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Harvard Is Burning (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Lee Siegel
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $0.99

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Book Description

In a dazzling attack from a liberal perspective, legendary controversialist and award-winning author Lee Siegel addresses himself directly to the liberal elites who, he argues, have betrayed their constituents, degraded reformist politics, and alienated independent voters who should be sympathetic to the liberal agenda.

Siegel argues that liberalism repels potential allies because voters know that, for the liberal elite, the fix is always in. Cushioned by high-powered connections, attending the same exclusive schools, exempt from their own virtuous prescriptions, obsessed with their own gene pool and with raising super-children, liberal elites cannot hide their contempt for the average middle-class person of modest ambition, little sophistication, and humble means.

It is ironic that these elites are now condemning President Obama for compromising and appeasing. Compromise with and appeasement of anyone with power, money,and status are deeply embedded elite instincts. Having elevated an inadequate figure to the presidency in order to flatter their moral vanity by electing a black man, the liberal elites are scapegoating Obama for embodying their own worst qualities.

Passionate, witty and compassionate, outraged and disgusted by the way liberal mandarins are strangling liberalism, this book will change the way you see not only American politics, but America itself.



Lee Siegel is the author of four books and a winner of the National Magazine Award. He has published over 600 articles, essays and reviews in numerous publications, including the Atlantic Monthly, Time, The New Yorker, The Economist, The Guardian, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Siegel has been the book critic for The Nation, television critic and senior editor at The New Republic, art critic for Slate, staff writer at Harper's and the LA Times Book Review, senior columnist at The Daily Beast, and weekly columnist and editor-at-large at the New York Observer. He lives in a New York suburb with his wife and two children.



Praise for Lee Siegel:

“One of the country’s most eloquent and acid-tongued cultural critics.”

--New York Times Magazine

“One of the heroic few.”
--The Guardian

“Savor his vigorous prose, and prepare to be surprised.”

--Pete Hamill

“Siegel is wildlly and satisfyingly unpredictable.”

--Janet Malcolm


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Dedicated to "my late father, and the other 99 percent," Harvard Is Burning pulls no punches. Throughout, Lee Siegel proves himself to be an equal-opportunity distributor of ecstatic vitriol, gleefully skewering figureheads from across the political spectrum (Arianna Huffington is a sell-out, Sarah Palin is "Paris Hilton with sled dogs," 24 is "every liberal's favorite homage to torture"). All of which is great fun, but what's point? Well, this epistolary diatribe aims to take the "Dear Liberal Elites" to task primarily for two reasons: their inexcusable fair-weather support of Barack Obama and their willingness to tout high-minded liberal ideals with public rhetoric while pursuing an utterly corporate agenda with their actions. Again, don't mistake Siegel for a venomous conservative. By his own admission, he supports single-payer health care, an equitable tax code, gay marriage, gun control, and other popular lefty causes. But as always, any ideal's most poignant criticisms come from its adherents. As such, Harvard Is Burning should find fans among both Republican readers and those for whom the Democratic Party hasn't supported a true liberal since LBJ, at least. --Jason Kirk

About the Author

Lee Siegel is the author of four books and a winner of the National Magazine Award. He has published over 600 articles, essays, and reviews in numerous publications, including the Atlantic Monthly, Time, The New Yorker, The Economist, The Guardian, the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Siegel has been the book critic for The Nation, television critic and senior editor at The New Republic, art critic for Slate, staff writer at Harper's and the LA Times Book Review, senior columnist at The Daily Beast, and weekly columnist and editor-at-large at the New York Observer. He lives in a New York suburb with his wife and two children.

Product Details

  • File Size: 87 KB
  • Print Length: 28 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00657YUNK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,733 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lee Siegel begins his essay with a somewhat confused analogy about an out-of-control wisteria. In some ways, that could be a metaphor for the uneven quality of the essay. Siegel is arguing that those sometimes known as "limousine liberals" have alienated the middle-class from the Democratic party and the liberal agenda. It brings to my mind Tom Wolfe's "Radical Chic". But I am not sure that he entirely understands either the middle-class or the elite. A few well chosen statistics would have helped make his case stronger.

Although I am solidly middle-class (and proud of it), I am nowhere in this essay. Apparently the middle class consists of "the white ethnic children of working-class and lower-middle-class parents, themselves the offspring of European immigrants." Along with African Americans, Asian Americans, American Indians, and various other people, I don't fit in. I'm white, but when I looked up all the family names I could think of, I found that I belonged to five ethnic groups, while some relatives belong to at least eight ethnic groups, spread across two races. Forget preferring "tribal homogeneity," we're the people that Barbara Ehrenreich called "the tribe of none." We don't fit into the salad bowl metaphor of groupings, unless perhaps we're the dressing. I could go on, but let us progress to the beliefs of the middle-class.

Siegel seems to be particularly adamant that liberalized abortion is a peculiarly elite cause, but I'd have to see some figures. In this state, two-thirds of the voters, in an election with a very high turnout, approved a moderate abortion law. This was considered to be a pretty definitive defeat for the anti-abortion forces who opposed it.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read November 17, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fascinating, riveting and thought-provoking, "Harvard is Burning" takes on liberal elites, who often do more harm for the liberal cause than good. "The fix is in" for those liberals, Siegel says, who live in an exclusive bubble of prep schools, Ivy League universities, affluent neighborhoods, and tax loopholes. Siegel, who says he is a liberal, makes a compelling and spot-on argument as to why someone who might otherwise agree with liberal policies votes for the other side, which respects his individuality and his "capacity to change his own life."

This moving and provocative book is a must-read for liberals who care about the direction our party has taken; for the right because it cements their belief that the liberal elite are a exclusive bunch who have no connection to or empathy for the middle class; and for anyone who cares about the forgotten middle class.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More promised than delivered. November 14, 2011
By TDAdams
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The author has a legitimate point to make but he struggles to make it. The article takes the tone of a rant at times. It also occurred to me that the author's anecdotal experience and reliance on obscure op-ed pieces are less-than-compelling support for his argument.

In the end, I was left thinking "Eh.... is this it? Really?"
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lee Siegal's "Harvard Is Burning" is passionate & well written polemic attacking the elitism of the modern American liberal. What's unusual about Siegal is his claim to be a progressive thinker who has become disenchanted with the prominent role of the elite bourgeois element in Democratic Party and the independent progressive movement, in general. There's really nothing new in the world about Siegal's flawed hypothesis. Conservatives have been selling us the fallacy of the liberal elitist since Franklin Roosevelt established the basics of modern liberal ideology during the Great Depression. Conservatives have used terms like pointy headed intellectuals, limousine liberals,& effete pseudo-intellectuals over the years to characterize the affluent element within the progressive movement. It's part of a larger Republican Party strategy to re-win the hearts and minds of white blue collar by stirring up class resentment toward liberals. And to a large extent the conservative campaign to equate liberalism with elitism has proven to be a remarkably effective argument to woo away white blue collar voters from the Democratic Party. There's a darker element to this Republican courtship which also exploits the racial resentment as well as the class resentment of the white working class.

The conclusion that America is experiencing a landmark shift in traditional political allegiances, with poor, working-class voters leaving the Democratic Party to become "NASCAR Republicans," while wealthier voters join the ranks of an increasingly elite bunch of liberal "Latte Democrats" is a gross distortion of income demographics of the two political parties.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh? June 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Where to start. Controversialist? Really? You can describe yourself that way? Whatever happened to public intellectual? Pamphelteer? That's all all you are.
Siegel is right to point out the existence of the liberal elite but he is nearly ten years late. Kevin Phillips's "Wealth and Democracy" did a better job in 2003 with many more examples and real data -- the kind Siegel pines for but fails to deliver in this screed. It's not that the wealthy have abandoned the middle class as Siegel tries to point out, it is that the middle class has abandoned itself in an orgy of fake economics that made us all feel rich feasting on our home equity loans. We quit. We quit being hustlers, entrepreneurs, people taking our Iives into our own hands and doing something. Times are hard and we are no match for them. Where we should be organizing we are passive and where we should be raging against this machine we are simply trying to work for slave wages to pay back college loans. We are boiling our own frog. How long does this last?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Siegel correctly identifies the condescension of elite liberals as...
Siegel correctly identifies the condescension of elite liberals as their main political weakness, yet can't avoid his own condescension. Read more
Published 18 days ago by John J. Olson
4.0 out of 5 stars Lee Siegal concurrently proves hilarious and infuriating...
Read this. Read it again. Read it once more and highlight it. Remember that liberals are not the Dalai Lama. Read more
Published 12 months ago by MDGRAMMY99``
3.0 out of 5 stars A critique of certain societal elements, ultra-liberal, leftist...
In a dazzling attack from a liberal perspective, legendary controversialist and award-winning author Lee Siegel addresses himself directly to the liberal elites who, he argues,... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Ira Krull
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for concerned Americans
I am concerned about educational system. Students are not being taught to think. Look at all our politicans. How many are coming out of Harvard? Makes you wonder the mind set. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Kerry S. Andrews
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting approach to "liberal" thinking
As a moderate, I think that the author overdid it on his viewpoint from a conservative point of view. It is worth reading.
Published 19 months ago by MARGARET FARTHING
2.0 out of 5 stars Burned
Harvard is Burning is a Kindle Single (meaning short) book by Lee Siegal. Siegal is a New York writer for Harper's, The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Hugh
4.0 out of 5 stars a wake-up call for Dems
A little one-sitting read that analyses the hatred that has developed on the right towards all things liberal. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Barry Fay
2.0 out of 5 stars Wordy and clever but not great
Sorry I did not complete the book but read aseveral chapters and found it clever and a bit funny but went on to other items in my library that were more compelling. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Anita Diggle
1.0 out of 5 stars didn't order
I did not order this book. think my son ordered it while playing with my tablet. I read a few pages,and its not near something i would be interested in.
Published on May 30, 2012 by Samantha
1.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Title ... Shallow Book
This book falls into to category of a shallow, unsuccessful jab at progressives. Any factual grains are muddled by huge leaps of logic. Read more
Published on May 29, 2012 by DM3147
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