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Makers and Takers: Why conservatives work harder, feel happier, have closer families, take fewer drugs, give more generously, value honesty more, are less materialistic and Hardcover – June 3, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (June 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038551350X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385513500
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #753,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Schweizer (Do as I Say [Not as I Do]) expands his critique of modern American liberals to contend that liberalism not only leads to social decay, but can also lead to personal decay. Drawing upon polls and psychological studies, the author argues that conservatives work harder, feel happier, have closer families, take fewer drugs, give more generously, value honesty more, are less materialistic and envious, whine less... and even hug their children more than liberals. Schweizer is noticeably silent on current affairs; instead, he focuses on the culture wars of the 1990s, demonstrating how Clinton lied... and did so in a fine fashion, that Al Gore has also told lies and that the Clinton administration was notable for its tolerant attitude toward drugs. Schweizer refrains from making substantive commentary on the upcoming election; he spends more time attacking Garrison Keillor, for whom he reserves a special distaste. The readable prose and vigorous defense of Republican voters ensure that this book—despite its dated material and lack of analysis of the current campaign—will rally and rouse conservatives. (June 3)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Peter Schweizer is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and is the author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestseller Do as I Say (Not as I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy. He lives in Florida with his wife and sons.


More About the Author

Peter Schweizer is the President of the Government Accountability Institute, the William J. Casey Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University , and a best-selling author, most recently of "Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011).

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Paul A. Mastin TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Peter Schweizer might sell more books if he didn't put a summary of the whole on the cover. The subtitle gives it all away: Makers and Takers: Why Conservatives Work Harder, Feel Happier, Have Closer Families, Take Fewer Drugs, Give More Generously, Value Honesty More, are Less Materialistic and Envious, Whine Less . . . And Even Hug Their Children More Than Liberals. Whew! That's a mouthful.

So I guess I don't need to spend any time telling you about the book, since, now that you've read the subtitle, you know what it's all about! Schweizer's project here is to debunk popular stereotypes of conservatives. Using demographic studies, opinion polls, and academic studies, as well as a hearty sprinkling of anecdotal evidence, he demonstrates that the picture of conservatives, or red staters, we see portrayed in the press and popular media are not only untrue, but diametrically opposed to reality.

One of the topics he covers really gets my goat: the assumption that liberals care more about the poor than conservatives. Schweizer demonstrates that conservatives consistently give more to aid the poor than do liberals. Many liberal politicians and public figures who set themselves up as defenders of the poor actually give very little of their wealth to help the poor (Hello, Al Gore, John Kerry, Barbra Streisand, Nancy Pelosi). If they do give money away, it's often either to favorite liberal causes, many of which have nothing to do with poverty, or advocacy groups which never give a dime to poor people. Many conservatives on the other hand give generously, whether they're wealthy and prominent or not. In fact, liberals like to deride generosity. Liberals accused Cheney of getting too big a tax deduction when he gave 77% of his income to charity one year. How selfish of him!
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51 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Robert R. Fisher VINE VOICE on June 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Peter Schweizer has elevated the national debate again. Rising above the he-said/she said din of cable news debates, Peter has produced a well-researched and fascinating analysis of the psychology that is inherent in liberalism. By reviewing scores of peer-reviewed, large-scale public surveys; Peter exposes many misperceptions that are regularly promoted in the media.

The public has generally accepted many of the precepts of the liberal message: Conservatives are mean, self-centered, cheating, uncharitable, and unhappy - the facts just don't bear this out.

In a sense all of these false beliefs and constructs define factitious disorder syndrome. Better known as Munchausen syndrome, these disorders are characterized by exactly the same self-delusional and malingering traits exposed in Makers and Takers.

If Munchausen by proxy means inflicting the disorder on others, then surely the United States is the left's proxy. Those who are naturally inclined to resist personal responsibility and accountability find a happy and willing enabler in liberalism. Since the primary motive of Munchausen is to obtain sympathy, nurturance and attention; the drumbeat message of liberalism over the last 40 years is surely a sirens song and a likely motivation to perpetrate this fraudulent view of conservatives.

The question I have is this: If one man, researching publicly available data on his own can produce this work, how could the thousands of so-called political science professors and researchers have missed it all this time?
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44 of 62 people found the following review helpful By j. mehoft on June 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
finally a book that explains the basis for liberal and conservative philosophies and does so in a way that shows how the left in america are a paradox of themselves...this book showcases why the left in america think the way they do, act the way they do, and go about their daily lives in a manner that is more hypocritical than anything...full of quotes, stats, and stories that explain why the left in america, from its politicians to the media to special interest groups, dont even stand for what they say they believe in and they go ahead and say it anyway...a must read for anyone who wants to understand the political ideologies of people go much farther than how they feel about certain political issues...their political ideologies are a reflection about the very foundaitons about how they view life in general...entertaining and useful because although the content does not praise the right, it does use evidence that supports the right and allows the reader to make his/her own decisions based on the reading
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Francis W. Porretto on July 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's been anecdotally the consensus for awhile that conservatives are generally happier, more family-oriented, and so forth than liberals, but until Schweizer's book, no one had bothered to amass the necessary statistics on the matter. MAKERS AND TAKERS does our understanding of American society a considerable service in this.

There are two areas where Schweizer's tome could have been improved. First, its self-congratulatory tone would be off-putting to a liberal -- and it's liberals who would benefit most from absorbing and pondering the objective information it offers. Second, Schweizer had the opportunity to score a grand slam by extending his treatment to FAKERS: persons nominally self-supporting, but whose positions are mostly or wholly sinecures that demand little from them. The distribution of political allegiances among such persons -- government workers; featherbedded workers in unionized industries; marginal employees in public schools; and the like -- would be illuminating whether or not it confirmed Schweizer's larger thesis.

All the same, MAKERS AND TAKERS is informative in its objective data and thought-provoking in its implications. Four stars.
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