From Publishers Weekly
Dunn, a novelist and military encyclopedist, indicts liberals for interventionist big-government policies that have sparked "mass negligent homicide." He finds fault with fuel-efficiency standards that promote unsafe small cars, environmental regulations protecting mountain lions, and the phase-out of ozone-depleting chloro-fluorocarbons. The author makes a cogent case against several misguided government policies, from destructive urban renewal schemes to asbestos-abatement hysteria, but inflates the particulars into an attack on liberal "rationalism," the desire to use reason to solve human problems and a refusal to acknowledge that "this is not a universe governed by logic." Insufficient citations and such claims as "no one goes without care" in the U.S." sap the book's authority and might well prevent Dunn's own "well-meaning" arguments from finding wider credence. (Jan.)
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Despite humane principles aimed at advancing rights and providing for basic human needs, liberalism has actually harmed more than helped the helpless and needy, argues Dunn, a commentator for the center-right website American Thinker. Dunn highlights the history of liberal impulses back to the Founding Fathers and earlier, and he pinpoints when modern liberalism went astray, taking on ever more social issues and developing government policies to cure them. In the U.S., liberalism went wrong with the New Deal, when it transformed itself from principles to ideology. According to Dunn, liberal policies have led to rising crime, increased abortion, and other social ills that have triggered unintended consequences and led to the deaths and suffering of thousands. To construct cautionary examples of government overreaching to improve general welfare, Dunn draws parallels with benign government policies gone wrong in Nazi Germany, the USSR, the People’s Republic of China, and other nations not generally considered to have much in common with the U.S. While Dunn’s claims are a bit outrageous—for virtually any political ideology will lead to unintended harm—his perspective is interesting. --Vanessa Bush