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105 of 126 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bork's incisive explication of our society's decline.
"I use to call him 'Dork'," said a Liberal friend of mine recently. I patiently replied, "Ha, ha. I used to call him 'Railroaded'." He knew exactly what I was talking about--the 1987 confirmation hearing of Robert Bork before the Senate Judiary Committee. This confirmation hearing was very instructive to many of us--if you actually think that the...
Published on February 23, 1997

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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars recommended
Reading much of the conservative literature, one can easily get the impression that conservatives are ill-informed, prejudiced and given to widely illogical arguments to advance their causes. Bork is different. He is well-read, careful in his reasoning and respectful of the opinions he disagrees with. One of the ironic side-effects of this reasonableness is that...
Published on July 22, 2006 by bookloversfriend


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105 of 126 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bork's incisive explication of our society's decline., February 23, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Slouching Towards Gomorrah (Hardcover)
"I use to call him 'Dork'," said a Liberal friend of mine recently. I patiently replied, "Ha, ha. I used to call him 'Railroaded'." He knew exactly what I was talking about--the 1987 confirmation hearing of Robert Bork before the Senate Judiary Committee. This confirmation hearing was very instructive to many of us--if you actually think that the Constitution of the United States has anything to do with Constitutional Law, don't bother looking for a job on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Here in Slouching Towards Gomorrah Bork, in taking some well-earned and enlightening revenge, continues the incisive and dead-on analysis of his subject which he exhibited in The Tempting of America, his book about Constitutional Law, judicial activism, and the Court's hijacking of our country.

Bork's thesis here is this: Modern America has been infected and weakened by two main currents embraced and perpetuated by Liberalism, (1) radical egalitarianism and (2) radical individualism. Interestingly, he doesn't just place the locus embryonicus for these intellectual and cultural viruses in the 1960s, although he certainly traces their major gestation period to that decade. Rather, Bork points out the historical and fairly old occurences of these maladies. He gets to the very seeds of these currents which germinate and blossom on the scene in the early 1960s.

Well, the radical egalitarianism that Bork identifies perfectly is not an egalitarianism which stems from Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence, and Lincoln, but the egalitarianism that says that everybody, darn it, is going to be equal, or else. People should not be allowed to make too much money, or own too many things, or be too successful in this world. Hence this brand of equality leads, necessarily and logically, to government coercion, meddling, and refereeing. Further, then, argues Bork, this leads to an expanding Federal Government which, with the ample help of the activists courts, has taken over almost every meaningful aspect of our lives in the effort to level everyone in the name of equality and justice.

Radical individualism, again to be distinguished from generic individualism, also to be found in our formational and fundamental documents, is the kind that recognizes no standards in any area of personal behavior, except, of course, where the government deems that equality is more important. It is this radical individualism that will accept no standards, except those thought up, or felt, by the individual, that wants government out of peoples' business. It is the acceptance, actually, of nihilism--that cuddly ol' deathwish germinated in Nietzsche's brain about a century ago. This nihilism has led to the problems of divorce, abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, pornography, and just about any other malady that continues to tear the fabric of this country apart.

Bork certainly presents us with an analysis of our cutlural and intellectual diseases that must make his detractors, and his admirers, think long and hard about our practices, ideas, and assumptions. The long road to reform has to start with the proper intellectual framework. Once this is accented to it will be a matter of will and determination to ensure that we "leap away from Gomorrah."
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58 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Describes Impact of Traditional Liberalism Turned Radical, December 5, 1999
By A Customer
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Judge Bork does a superb job of describing the various elements of destruction that have arisen from the application of modern liberalism to American society. He also offers best and worst case scenarios for the future of the Republic if the current trends continue.
Bork makes it clear that he speaks not of the traditional liberalism exercised by the Founding Fathers but rather an ideological departure from that tradition that has hijacked and bastardized the name.
The modern form of liberalism consists of radical egalitarianism, which inherently requires a coercive State. It also consists of a radical individualism that corrodes institutions of restraint (i.e. family, religion, etc.) eventually leading to a free-for-all that will require the strong hand of government to contain. The centrality and powerfulness of the State in modern liberalism is its most radical departure from traditional liberalism.
Bork does not deride the successes and accomplishment of liberalism when it still possessed the goals and intentions compatible with its tradition - e.g. civil rights for minorities, suffrage for women, etc. However, it quickly evolved into an entirely different beast in the mid-to-late 1960s and has never looked back. The fact that there are currently forty professed Socialists in the U.S. House of Representatives (all Democrat) is testimony to the extreme left-turn taken by those calling themselves liberal today.
Bork does deride the goals, intentions, and actions of this new breed of liberal. It is virulently anti-American and anti-Western Civilization. As it has with the term "liberalism," the modern liberal has hijacked worthy causes (e.g. civil rights) and has politicized them in order to advance their radical agenda. Modern liberalism wishes to rob America of its unique heritage and to replace it with a revolutionary concept of human nature and human governance.
Bork goes through the various components of society where modern liberalism has left the mark of its poison - crime, illegitimacy, welfare, abortion, assisted suicide, sex (feminism), race (racial-preferences), ethnicity (multi-culturalism), education (anti-intellectualism, post-modernism), religion, etc. While Bork is careful not to place the blame entirely on the 1960s radicals, he does point out that they were the climax of an ideological swing.
The 1960s radicals are now tenured professors and hold other positions of leadership and influence. They may no longer be assaulting police officers and burning buildings, but they continue to spread their poison in institutions of higher learning, government bureaucracies, think-tanks, and on the judicial bench. The impact of their influence permeates throughout society and is manifest especially on college campuses where the students of radical professors carry the torch of anti-Americanism, anti-Europeans, anti-capitalism, anti-Western Culture, anti-white, anti-male, etc.
Bork makes it clear that continuing down the current path can only spell disaster for America's future - where inter-racial, inter-gender, inter-ethnic antagonism reaches a peak of resentment and hostility leading to the breakdown of civil order.
Perhaps this is what modern liberals want - a revolution to remake America in their own image and dispense with its entire heritage. But this is clearly not what most Americans want, which leads to Bork's point that the liberal radicals are a small minority of élites that have an impact totally out of proportion to their numbers.
Bork offers several options for reversing the trend towards social implosion. However, he quickly reduces the choices to one that focuses on the re-assertion of institutions of order and virtue - family and religion. It is only by reviving these institutions that there may be any hope of taking the momentum out of the modern liberal onslaught. While Bork does sense a glimmer of hope in this approach, he wonders whether such an approach may merely slow the onslaught that will eventually end in the disintegration of our society and culture.
This book is an absolute eye-opener to what damage has already been wrought by modern liberalism. If there is any chance at all of taming and turning back the beast, the first step is to "know thy enemy." This book serves that purpose. Hence, I recommend it to every freedom-loving American. Obviously, most liberals won't like what Bork has to say, but I think most people calling themselves liberals today have no idea what some are doing under that label. Therefore, I recommend this book to liberals as well so that they can read for themselves what liberal radicals have done and are doing to undermine American culture and society.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, how long ago was this book written?, August 24, 2011
By 
I read this book 12 or 15 years ago and believed it to be thought provoking but somewhat disturbing, depressing and somewhat incredulous. I reread it recently and realized how accurate and insightful Bork was and is. Too bad for us, too bad for freedom's future, too bad for creativity, too bad for free enterprise, small business, traditional American values and the American Dream. My, how far we have fallen. How are we going to get back up? What kind of a future are our children going to live in 20 or 30 years from now if we don't?
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123 of 161 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Describes Impact of Traditional Liberalism Turned Radical, December 23, 1999
By A Customer
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Judge Bork does a superb job of describing the various elements of destruction that have arisen from the application of modern liberalism to American society. He also offers best and worst case scenarios for the future of the Republic if the current trends continue.
Bork makes it clear that he speaks not of the traditional liberalism exercised by the Founding Fathers but rather an ideological departure from that tradition that has hijacked and bastardized the name.
The modern form of liberalism consists of radical egalitarianism, which inherently requires a coercive State. It also consists of a radical individualism that corrodes institutions of restraint (i.e. family, religion, etc.) eventually leading to a free-for-all that will require the strong hand of government to contain. The centrality and powerfulness of the State in modern liberalism is its most radical departure from traditional liberalism.
Bork does not deride the successes and accomplishment of liberalism when it still possessed the goals and intentions compatible with its tradition - e.g. civil rights for minorities, suffrage for women, etc. However, it quickly evolved into an entirely different beast in the mid-to-late 1960s and has never looked back. The fact that there are currently fifty-five professed Socialists in the U.S. House of Representatives (all Democrat) is testimony to the extreme left-turn taken by those calling themselves liberal today.
Bork does deride the goals, intentions, and actions of this new breed of liberal. It is virulently anti-American and anti-Western Civilization. As it has with the term "liberalism," the modern liberal has hijacked worthy causes (e.g. civil rights) and has politicized them in order to advance their radical agenda. Modern liberalism wishes to rob America of its unique heritage and to replace it with a revolutionary concept of human nature and human governance.
Bork goes through the various components of society where modern liberalism has left the mark of its poison - crime, illegitimacy, welfare, abortion, assisted suicide, sex (feminism), race (racial-preferences), ethnicity (multi-culturalism), education (anti-intellectualism, post-modernism), religion, etc. While Bork is careful not to place the blame entirely on the 1960s radicals, he does point out that they were the climax of an ideological swing.
The 1960s radicals are now tenured professors and hold other positions of leadership and influence. They may no longer be assaulting police officers and burning buildings, but they continue to spread their poison in institutions of higher learning, government bureaucracies, think-tanks, and on the judicial bench. The impact of their influence permeates throughout society and is manifest especially on college campuses where the students of radical professors carry the torch of anti-Americanism, anti-Europeans, anti-capitalism, anti-Western Culture, anti-white, anti-male, etc.
Bork makes it clear that continuing down the current path can only spell disaster for America's future - where inter-racial, inter-gender, inter-ethnic antagonism reaches a peak of resentment and hostility leading to the breakdown of civil order.
Perhaps this is what modern liberals want - a revolution to remake America in their own image and dispense with its entire heritage. But this is clearly not what most Americans want, which leads to Bork's point that the liberal radicals are a small minority of élites that have an impact totally out of proportion to their numbers.
Bork offers several options for reversing the trend towards social implosion. However, he quickly reduces the choices to one that focuses on the re-assertion of institutions of order and virtue - family and religion. It is only by reviving these institutions that there may be any hope of taking the momentum out of the modern liberal onslaught. While Bork does sense a glimmer of hope in this approach, he wonders whether such an approach may merely slow the onslaught that will eventually end in the disintegration of our society and culture.
This book is an absolute eye-opener to what damage has already been wrought by modern liberalism. If there is any chance at all of taming and turning back the beast, the first step is to "know thy enemy." This book serves that purpose. Hence, I recommend it to every freedom-loving American. Obviously, most liberals won't like what Bork has to say, but I think most people calling themselves liberals today have no idea what some are doing under that label. Therefore, I recommend this book to liberals as well so that they can read for themselves what liberal radicals have done and are doing to undermine American culture and society.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forced a re-evaluation of my own views, October 10, 1999
By A Customer
If you noticed how a large number of this book's negative reviews are written by people with ".edu" in their email address, then you need look no further for the validation of Bork's theory that the American educational establishment (a word they don't like to be called) continues to be the incubator of post-Port Huron liberalism. As someone who always considered himself a liberal in the classic sense, then found himself battling the universty's modern liberal elite while in college (and won, or escaped with my sanity) I can say with absolute certainty that Robert Bork is right on with his scathing analysis. While I take his view of rock and roll with a grain of salt, his observations on the bored youth of the sixties, and the effects of their misguided views are chillingly accurate.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slouching.... hell America is racing to the bottom, May 6, 2011
By 
Bork's main point is that the quality of American culture is declining, and largely because liberalism is not maintaining the standards that made America great. I'm writing this in 2011, while Bork made the argument in 1996. Have the past 15 years born him out? Maybe, he argued that standards would decline and less would be expected of the citizenry. We see this in education, college graduates are increasingly less able to perform basic tasks, while the typical grace point average continues to increase. We see that some people are wanting more money for services, but those dollars are able to accomplish less and less because they are misspent. The culture is changing because we can no longer argue that some developments are unwanted because that is politically incorrect. In this book you are offered a view into what might happen, it just turns out that history has proven him right. Liberalism does erode the ability of the country to perform at a high level in all fields because it makes it far too easy to explain away poor performance.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most accurate description of modern liberalism ever written, December 22, 2010
Robert Bork has an amazing mind. He has contemplated issues that most of us never give a second thought--the moral and cultural direction of the United States of America. He points out the flaws in modern liberal thinking . . . how it is really an idealism not moving toward anything, but away from anything. If you are grounded in reality, you will enjoy this book. It is though-provoking and it has helped me to understand the constitution better. Warning: if you are a liberal-minded person, this book will frustrate you because Bork makes perfect, clear sense.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Both brilliant and prescient., March 16, 2013
By 
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I had always admired Robert Bork's brilliant mind and superb understanding of constitutional law. However, I had never read any of his books until his untimely death in December 2012. I bought "Slouching Towards Gomorrah" after his death in memorial to this brilliant American.

This is truly the magnum opus of a towering figure in constitutional law and societal commentator and I was shocked how prescient his work is. Having read it a couple decades after he wrote it gives one the ability to compare his dire predictions with the ugly reality of the outcome. He was generally spot-on.

In this book, Judge Bork chronicles the rise of the radical "liberal" as we call them (though cultural marxist would be a more accurate term) in the 1960's. The radical, hard-left successfully executed Gramsci's "long march through the institutions", beginning with the universities and have, over time, come to dominate not only academia but also infotainment, law, government, the hierarchies of mainline Christian churches.

His conclusions are not comforting, rather, quite dire and pessimistic. The reader will have to admit after reading this book that his pessimism was justified by events. It's frightening how close his predictions come to actual events in the continued march of the Communist...er, liberal...er, progressive ideology.

His reasoning is brilliant. His logic is flawless. One may not agree with everything he has to say, but one must admit his thought processes and ability to argue his points are brilliant. I do not agree with everything he writes (i don't think he went far enough on a number of topics) but I have to admit he was right on most points and wrong very rarely.

This is a fine and important work that should be read even though it offers little comfort. This is more than deserving of five stars.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legal scholar shows roots of American cultural decline., January 8, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Slouching Towards Gomorrah (Hardcover)
Despite Robert Bork's upopularity in mainstream America, this seasoned observer
and legal scholar offers a healthy dose of common sense regarding the moral and cultural
decline of America. Moreover, he proposes workable solutions to the problems he elucidates.

Bork, whose name became a household word when his nomination to the U.S. Supreme court was
vigorously (and successfully) opposed by the far-left in American politics, nonetheless hits
a nerve in SLOUCHING TOWARDS GOMORRAH. He pointedly shows that the roots of our current
cultural problems are deep in 1960s radicalism. While many believe that the 60s radicals have
disappeared, Bork observes, he asserts that this is far from accurate. Indeed, those who launched
protests at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago and who took over college campuses to show their
angst over various injustices, are still alive and well, and in charge of many of our educational,
cultural and political institutions.

Perhaps the best example of Bork's premise is Bill Clinton, whom he saliently observes to be
the quintessential baby-boomer radical who has grown up and risen to a position of great power with
his philosophies essentially unchanged.

Bork's well-written and thoroughly researched work is a tour de force of the rapidly decaying
culture of the United States, and will prove to be thought-provoking even for those who disagree
with the author and his beliefs. I heartily recommend this volume.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Robert Bork worried about 15 years ago has largely come to pass., December 10, 2009
"They just didn't go into universities. The radicals were not likely to go into business or the conventional practice of the professions. They were part of the chattering class, talkers interested in policy, politics and culture. They went into politics, print and electronic journalism, church bureaucracies, foundation staffs, Hollywood careers, public interest organizations, anywhere attitudes and opinions could be influenced".

Robert H. Bork saw it coming. This quotation from his brilliant 1996 book "Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline" depicts the tactics employed by the 1960's radicals to assert themselves and gain influence in virtually every aspect of American life. Evidently it has worked like a charm because the decline of American values, culture and standards that Bork foresaw 15 years ago has largely come to pass. Recently, I decided to re-read "Slouching Towards Gomorrah" in an effort to get some kind of handle on just what is going on in this country. As it turns out Mr. Bork's book is quite prophetic and a real eye opener.

According to Mr. Bork the root of our decline is the rise of modern liberalism, which stresses the dual forces of radical egalitarianism (the equality of outcomes rather than opportunites) and radical individualism (the drastic reduction of limits to personal gratification). These were ideas that were embraced by the student radicals of the 1960's and these folks have been working tirelessly to advance them in any way they could ever since. These days there is no need for violence or confrontation because these very same radicals now control they very institutions that they formerly attacked. In the pages of "Slouching Towards Gomorrah" Robert Bork points to dozens of examples of how these values are now being foisted on the American people and how liberals will use their friends in the courts to forward their radical agenda when they are unable to succeed legislatively. As Mr. Bork astutely points out our Founders may have erred by not putting any checks and balances on the judiciary.

Take some time to survey the political landscape of America today and you will see the evidence of what Robert Bork is talking about in his book. Crime, illegitimacy and welfare are all on the rise. The culture of death has made abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia much more acceptable to a large segment of the American public. Our educational institutions at all levels are a mess and the "dumbing down of America" continues. Meanwhile, Hollywood and their counterparts at the television networks continue to 'push the envelope" with evermore lewd and tasteless offerings. Morale in our military is at an all-time low and there are genuine concerns about the security of our nation. This simply does not seem to be much of a priority with the folks in charge these days. And despite the fact that the United States elected its first black President in 2008 the racial divide in this country continues to widen. From where I sit the decline of our nation is accelorating and this is precisely what Robert Bork predicted in his book.

I find that every so often it is useful to re-read a book to gain insight and perspective on
what is going on in the world. Such was the case with "Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline". I was quite impressed the first time I read it back in 1996 and even more impressed this time around. Very highly recommended!
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Slouching Towards Gomorrah by Robert H. Bork (Hardcover - June 1, 1996)
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