the message to shine the best light on their side, Coulter, like many of her Libertarian, religious right, tea party, “anybody but Obama, liberals and the Devil,” compatriots, really does not know how to play nicely.
After reviewing two of her book, after listening to her on television and radio, after being exposed to her toxic attitude, the only reason to have any legitimate news organization would even think of having this political charlatan on air would be to raise ratings.
Note that as of this writing the price of Coulter’s book has been reduced from $26.00 to $16.17 on Amazon. Is this an attempt to sell the book and force it to the top of the NY Times best seller list? Quoting our favorite tea party sweetheart, Sarah “Mama Grizzly” Palin, “You Betcha!”
Did I mention that I strongly recommend you do not buy this book?