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Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative Paperback – February 25, 2003

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Editorial Reviews Review

David Brock made his name (and big money) by trashing Anita Hill as "a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty." But it was Brock's reporting that was nutty and slutty, he confesses in the riveting memoir Blinded by the Right. He absolves Hill; claims he helped Clarence Thomas threaten another witness into backing down; portrays a ghastly right-wing Clinton-bashing conspiracy of hypocrites, zillionaires, and maniacs; and accuses himself of being "a witting cog in the Republican sleaze machine." Now Brock is sliming his former fellows--everyone from the lawyer who argued the Bush v. Gore case to gonzo pundits Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham ("the only person I knew who didn't appear to own a book or regularly read a newspaper") to Matt Drudge and Tom Wolfe. Brock excoriates the gay hypocrites of the right wing, including himself, and tells how he cleverly spun his own outing. (He calls himself "the only openly gay conservative in the country," evidently forgetting about the far more open and famous Andrew Sullivan.)

If Brock says he was a liar for much of his life, how do we know he's not lying now? Blinded by the Right is less addicted to anonymous and third-hand sources than the madcap character assassinations that made him famous, and it is infinitely more plausible. But that doesn't make it necessarily true. (Anita Hill's lawyer has acidly observed that Brock confessed his Hill-related lies after seven years, when the statute of limitations prevents suing for slander.) Dumped by the right after he wrote a non-hatchet-job book on Hillary Clinton, Brock profits by running to the arms of the center and left. But that doesn't make this book untrue. All I can tell you is you'll have to read it and decide for yourself. And I'll bet you'll admit this mea-culpa memoir has the revolting, irresistible fascination of a bad car wreck. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

When Brock (The Real Anita Hill; The Seduction of Hillary Rodham) was a freshman at the University of California at Berkeley in 1981, his political idol was Bobby Kennedy. Four years later, he was a committed conservative who idolized Oliver North and Robert Bork. In this book, Brock chronicles the political round trip back to his more liberal roots. Along the way, he earned the adoration of the extreme right, even after he acknowledged that he was gay, because he worked feverishly as a writer for conservative publications such as the Washington Times and American Spectator, promoting and validating conservative causes. An American Spectator article in early 1994 broke the "Troopergate" scandal and laid the groundwork for the Paula Jones suits against President Clinton, but Brock says he was troubled by the relentless investigations of the Clintons and came to regret his part in them. Eventually, the shallowness of his relationship with the conservatives forced him to make a final break in 1997. Although readers may doubt the sincerity of Brock's latest conversion, the book offers a revealing inside look at the conservative media and provides a careful chronicling of the investigations of the Clintons. Recommended for media studies and political science collections and for larger public libraries. Jill Ortner, SUNY at Buffalo Libs.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (February 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400047285
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400047284
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (364 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #911,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

218 of 229 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Though nowhere near the importance or writing quality of a Koestler book, nevertheless Brock's book blows the lid off the moral emptiness of movement "conservatives."
I'm "anonymous" for a reason: I witnessed a lot of the events that Brock portrays accurately in his book, and I am a conservative who was also a first-hand witness to the Gingrich revolution. I bought the book with the mindset that Brock was a scam artist and opportunist; I finished the book with the mindset that he has done this country, and true conservatives, a great service. Take it from me: though Brock may have lied in the past, in the service of his paymasters, he is NOT lying now.
Brock describes so accurately how hypocritical a lot of conservatives are. No one is flawless, but it's sickening to read Brock's chronicle, and to remember my own recollections, of how movement conservatives would attack others for the same behavior they themselves engage in.
Hypocrisy is just the tip of the iceberg. Brock accurately cites the bigotry that pervades the movement, especially sexual bigotry like homophobia. Movement conservatives' obsession with sex, which culminated in the constitutional bonfire of the Clinton impeachment, did not just cause the undoing of some conservative politicians' careers (Livingston, Gingrich), but is a particular epidemic of the movement. Washington is Sodom and Gomorrah rolled up into one, at least on the conservative side.
Sex, as well as disregard for the rule of law and common sense, is why conservatives went after Clinton. I was no fan of Clinton when he was in office, and my only beefs with him were legal (lying before a grand jury) and political, not personal.
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140 of 147 people found the following review helpful By LindaT VINE VOICE on July 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Does the title of this review seem confusing? Well, let me explain.
I grew up in a culture that was "conservative" -- an ambiguous term, to be sure. Some may still consider me conservative. I don't like excessive deficit spending, I think the Federal Government has gotten too big, I'm pro private enterprise, I'm pro-family and hold to a myriad of other principles that many would consider "conservative."
But I have not liked some of the directions I've seen the more extreme right taking lately. I don't have all the facts and figures that both the liberal and conservative commentators have, so what I share here is impression which may or may not have to be corrected. But my discomfort will show why I appreciated what Brock had to say.
Neither conservatives nor liberals have a corner on lying. For so long I've listened to conservatives bewail the lies of the liberals, and they may very well be true. But I have often wondered if the conservatives might be doing the same thing. Brock's book was interesting for me because it addressed this question that had been nagging me for years. I didn't see Brock trying to espouse any particular political view. But I did see a writer who was trying to correct some wrongs that he felt were promoted by "The Right."
He tries to give a balanced view of the Whitewater matter -- something I can't comment on because I don't have the information that he does. He tries to give a balanced view of Hillary Clinton as well. He also tries to correct a lot of information he previously gave about Anita Hill.
I appreciated this book because:
1. I am a Christian who is distressed at seeing the Religious Right grab the flag and the cross and try to promote their political agenda as being straight from God Himself.
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124 of 131 people found the following review helpful By David Wilensky on January 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
Anyone who likes to follow U.S. politics in more depth than they are likely to find on their local news channel ought to read this book.
As a non-ideologue and a registered independent, I grant no free passes to the left OR the right... however, I certainly did feel that the vilification of Clinton during his presidency, the charges of mass murder, theft, and rape, the claims that he was a security risk to the country, were deeply disingenuous and, to use a heavily loaded term, unpatriotic. Remember that many of those screaming the loudest, such as Newt Gingrich, were not the moral paragons they claimed to be when their own personal lives were eventually examined.
This book goes a long way toward illuminating what real power is in today's America and how far from any egalitarian notions of representative democracy we have come. If you don't know the names Richard Mellon Scaife and Grover Norquist then you simply have not done your homework and don't understand the true nature of the radical right wing that leads us today. Brock's book is indeed a road map to where all the bodies were buried in the nineties.
This book made me rethink my belief that the left, in order to regain whatever effectiveness and voice it had in past decades, needs to fight fire with fire, innuendo with innuendo, and ethics accusations with ethics accusations. This book left me feeling that there is no excuse for the kind of ugliness the Scaifes and Norquists and their minions have injected into political discourse. Of course, that leaves me somewhat depressed and adrift from my moorings when I consider strategies for retaking America from the ideologues who, at our present juncture, are in control of Washington D.C.
I am torn between despising Brock for the damage he did to the country and embracing him for his introspection and his desire to come clean.
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