159 of 170 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2001
As someone who used to listen to Tammy Bruce every weekend when she had her show on KFI in Los Angeles, (I actually emailed her regularly and often got nice responses.) I was happy to hear she had written a book. It was the way I heard about it that surprised me. While flipping the dials, I heard Dr. Laura talking about this great new book. I can't say that I ever would have figured that Tammy's most vocal supporter would be Dr. Laura. This support may explain why the book was sold out at eight stores I visited the week it was released. (Thank goodness I had Amazon.)
There have been plenty of books written about Political Correctness and those who would control our speech. What makes Bruce's' book different is that she is not a right wing thundercloud shouting down the opposition. As a lifelong feminist and President of LA N.O.W for nearly a decade, she has a long history as a champion for `liberal' causes and has been an outspoken advocate for traditionally `left leaning' issues. In spite this lengthy pedigree, or perhaps because she actually believes in her causes, Bruce is appalled by the tactics of the left and the new "thought police" who carry out the marching orders.
"The New Thought Police" is an easy read. I finished it in less than a day without much effort. The reason for Dr. Laura's strong support is quite clear early on when Bruce devotes an entire chapter to the criticism and threats faced by Dr. Laura after her comments angered the `gay establishment.' A lesbian herself, Bruce may disagree with Dr. Laura, but is quick to point out that the propaganda used against her national TV show was filled with lies. As Bruce points out here and throughout the book, the left has adopted the policies that used to be used against them. (In this case, passing out hateful fliers in Dr. Laura's neighborhood as anti-abortion foes have done with doctors for years.)
I loved the candor of this book. Tammy pulls no punches and lands most of strong left and right crosses she throws. Her description of the evolution, or de-evolution of the women's movement is particularly eye opening. Likewise, her attacks on the "Misery Merchants" who use racial tension to line their own pockets is hard hitting. It's one thing to hear Rush Limbaugh attack Patricia Ireland or even to hear Larry Elder call out Jesse Jackson, but when Bruce does it, it packs more of a wallop.
Missing from the book is an explanation of what happened to Bruce when she left KFI. The last any of us heard, she had been fired for some comments she made about Camille Cosby after the wife of the famous comedian wrote a letter blaming American racism for the death of her son. Mrs. Cosby was never called to task for her racist letter, but when Bruce refused to apologize, she was fired. At least that's the story we all heard. A better explanation of that chapter would have been wonderful.
The book does lose some steam near the end when Bruce teeters precariously on a razor thin line between activism and thought control. After calling into question the efforts to shut down Dr. Laura, she relates with great pride how she led a charge against Brett Eaton Ellis' novel "American Psycho." Her descriptions of direct sponsor action back up her point, but the fact that she laughs at giving out the private number of Ellis' publicist and encouraging hateful phone calls just smacks of self justification. I also didn't care for a crack she made about people who would watch pornography. (Something about these being the kind of people we wouldn't want to have over for dinner.)
In all "The New Thought Police" is a well written look at the PC culture of today. Yes, it focuses mostly on such attacks coming from the left, but we've got plenty of books on the sins of the right. Hearing it from Tammy Bruce is bound to open a lot of eyes, and unfortunately for her, close a lot of doors if the "Thought Police" have anything to do with it.
104 of 112 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2001
Tammy Bruce is a Classical Liberal, one who extols the true virtues of an American culture that has brought a rising tide of wealth to all of its people. In this new book she speaks out against the heavily laden dogma of the Socialist Left that hides behind the labels of NOW, the NAACP, and multiculturalism, the avatar of academic political correctness. She avers that these groups have sought to hoodwink the public while turning America's universities into a bastion of intellectual thought suppression worthy of East Germany under Soviet occupation.
As a true Liberal she voices her support for individualism versus the Groupthink multiculturalism so popular in Hollywood, the media and academia. Her thoughts emanating from her experiences as catalogued in this book are given additional and sustained gravitas due to her credentials as a pro-choice, lesbian feminist who was president of the National Organization of Women from 1990-1996.
The book is a quick read, but the thoughts she outlines are the result of intense and calculated consideration. She correctly sees through all the popular ruses of the Socialist Left which are right out of the Leninist-Stalinist playbook. She points out how a very small number of people (5 or 6) were able to orchestrate the campaign to remove Dr. Laura Schlessinger from the airwaves. She deplores the smears and lies of Molly Yard, Patricia Ireland and Ellie Smeal of NOW who, along with their minions, practice a form of assault on free speech and free thought while abetted by the same culprits, the major media, academia and Hollywood. She relates how these women have even attempted to silence her.
As a true feminist she comes down hard on Jesse Jackson and Bill Clinton with obvious good reason. She even calls out the Gay establishment for pretending to be one thing but in fact being another. She accuses these representatives of the New Thought Police of abandoning their original mission in favor of a Socialist agenda that is the opposite of the principles upon which America was founded. She's so refreshing that it makes you want to stand up and cheer.
I have seen her on the Fox network and she speaks as clearly and articulately as she writes which makes her an attractive spokesman for freedom lovers everywhere. In this book she attempts to refute the many misrepresentations that America is bombarded with daily by our trusted network news anchors. It's noteworthy that former CBS reporter Bernard Goldberg's new book "Bias", about network Leftism at CBS, is ready to debut. It reflects an expanding market that he and Ms Bruce address and it highlights a backlash from real Liberals across the nation that is in full force. In addition, the events of 9-11 have exacerbated the rancor of the people and it seems that this position is echoed in the continuing success in the ratings of the Fox network.
Read this book and know that there are many on the Left and the Right who despise the Anti-Americanism that Tammy Bruce so effectively exposes. She understands Left-wing McCarthyism when she sees it, and America could use more like her.
88 of 97 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2001
You've got to read this book. I live in Chicago and first heard about Tammy Bruce during the O.J. Simpson trial in Los Angeles. I'm not a feminist but I really appreciated her zeal about making sure domestic violence wasn't overshadowed by Simpson's "dream team" talk of racism. With this book I have found out why I liked her in the first place--she cuts through all the nonsense about social issues put out by the left, like multiculturalism and hate crimes. And, as a Dr. Laura fan, I was thrilled to see a chapter devoted to the true story behind the gay groups attacks on her. I've been waiting for someone to stand up for Dr. Laura. Bruce does a great job exposing the gay groups real agenda.
In general, that's what makes this book so good--Bruce comes from the inside and has some pretty surprising stories about what the Left "establishment" as she terms it, is really like. But be prepared--this book is not just a political attack--I reads more like a manifesto about true progressive politics and radical individualism, their importance and how we can improve our lives by trusting ourselves and our intentions as Americans. At the same time, it was fun, had great humor, real life stories and all the while educated me politically. What a dream.
I also particularly liked her chapter about what it was really like in NOW, and their double-standards. Probably the most surprising thing she reveals is that NOW took money from the Clinton administration during the Jones and Lewinsky scandals (which finally made clear to me why they were so hypocritical about sexual harassment when it came to Bubba).
You might not agree with everything she writes, but after reading this book I'm looking at everything just a little bit differently, even with more personal confidence and optimism.
This is a great read, I learned stuff, enjoyed it and rediscovered someone who is sorely needed in the political world. This book should put Tammy Bruce back on the political map. I highly recommend it.
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2001
Ms. Bruce's book is one of the most thought-provoking books on politics I have read in a long time. It is filled with fascinating stories "from the inside" that reveal the dangerous effects of political correctness run amok. Her writing style is terse and engaging. I would have found it difficult to put the book down, but for the fact that her insights into the psychology of politics were so interesting that I found myself constantly pausing to ponder the implications of her ideas. I strongly recommend her book for reading by anyone interested in politics, whether you are on the left or right.
50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2002
It shouldn't make a difference to the thesis of this book that Tammy Bruce is an ardent feminist and open lesbian. The content should be judged for its truth value alone -- to look to the author for motivation is to engage in fallacious ad hominem argument.
But it does make a difference. It makes a difference because it shows how bad the situation is. Even Tammy Bruce, a committed and prominent activist feminist, has come under the withering cannons of the left, silenced, in fact, for speaking out on behalf of women.
This book is about thought control and how the modern left tries to silence dissent both within its own ranks and in the society at large. Bruce makes her case by discussing her own experience with what she calls the "Thought Police" in respect of various issues (Dr. Laura, AIDS, O.J. Simpson, etc.), and finishes by making a call for more healthy dissent and for free discussion.
The book is readable and quick, with a very "from the trenches" feel to it. In addition to making her a dramatic example of how totalitarian the left has become, Bruce's history as an activist has given her a lot of really interesting stories to tell. Buy this book.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2001
If this book had been written by a conservative it would be easily dismissed, but the fact that it was written by the former president of the the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization of Women- NOW- speaks loud -and very hard to ignore- volumes about the left. This book should be a must read, no matter what side of the political spectrum you are on.
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2001
Tammy Bruce has hit the nail on the head. The Thought Police systematically and rationally dissembles the Left's dangerous agenda of speech codes and thought control for all to see in vivid, thoughtful terms. I expect she'll be attacked brutally from the same "Thought Police" for daring to write such a book, which will only serve to prove that her arguments in it are dead on. Ms. Bruce has clearly been inside the Left, and has not liked what she's seen. Having read this cover to cover in less than two days I have to say she is a very courageous woman. She's also clearly a principled one which, whether you're on the Left or the Right, should as she makes succinct be commended, not condemned as her opponents would like to see. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to see in at times sordid detail just how far the Left will go to undermine America and gain power and control at the expense of liberty and peace.
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2002
The Word "liberal" is bandied about freely today--generally used to describe people and/or activities that are anything but truly liberal. Tammy Bruce is one of the dying breed of genuine progressives for whom the label remains condign. She is a supporter of gay rights, abortion advocate, and believer that women's studies and black studies programs have the potential for good. Still her most unabashedly liberal principle is unquestionably her fervent conviction that someone may vehemently disagree with her and remain an intelligent, respectable member of civil society.
While many critics have suggested that the feminist establishment sacrificed its principles toadying for Bill Clinton, Ms. Bruce argues that its credibility was floundering before it knelt at his concupiscent altar; although she acknowledges that the Clinton administration arranged for the first-ever federal funds to flow into NOW's coffers only after the president's sex-scandals became known. Ms. Bruce proudly served in an executive position at the National Organization for Women, but her disillusionment with the NOW's practices started quickly as she unhappily discovered the group to be little more than a rudderless, sycophantic wing of the Democratic Party. Her dismay is not limited to feminist illuminati; she excoriates the NAACP and other race hustlers while perhaps reserving her strongest denouncements for the intolerant gay rights establishment. Discussing the campaign against Dr. Laura Schlessinger's controversial TV show, Ms. Bruce bravely assails the vitriol of GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and other agenda-driven pressure groups to whom rationally presented opposing viewpoints are seen as dangerous. Quoting the radio talk show host directly, rather than the distorted rhetoric so frantically oft-repeated, Ms. Bruce--an open lesbian--admits her disagreement, but does not perceive any threats from an intelligent person whose opinion contradicts her own. However when she quotes directly from GLAAD's website, she does express some cause for concern at intimated threats toward companies that sponsored the targeted program. She further relates purported suggestions of vandalism against retailers who advertised as well as intimidation and implied physical harm to all involved in the production or sponsorship of the program. She juxtaposes this hysterical overreaction with the gay lobby�s tepid protestations of hate-lyric rapper Eminem whose songs (for lack of a more appropriate word) glorify violence against homosexuals. Referencing GLAAD�s pallid denunciation of a duet between gay avatar Elton John and Eminem as �misguided,� Ms. Bruce humorously remarks, �that must have put the fear of God in both of them.�
It is hard to imagine a more compelling or articulate case against hate crime legislation than Ms. Bruce offers. Although she does not possess a legal background her comprehensive evaluation on the potential dangers of criminalizing thoughts should be read, analyzed, and debated in every American law school. Sadly, that will not occur, because as she accurately laments analysis and debate are no longer celebrated, encouraged, and frighteningly not even allowed at many universities.
Her further discussion of politically correct race relations will be welcome to sensible New Jersey residents who should smugly grin reading over the author's dissection of the state's decade-long manufactured controversy, racial profiling. Reviewing former attorney general and PC-activist appeaser Peter Veniero's dossier on the fabricated issue, she begins, "here's how Veniero's fable...er, report-put it" and expounds upon how his alleged investigation was in reality a vapid effort to placate all sides in the state's escalating issue. She insightfully demonstrates how race baiters--with few sincere concerns for interracial harmony--have hijacked the debate. Certain concepts such as widespread racially motivated injustice must be acknowledged as givens even if they do not really exist outside the elitist perspective.
Discussing the disgracefully exploited Matthew Shepherd killing, she tells of another brutal Wyoming murder that occurred around the same time. Daphne Sulk, a 15-year-old, was murdered by the much older man who had impregnated her because she refused to have an abortion. As. Ms. Bruce states, Daphne�s brave stance was not a leftist cause celebre, but her life was just as valid as the young gay man�s. While it is reassuring that no pro-lifers abused her memory like the cottage industry that feeds off Mr. Shepherd�s tragic death, it�s interesting that it took a lesbian abortion-rights advocate to even introduce the martyred heroine to a national audience.
No section is as touching as the narration of events that occurred in the aftermath of the O.J. Simpson debacle. A side effect of the travesty was Ms. Bruce's eventual departure from NOW. She made no apologies for condemning a man found civilly liable for the death of his ex-wife, but the nation's number one feminist organization disapproved of what they--for convenience sake--labeled racism. While feminist movers and shakers may have been appalled by her post--O.J. activities, many ordinary citizens applauded her efforts to ostracize the despicable former gridiron star. NOW�s LA chapter office was flooded with calls and donations from those who knew of her leadership on the issue. Many of those supporters opposed much of NOW's politics. Poignantly, Ms. Bruce assured all pro-lifers, religious conservatives, Republicans, and other common adversaries that any money they gave would go exclusively to programs arising from the Simpson case and assiduously made certain than not even one penny was misapplied.
Tammy Bruce eloquently lays out her case and supports it with bushels of documentation. Ironically though, her legion of so-called liberal critics has far surpassed her in proving the viewpoint that she is attempting to convey. Only a handful of publications--most with a decidedly conservative tendency-- have even reviewed this thoughtful book, a far cry from the days when seeing her work published was as simple as making a phone call. The author believes that crazy ideas should be countered with strong contradictory arguments. Obviously, those who dismiss her positions could not adequately refute them or they would not be afraid to confront them head on.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2006
Tammy Bruce writes with an authenticity that comes from her work within the gay-feminist-liberal community. Her opinions forged from direct experience cannot be easily dismissed. She points out a clear distinction between the classical liberal and the liberal of today. The negative reviews you read here are written by those who do not want you to find out the truth about how the far left radicals have taken over the Democratic Party. They are enormously fearful that you will find out their agenda is to destroy individual liberty and impose their brand of group thought on us all.
I previously read Tammy's later books, The Death of Right and Wrong and The New American Revolution. These impressive books made me want to read her first book and I found it to be excellent as well. Ms. Bruce is one of the best writers I've read. She writes in an easy style using powerful examples and fascinating experiences.
This book will shake you with a dreaded sense of where this country is headed if we don't wake up and actively fight for the freedom that is our heritage. Slowly but steadily our freedoms are being eroded by liberals attaching labels to anyone with whom they disagree. Their tactics are oppressive, punitive, and discriminatory. These so called champions of tolerance have become anything but tolerant. They want to silence anyone who does not conform to what they deem "right thinking".
Students on college campuses had better parrot the liberal professors or their grades will suffer. Universities and the mainstream media might as well hang out a sign saying "CONSERVATIVES NEED NOT APPLY!" You'd be ostracized by the feminists if you suggested that abortion should be restricted. You are a homophobe if you think marriage should be strictly between a man and a woman. You are a racist if you think college admission should be based on qualifications only and not on race. Attack people with labels and shut them up. If that doesn't work use other tactics-- lawsuits, threats of boycotts, even bomb threats.
It's all about what kind of country we want. It is clear that the modern day liberal wants a different country. They don't want equal opportunity; they want preferential treatment for some groups. They certainly don't want capitalism; they want socialism. They don't want to protect American sovereignty; they want world government. We Americans who want to preserve individual freedom had better get involved and fight for it.
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2002
I'm just a college student. I did not think that people ever agreed with my views but I have thought the same thing for the last two years of college. At first I wondered how this book would handle the issue with the author claiming herself to be a lesbian, prochoice, gun owning, feminist... it goes on, but such a diverse area of political interest was almost perplexing. However noting this I'm now aware that its not all liberals who are completly hypocritical in their diversity/pc policies it is just a few outspoken radicals. Note one of the reviews and how he/she gets angry and resorts to name calling and blaiming. That is all that goes on in the University...if your lucky. Most of the time you are shot down by teachers and students and never allowed to speak again. Most of what this book says is very true. Any logical rational human being, right or left can see this book trys to address how to come to true diversity etc. Please pardon my spelling i'm dyslexic.