Sunday, March 26, 2006

Amazon smears

A few days ago, the first Amazon review popped up -- a one-star by some guy who appears to really hate Lynn:

Have read book, a funny read. Author is no history major, must have read about one of every ten pages of history. She misleads and misquotes and takes a real negative stance on African Americans and "filthy, crime infested cities" another age, the KKK would be cheering her on. ...
Holy crap!

A. OK, give the guy credit for admitting the book is funny. He's at least half-right. To quote Peter Brimelow (author of ALIEN NATION):
"This is a vividly-written an witty boo, but the subject isn't funny at all. With the Democrats out of power, it's easy to forget how systematically awful they are. ..."
B. "No history major"? Guilty, guilty, guilty. Since when do you have to major in history to write a book? But as to how much history we've read, dude, check out the endnotes -- all 667 of them. Here's just a few of the history books cited:
  • Aaron Burr: Conspiracy to Treason, Buckner F. Melton Jr.
  • Thomas Jefferson: A Life, Willard Stern Randall
  • Destructive Generation, Peter Collier and David Horowitz
  • Senatorial Privilege, Leo Damore
  • Nixon: A Political Portrait, Earl Mazo and Stephen Hess
  • Plunkitt of Tammany Hall, William L. Riordon
  • The History of Tammany Hall, Gustavus Myers
  • The Civil War, Shelby Foote
  • The Glory and the Dream, William Manchester
I'm only citing a few of the titles as examples. The epigraph for Chapter One is from Cicero, OK? We also cite (p. 233, n. 32) six different biographies of Hillary Clinton (including her ghost-written autobiography, Living History). But, of course, most of the corruption discussed in the book is very recent -- we got most of the Abramoff scandal, but deadline hit before he pleaded guilty -- and this stuff hasn't yet made it to history books, so we cite a lot of newspaper and magazine articles.

C. "She misleads and misquotes." Eh? If you look at the prologue, you will find that we document how the Democrats are guilty of misquoting themselves, but if there is any other misquote (as opposed to a #$%& typo, of which I've already found a few), please let us know.

D. A "real negative stance on African Americans"? Huh? "Real negative" as opposed to the historical stance of Democrats on this subject? (See pp. xi-xii) The book, I'd say, carefully avoids the issue of race, except where the Democrats make an issue of it (as they so often do) or where the hypocrisy is so shocking that we couldn't forgive ourselves if we ignored it. Corrupt Democrats are a very diverse bunch -- Irish, Italian, Jewish, Hispanic, African-American and plain old vanilla white. Also, thanks to the outreach efforts of the Clinton-Gore '96 campaign, Chinese (pp. 193-204). We don't hate Chinese. And neither are we guilty of having a "real negative stance on Irish-Americans" -- except when it involves dead girls named Mary Jo (pp. 39-43).

E. "filthy, crime infested cities" -- that phrase appears nowhere in DONKEY CONS. I have the entire text, all 288 pages, in PDF format and just searched -- it's not there. The book does, however, devote an entire chapter to the way the Democrats' corruption and policies have affected urban America:

A specific set of policies—including a fawning obeisance toward government employee unions and other Democratic Party constituencies—have caused the tragedy of our urban centers. The pattern is tragically consistent: while neighborhoods decay and the poor suffer, big-city Democrats grow rich on graft. ...

Of all the scandals that have attached themselves to the Democratic Party, all the bribery, kickbacks, and assorted acts of corruption, the worst crime Democrats committed was their destruction of urban America. In the first half of the twentieth century, America’s cities—with their gleaming skyscrapers and bustling economies—were the nation’s pride. Public schools in cities like New York, Washington, and Chicago were among the best in the country, and big-city streets were scarcely more dangerous than those in small towns.
In the half-century after World War II, Democratic policies fueled the decline of many cities, but nowhere was that decline so precipitous as in Detroit. Once the greatest manufacturing center in the world, Detroit became “a textbook case of how to kill a city.”

By the way: If you're from Detroit, you are going to love this chapter.

F. "in another age, the KKK would be cheering her on." Except that, as we note on page 133, the Klan was a Democratic operation.

Everybody's seen how this has happened to other conservative authors, including Kate O'Beirne and Fred Barnes. Some left-wing blogger gives the signal, and dozens of lefties go smearing the book with 1-star reviews that clearly indicate they've never read the book. So at this point, I don't think any well-informed conservative pays any attention to how many stars a book has in the Amazon rankings. So I'm not really worried about that nonsense.

Still, I want to thank those who've read the book -- including blogger Vilmar Tavares, who got one of the first copies I sent out -- and have posted ACCURATE descriptions of the book. I don't care whether somebody loves the book or hates it (I blame Lynn for any part of the book you don't like LOL), so long as the description of the book gives some kind of accurate view of what's actually in it.

Of course, I can be pretty harsh when reviewing books I don't like, but I'm at least accurate. To quote Glenn Reynolds (I'm being extra-careful to avoid plagiarism these days), "Heh."


DONKEY CONS: About the book