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VINE VOICEon October 15, 2006
Ann Coulter is a star attraction in what Mark Halperin and John F. Harris describe in their new book, "The Way to Win," as the "Freak Show." Her methods are innuendo, personal attack, misrepresentation and sloganism. Joe Maguire is not the first to take her on; reviewers have for years pointed out that her so-called "facts" are lies, her arguments illogical and her conclusions preposterous. The thing is, Ann and her audience discount criticism as easily as they do the truth. And why should this be surprising? Does anyone think that people who argue, and apparently believe, that the theory of evolution is a left-wing conspiracy are interested in reality? While it's satisfying to see Ann kicked around (she deserves it) and, hopefully, Maguire and his book will get air time, the truth is that other than, perhaps, Fox News producers and Ann's publishers, who profit from her antics, no one who is not brainless takes Ann seriously anyway -- she is a freak, and so are the members of her fan club. Therefore, this book won't change anyone's mind. Nonetheless, in systematically taking Coulter apart, Maguire does a public service. Reality needs to be recorded, particularly in the era of the Freak Show.
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on February 5, 2015
When I read this book, I wondered if it had been written by Ann Coulter's evil twin -- or perhaps by Coulter herself writing under a pseudonym. Coulter has enough of a split personality to make this a possibility. Maguire's book has all the elements of Coulter's style -- innuendo, overstatement, nudges, ad hominem attacks, reckless smears, etc. And the funny thing is, with the facts that Maguire elicits, a rather sympathetic picture of Coulter could emerge: an emotionally fragile, introverted, conflicted and rather lonely neurotic who has managed to overcome her considerable emotional handicaps to become a wealthy and influential figure. What Maguire puts down to hypocrisy, for example, could better be described as extreme ambiguity. Take his conclusion that Coulter has enjoyed a fairly active social life while regularly condemning women for failing to "keep their knees together." Coulter has frequently stated that no one has any right to condemn her social life, because she is unmarried, etc. Yet she does indeed keep harping on the "knees together" meme. Hypocrisy is claiming to be what you are not. Ambiguity is going two directions at once. Maguire thanks Coulter at the end of the book for being such an "easy target." Then why write the book? A far more interesting book would examine why and how Coulter became Coulter. Prior to her disastrous stint at National Review, it was fun to read her rambling discourses on line at Human Events. She would expound on topics ranging from the lack of dateable men to the horrors of airplane travel to the kindness of John Kennedy Jr. Her posts were sometimes almost word salad (Coulter is not a naturally gifted writer; she needs a lot of editing), but they were lively. Then, especially after 911 and the death of Barbara Olson, she gave herself the equivalent of an emotional lobotomy, restricting herself to rather conventional conservative talking points, provocatively expressed. As Rich Lowry, Jonah Goldberg, and many other sophisticated conservatives may well have said, "You're smarter than that, Ann." Ann Coulter is one of the great American eccentrics, like Bob Dylan and Ayn Rand. As such, it would be interesting to read a book more concerned with figuring her out than simply condemning her. Instead, Maguire makes catty remarks about her dyed hair (even though he admits in his notes that her high school photos show her as an "athletic blond"), her Adam's apple, her short skirts and her taste in men. Ranting about Coulter is easy, and probably fun and profitable. But really examining her would be something far better -- it would be interesting.
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on February 18, 2014
How best can I say it, my commentary on Joe Maquire's "Brainless?" Let's try this: after I had read Ann Coulter's "Godless" (but before I read "Brainless"), whenever Ann Coulter came on TV I'd promptly mute the volume and simply watch (although I am an economically conservative registered Republican, listening to Ann's anti-science invectives simply raised in me too much angst). But now that I have read Joe Maquire's "Brainless," whenever Ann Coulter appears on my TV I promptly switch to other channels, for I can no longer even enjoy just watching, for I now simply know and understand too much about the shallowness of Ann's intellect and "scholarship" (the considerable depth of her rhetorical genius notwithstanding). To understand why I say this, you will need to read "Brainless" too (from start to finish), for Maquire explains it all way better than I could in brief explain it here.
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on February 27, 2007
This book has all the facts, some of the humor, and none of the invective that characterizes other books of this type. With no nastiness to get in the way, the dissection of Ann Coulter appears reasonable and well laid out. The many endnotes, some of which I have verified when I had doubts, provide ample backup of the assertions.

While it is mostly an extended prose version of information you can find across several blogs (mostly liberal and centrist, but even a few conservative), it is nice to have it all in one place.
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on June 27, 2015
By now this book is quite outdated, especially with the subsequent release of Coulter's stunning masterpiece MUGGED: RACIAL DEMAGOGUERY FROM THE SEVENTIES TO OBAMA. That's probably the only reason Mr. Maguire refrains from calling her a racist.
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on December 4, 2013
While this book points out the obvious--that An Coulter cares more about making outrageous statements that incite wing nuts into a frenzy and generate profit for her--her statements have no foundation in fact. Nice fact check on the Queen of Lies and Deception.
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on November 1, 2013
The very last piece was the very best part. Writing eloquently but while being smarmy may have been cathartic for the author but it was essentially bullying a bully with an impressive vocabulary. This book lacked the depth needed to allow for a constructive critique and does not add anything positive to the public discourse the we didn't already know.
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on October 18, 2006
An earlier review of this book reads "Notice that this rag has 11 reviews, whereas Ann's actual book has over 1800." That's the same one sidedness that Ann has tried to promote throughout her career- she's popular so she must be right. Maguire rips Coulter and her arguments to shreds, showing time and time again where she lambasts the liberal perspective for doing one thing and then defends the conservatives for doing the same thing. (See the chapter "Ann Has it Both Ways") He shows how out of touch Ann is with the common man: Unlike Michael Moore, who is criticized for criticizing the upper class while he has gone on to become a wealthy man, Ann was BORN INTO wealth and privelage rather than Moore who was BORN INTO the working class life of Flint, Michigan. Maguire debunks Coulter over and over again, revealing her to be the arrogant, racist, lying, hateful, vicious, and heartless person that she is. If you thought that maybe her comments about the "Jersey Girls" were insensitve or, more appropriately, sickening, then you should see what she said about Princess Diana shortly after the woman's death. Realizing that Ann Coulter is a vile and horrible person does not make you unpatriotic, it does not make you a terrorist sympathizer, and it does not make you a sissy. It makes you a thinking person who can see the obvious.
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on October 22, 2006
I am so relieved that someone is taking on Coulter's blistering, outrageous, mean-spirited rants. Mr. Maguire meticulously takes apart her statements and shows us that even though this maybe a fantasy for some..."the emperor isn't wearing any clothes" with regards to her rhetoric. She uses words to damage, not to elevate us as humans. Mr Maguire is assisting us by showing the number of fallacies in her hate filled words. Bravo!!
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on October 15, 2006
I've been fed up with Ann Coulter and her boorish, ignorant divisive ways for a long time, so it was with great pleasure and amusement I read J Maguire's book, pretty much in one sitting. Fan's of Ann need not bother, for they will be infuriated. Enemies of same may get gleeful pleasure.

In any case, if you really feel the need to read this, make sure you are not on Ann's good side.
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