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Telling The Truth Paperback – September 17, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Reprint edition (September 17, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684825341
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684825342
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,740,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Conservative stalwart Cheney offers a polemic against what she sees as the dangers of political correctness.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Cheney, former head of the National Endowment for the Humanities, summarizes complaints about the cultural malady best thought of as relativism the belief that, in any situation, truthfulness derives from the political relationships perceived by specific ideologies. In each of six chapters, Cheney considers a particular aspect of relativism and the damage it has done: so-called multiculturalism in primary and secondary education; political correctness in the universities; deconstructionism in the scholarship of the humanities; radical feminist legal theory in legal education and jurisprudence; politicized exaggeration and falsification in art, popular culture, and psychotherapy; and so-called new (i.e., politically slanted) news in the mainstream press. Although herself a Republican conservative, Cheney avoids partisanship in her presentation, and while her subject matter sometimes gets quite heady, her exposition remains accessible--so much so that Reader's Digest will be serializing the book. That and Cheney's increasing visibility on political TV talk shows should boost interest in Telling the Truth an interest that it greatly deserves. Ray Olson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Lynne Cheney's most recent book is the New York Times bestseller, We the People: The Story of Our Constitution, illustrated by Greg Harlin. She is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers America: A Patriotic Primer, A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women, When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots, A Time for Freedom: What Happened When in America, and Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America, and has written a memoir, Blue Skies, No Fences. Mrs. Cheney is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Vice President Richard B. Cheney.

Customer Reviews

Presuming all archeological and scientific evidence points to the exact opposite, the idea would indeed be absurd.
Dan Warner
What she and all her defenders fail to see is that history hasn't changed, but the information we now have allow us to see it as the complicated monster that it is.
Mississippi J
The most striking aspect of the book, and the feature that distinguishes it most from other attacks on academic leftism, is how informed her analysis is.
Barry Blick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Steven Fantina on October 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
Lynn Cheney's intelligent book greatly enhances the body of literature dealing with America's cultural decline over the past 30-40 years. Her positions are astutely made, and the work is rich in specifics. Unfortunately, it was Mrs. Cheney's brave refusal to hold back that serves as book's sole drawback. Her graphic descriptions while generally appropriate can be nauseating at times. In her discussion of the assault on the arts, she references many the shock displays regurgitated into public view by too many so-call museums. There is just no tasteful way to relate "exhibits" that feature animal carcasses, human waste products, or pornographic debris that would make Bob Guccioni jealous. The one instance where the frank minutia seems gratuitous is the recounting of a heinous family murder that begins chapter 3. Readers may wish to skip this anecdote rather than forego a few nights sleep.
Beyond this tendency to lay it all on the line, Mrs. Cheney can hardly be faulted for the brilliant dialectic. A good portion is devoted to the revisionist theories currently being force fed to college students-especially in humanities-related studies. She rightly comments on the execrable danger presented by the one-sided indoctrination that has replaced factual learning and the presentation of multiple perspectives in America institutions of higher learning. The author, herself, demonstrates an exceedingly open mind; she speaks of the good aspects she sees in philosophies such as feminism, multi-culturalism, and Afrocentrism, even though she finds militant versions of these perspectives harmful.
The title of the book concerns the overall dismissal of the concept of truth that Mrs. Cheney explains is threatening so many segments of our culture.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Terri Dawn on July 5, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Finally, a book that says the same thing my husband has been saying for years. If you want to know why there are so many crazy things going on in the world/USA, a lot has to do with postmodernism. What is that? you ask. Answer: relativism, multiculturalism, political correctness, redefining terms, reinterpreting standards. As Lynne Cheney discovered when meeting postmodernists, truth is not only irrelevant, it just doesn't exist (p. 16). Though she wrote it in 1995, the concepts very much apply to today. It's great reading a book that has decent punctuation--oh, but that's relative, too, I suppose. No, commas save lives. "Let's eat Grandma" or "Let's eat, Grandma." Or how about, "Congress makes the laws, the Supreme Court interprets the laws, and the President enforces the laws," or enforces the laws he agrees with, or ignores the laws he doesn't like, or goes around Congress when Congress gets in the way (i.e. freeing the five worst terrorists at Gitmo). Postmodernism! And when problems arise because he did not enforce the laws (i.e. securing the Southern border), it's the Republicans' fault! Wow! What a distortion of the truth!
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mississippi J on July 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book came about using data ( and Writings) compiled by her underlings at NEH during her tenure there. Her underlings were of her same political bent. She went into the chairmanship of the NEH with these political ideologies and uses anecdotal evidence to make a broad-based claim on the state of humanities as a whole. She's attempting to prove what she already believed, not searching for the truth--which is the point of humanities study. She was appointed to the NEH because of who her husband was, not because she cares or even engages in humanities studies. She believes that the study of history should solely encourage patriotism (see all her other books)and her remarks about history standards in high schools should show us that she cares nothing for true humanities study. What she and all her defenders fail to see is that history hasn't changed, but the information we now have allow us to see it as the complicated monster that it is. She should never have been chair of the NEH. She doesn't have the knowledge or mind for it. We study the humanities because they are supposed to help us shape our future--they are correctives for human thought. They show us where we went right, where we failed, and only through their studies can a democratic society progress. That is not what this book is about. This book is meant to be inflammatory, to inspire anger, which is on the opposite side of reason. She wants you to believe that the hoof is the whole pig, and for that, she has done us all a disservice.
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33 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Greg B. Shoom on April 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
Lynne V. Cheney's "Telling the Truth" is an investigation into Postmodernism and its influence on today's culture. Postmodernism holds that there is no objective reality, and therefore that there is no such thing as truth. Reality, in its view, is constructed by dominant social groups, defined by race, gender, or class. Postmodernism is hostile to reason, to excellence, and to standards of any kind. Politically, it is manifested in movements such as multiculturalism and radical egalitarianism, It is hostile to the notion of individual liberty, which it regards as an "inherently oppressive" concept. This philosophy has become widespread in the academic world and is having a growing influence over our culture. Most of Ms. Cheney's book focuses on the cultural manifestations of Postmodernism. Many of these are truly frightening. I recommend this book if you want to learn more about the threat that this intellectual movement poses. The book is written for a general audience and is easy to read.
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