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I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican: A Survival Guide for Conservatives Marooned Among the Angry, Smug, and Terminally Self-Righteous Hardcover – June 22, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books; First Edition edition (June 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159403253X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594032530
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,045,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A journalist and novelist, Harry Stein is the author of How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (and Found Inner Peace). He is a contributing editor to City Journal.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author


A graduate of Pomona College and Columbia's School of Journalism, over the course of his career Harry Stein has authored eleven books, both fiction and non-fiction; co-founded a magazine in Paris; and worked as a columnist for publications ranging from TV Guide to Esquire, where he created the Ethics column, among the most popular features in that magazine's long history. Since the publication in 2000 of his 'How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (and Found Inner Peace),' recounting his journey to conservatism from the precincts of the left, he has been known primarily for his writing on politics and popular culture. He is currently a contributing editor at City Journal.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

300 of 321 people found the following review helpful By lighten_up_already2 VINE VOICE on June 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Well, it isn't quite a "can't put it down" book, at least not for me. But perhaps the reason why I can only read it a few chapters at a time is because it is more scary to me than funny. (I tend to reserve the five star rating for the books I can't put down).

Through numerous first-hand examples (completely believable to me because I live in a very "blue" city), Harry Stein shows just what it's like to run up against the ideological biofilm of political correctness, or "progressive conformance" as I prefer to call it.

Stein writes with humour and seems to have a gift of calmly relating events that, if you pay attention as you read, you can tell caused him lot of emotional grief. As one who has tried to reason with people immersed in ideology myself (on a far smaller scale than Stein has) I know that it can be an experience as dumbfounding as it is disheartening.

The scary part of it all is that this book provides a first hand, up close and personal view of how so much of our society, particularly in the areas of information and history transmittal, have been taken over by people steeped in rage and self-righteousness brought on by their own voluntary enslavement to an ideology, and who have turned almost entire professions into education camps for the propagation of their worldview.

The totalitarian spirit is not only alive, but very well indeed, and growing like a virus in our republic. We may soon be mastered by those who cannot even seem to master themselves in the area of basic emotional control, much less in staying calm enough to entertain opposing points of view with an attitude toward civility and basic fairness.
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332 of 358 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Don't judge by the cover. This book is not funny. I spent 40 years of my life living in Communist Poland. Now Communism is long gone, and I am U.S. citizen. And I am figuring it out that in today USA presenting myself as Republican is actually more dangerous and is creating more problems that presenting myself as anti-communist when living under Communist regime. It is OK to be on a party and make jokes about Bush, Palin, McCain and such. Actually, this is mandatory. It is NOT OK to make jokes about Biden and Obama. Once, for such jokes, I was requested to leave. Requested by my good friends.

I believe that this book is not funny. It is tragic. As tragic as what is going on in this country
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161 of 183 people found the following review helpful By J T Cooper on June 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Posted June 1, 2009, 1:09 PM EST: Harry Stein has written another political hit book about the plight of a conservative living in a blue state. I found myself laughing out loud at his descriptions of his encounters with the liberals in his home town and how he dealt with, or avoided contact with, these foam at the mouth, raving, irrational, pinko liberal bed wetting degenerates who think they have the only political answers to everything. The book has a serious and troubling side; namely the academic world's suppression of conservative thought and the blacklisting of academics who are not liberal in their thoughts or ideas. There are other areas of discrimination that he describes in great and disturbing detail, particularly in the world of newspaper and magazine journalism and radio or television work. I was fascinated by the book and the rich and often humorous stories he tells. I received a copy in New York and read the entire book before I reached home. It is hard to put down, so don't start reading it at night, or you won't get much sleep. I will wait with great impatience for his next opus conservatorius and in the meantime will get my legislator wife to buy a bunch of these books for our holiday giving. You should also get his first book: How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.
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64 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Brian Baker VINE VOICE on July 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
When I saw the book's title and cover art, they struck me as hilariously funny... especially as a traditional conservative of the small "L" libertarian bent living in the liberal bastion of the Los Angeles area. I've had exactly the experience as depicted on the cover happen to me here, God knows how many times.

Discussing politics with my friends in the local eateries deep in enemy territory in places like Westwood or the Peoples' Republic of Santa Monica, I find it endlessly amusing to see the faces of fellow diners at nearby tables as they hear the opinions being voiced at my table. Either they don't agree and are horrified, or they've been served some very bad sushi.

I'd never before heard of Stein, so I thought I'd give his missive a try. Unfortunately, I think the cover's actually the funniest part of the book.

He does have some amusing anecdotes, and examples - some very good ones, at that - of liberal intolerance of anything that doesn't fit the rigorous confines of "progressive" dogma (I wonder why they don't like calling themselves "liberal" anymore, hmmmm......?).

Unfortunately, I don't think he has quite the accomplished grasp of being funny as some others who write in the genre, such as his friend Bernie Goldberg, Burt Prelutsky, or Ann Coulter. Further, most of his stories are really New York-centric, so if you're not from the Big Apple you may find it pretty hard to identify with much that's written. In my experience, Noo Yawkahs have a very different sense of what's funny from the rest of the country.

Overall, not bad as humor; dead-on as political commentary.

I'm sure I'll now get slammed with "No" votes from liberals. Oh, well....
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