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America's Right Turn: How Conservatives Used New and Alternative Media to Take Over America Hardcover – July 21, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of American Target Advertising Inc, transformed American politics in the 1960s and ’70s by pioneering the use of direct mail fundraising in the political and ideological spheres. He used computerized direct mail to build the conservative movement, which then elected Ronald Reagan as the first conservative president of the modern era. He has been called the "Funding Father" of the conservative movement. His advertising firm has mailed more than 2 billion letters over the past 40 years, and will mail over 100 million pieces of direct mail in the 2004 election year. The AFL-CIO News has complained that Viguerie "made it all possible" for conservatives, and the Washington Post has called him "the conservatives’ Voice of America."

David Franke started the first nationwide activist group in the conservative movement in 1958. He has since served on the editorial staffs of Human Events and National Review, and was Senior Editor of Arlington House Publishers and the Conservative Book Club. Since 1997, he has been editorial director of the New Media News Corp., working with fellow political conservative and author Richard A. Viguerie on newsletter and Internet projects. He is also the author of nine previous books, including Safe Places and The Torture Doctor.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing (July 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566252520
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566252522
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,542,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Pejman Yousefzadeh on October 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The book goes through the history of political communication--starting with the invention of the printing press, the use of pamphlets by Martin Luther to spread his message, a comprehensive history of direct mail, and the effects of talk radio, the Internet and blogs on political communication.

Despite the fact that the book is written from a conservative point of view, liberals should also be interested in what it has to say about political communication, as both Viguerie and co-author David Franks are very good about calling things as they see them. They are more than willing to give liberals credit where credit is due in terms of political organization and getting out their message (example: Viguerie and Franks point out that after a slow start, liberals are doing quite well in the direct mail game, and are better than conservatives at using the Internet for political organization purposes--which is why Red State is such an important vehicle for the Right to use to catch up). While the conservative ideology definitely comes through in the book, it serves as a how-to guide for all sides in terms of communicating their messages and organizing.

So if you are a politics junkie, be sure to buy the book.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By MMK on September 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Conservatives love to complain, rightly, about the bias and mistreatment they've endured at the hands of the mainstream media. Spend a few moments with Google and you'll find countless studies, anecdotes and analysis regarding the hate-hate relationship that conservatives by and large have with Big Media.

In the midst of all the clamoring about conservatives and the media, however - there's a story that's largely been left untold (until now): how conservatives abandoned (in a sense) that mainstream media in favor of new and alternative media. The truth is: while conservatives have been getting kicked around like a rented mule in the mainstream media for a long, long time - at the same time they've been pioneers of new and alternative media: direct mail, cable television, talk radio, and the Internet.

They used these (at the time) secret weapons to build a movement, take control of a party, elect a President, and drive their issues and philosophy to the center stage of American politics. They followed the tradition of the pamphleteers of the American Founding to get ahead of the politicians and the intelligentsia and take what they wanted.

Now for the first time, that story has been told. In America's Right Turn: How Conservatives Used New & Alternative Media to Take Power, right-wing direct mail pioneer Richard Viguerie and his co-author David Franke chronicle how conservatives decided in the wake of the Goldwater defeat that they would never get a fair shake in the New York Times (ok, that's not news and wasn't then, either) and that they had better figure out another way to communicate with the American people.

One of the great things about this book is that since the technology of alternative media is itself philosophically neutral, it doesn't matter if you're a liberal or conservative - you can benefit from its insights.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
America's Right Turn: How Conservaties Used new And Alternative Media To Take Power by political conservative co-authors Richard A. Viguerie and David Franke is an astute evaluation of how conservative political groups in America capitalized upon alternative media - direct mail, talk radio, cable news TV, and the Internet - to spread their message, win elections and earn power. Meticulously accounting and chastizing failures among liberal political elements to seize the advantage of media revolutions, America's Right Turn is meant for liberals and conservatives alike despite the conservative bent of its authors, as it plots out winning strategies for getting one's message across and demonstrates how alternative media will determine the outcomes of future political elections more and more in the years to come. Especially recommended reading for anyone interested in personally becoming involved in political campaigns, whether as a volunteer or a professional occupation.
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Format: Hardcover
More timely now than when it was published in 2004, this book is the definitive word about political communication. Richard Viguerie is well known as the father of conservative direct mail campaigns.David Franke is less famous, but has solid conservative credentials. And make no mistake about it: these men are conservatives, not Republicans.

The first thing the authors do is recount media revolutions of the past and how they changed the world. Their examples resonate with historical significance: the Reformation, the American Revolution and leading into the birth of the American conservative movement and the Goldwater campaign. This is, frankly, a book that should be read by every conservative. (Those of other political persuasions would benefit as well.)Viguerie and Franke bring clear eyes to each of these seminal moments in history and the story is viscerally interesting.

The story moves from direct mail to talk radio and the Internet.

The authors go into considerable detail on how the "liberal" hegemony over the mass media has been seriously dented, if not broken. Their analysis is extremely perceptive.

Interestingly, though the book was published in 2004, its message about how the loyalty of conservatives could be lost by the Republican Party. Their warnings, as the elections of 2006 loom on the horizon, were ignored with the result that Republicans may face significant loses. Viguerie and Franke were indeed prescient.

From what I can determine, "America's Right Turn" which is truly the definitive chronicle of how alternative media was adroitly used to bring the conservative movement to power did not gain a large audience. This is a pity since it is, indeed, a masterpiece.

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