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Crap: A guide to politics Paperback – November 29, 2007

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"On every page intellectual idols are pushed from their pedestals and balloons of pomposity pricked. A highly entertaining spectacle, and a salutary one. The more people who read this book, the better I shall be pleased; it should help to armour them against the enemies of freedom and common sense."—Anthony Lejeune

"Onthe surface Terry Arthur's Crap looks like a much lighter book. But open it almost at random and you willfind a withering analysis of most government exhortations, plans and pledges,putting into simple English the analysis of the American Public Choice schoolof political economists. The authorfalls down, however, in boasting that he never votes as he has no chance ofinfluencing what happens. He confuseshere the rational voter theorem, which states that a self-interested egoist hasno incentive to vote, with a more general cynicism about politics and policies."—Samuel Brittan, Financial Times

"Compelling... it will make you weep with laughter and fume with anger simultaneously"
Birmingham Post, December 2007


"Arthur rips through the rhetoric and sets matters straight. Witty and pointed, he nails the contradictions and lies that spin effortlessly and continuously from politicians and bureaucrats."
Arthur — an adjunct faculty member of the Mises Institute — has the skills and breadth of knowledge to find the hidden non-sequiturs, the logical Where's Waldo of the political spin machines. He pulls the nonsense out of the wash and tears through it with his sharp pen."
Funny, witty, and topical, Crap is a book that will keep you laughing through the night, leaving you to think, "That's true, and funny. Why didn't I think of it?"
-Jim Fadako

(Jim Fadako)

Title mention in Actuary, March 2008


“Onthe surface Terry Arthur’s Crap looks like a much lighter book. But open it almost at random and you willfind a withering analysis of most government exhortations, plans and pledges,putting into simple English the analysis of the American Public Choice schoolof political economists. The authorfalls down, however, in boasting that he never votes as he has no chance ofinfluencing what happens. He confuseshere the rational voter theorem, which states that a self-interested egoist hasno incentive to vote, with a more general cynicism about politics and policies.”–Samuel Brittan, Financial Times

"Arthur rips through the rhetoric and sets matters straight. Witty and pointed, he nails the contradictions and lies that spin effortlessly and continuously from politicians and bureaucrats."
Arthur – an adjunct faculty member of the Mises Institute – has the skills and breadth of knowledge to find the hidden non-sequiturs, the logical Where’s Waldo of the political spin machines. He pulls the nonsense out of the wash and tears through it with his sharp pen."
Funny, witty, and topical, Crap is a book that will keep you laughing through the night, leaving you to think, "That’s true, and funny. Why didn’t I think of it?"
-Jim Fadako

(Sanford Lakoff)

From the Publisher

"On every page intellectual idols are pushed from their pedestals and balloons of pomposity pricked. A highly entertaining spectacle, and a salutary one. The more people who read this book, the better I shall be pleased; it should help to armour them against the enemies of freedom and common sense." Anthony Lejeune

(on the first edition) "A splendid book - amusing, disturbing and profound." Milton Friedman

"Behind the jokey title and the lively, entertaining style, Terry Arthur has produced a devastating exposé of the intellectual confusion, political deception and economic ignorance that have come to dominate public pronouncements. His precision of thought, clarity of language and lightly-worn scholarship have resulted in a book that would have won the warm approval of George Orwell." Antony Jay, co-author of "Yes Minister" and "Yes Prime Minister"

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum (November 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826491391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826491398
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,032,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This gem of a book rips into political crap- the nonsense our politicos routinely spout to us. Based on direct quotations, its twelve chapters are arranged according to the nature of the crap rather than the subject matter; crap on education, for example is to be found in several chapters (Newspeak Crap, Contradictory Crap, Illogical Crap, Cheeky Crap, and so on). It maintains a running narrative between the quotations making for easy reading. It is also very funny, especially if you like a trenchant, irreverent, and folksy style.

Many of the quotations are from the UK, but the book has a strong international flavour, including large helpings of crap from US, EU, and UN politicos. Indeed, it's fascinating to see just how interchangeable their crap is.

Try these examples of "One Rule for Them Crap":

(i) The UK Health Minister arguing that a "leaked document.....demonstrated that there is a more open culture in the National Health Service". The "leak" came eight months after the Government received the document!

(ii) A European Commissioner (imposing a fine on Microsoft) telling us that "no company is above the law" to which Terry Arthur retorts "unless you're a company of bureaucrats", pointing out that the European Union's own accounts have not been signed off for at least twelve years.

(iii) George Bush defining success or failure in Iraq as "whether schools are being built or hospitals are being opened", leaving The Times to point out that "In the chaos of Iraq, one project is on target: a giant US Embassy".
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Format: Paperback
Terry Arthur seems to have improved on his earlier book, 95% Is Crap. This time - and I agree - he seems to think that politics is now ALL crap. He does it in such a way that you just have to laugh at the absurdities and inanities that our politicians come out with, and the way that their polices invariably have the opposite effect of what they intended. This is great stuff. You have to laugh or you'd cry...
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