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The Ten Things You Can't Say In America Paperback – September 4, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0312284657 ISBN-10: 0312284659 Edition: Revised
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Editorial Reviews Review

When Larry Elder talks, sparks fly, and he likes it that way. Fans of the radio talk-show host from Los Angeles, who call themselves Elderados, have dubbed him "the sage from South Central." His critics--and there are many--use names that range from Oreo to the Antichrist. What's it all about? Elder, a libertarian, lays down his controversial views in his first book, which attacks the politically correct, black leaders, feminists, gun-control advocates, and other "so-called liberals." Some of the 10 things you can't say in America include "Blacks are more racist than whites," "There's only a dime's worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats," "The media bias is real, widespread and destructive," and "America's greatest problem is illegitimacy." Elder aims to change the way blacks look at their future, demanding that they take responsibility for their lives, stop blaming all their problems on racism, and pay attention to the progress they've made. While there may be some truth in what he says and even some good news (for instance, the self-esteem of black children is equal to or better than that of whites), this isn't exactly a pep talk. Not surprisingly, his all-out attack on black leaders (whom he calls nutcases and hysterical) and white liberals has engendered a fair amount of hostility. With this kind of dialogue, it's hard to believe Elder's going to win too many converts. But for those who appreciate his views, or are curious about them, this book is a provocative and lively ride into the mind of one of the nation's most outspoken black libertarians. --Lesley Reed --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Los Angeles radio talk-show host and nationally syndicated columnist Elder, who is African-American, has incurred the wrath of many blacks for his outspoken assertion that racism in the U.S. no longer represents a serious threat to blacks' upward mobility. This conversational, bluntly candid manifesto should prove equally controversial. Elder, who favors much less government and much less regulation, blames both Republicans and Democrats for creating and maintaining a bloated welfare state that stifles individual initiative and free enterprise. His "Ten-Point Plan" for transforming America calls for abolishing the IRS; passing a national sales tax; reducing government by 80%; ending welfare and entitlements, including Social Security, Medicare, and farm and tobacco subsidies; legalizing drugs; abolishing the minimum wage (which, he claims, undermines job creation for blacks, teenagers and entry-level workers); and eliminating corporate taxes. He also opposes affirmative action, hate-crime legislation and virtually any regulation of handguns, including registration. Elder (who is slated to host the forthcoming TV show The Moral Court) further accuses the white-run media of condescending to blacks by overemphasizing stories of racism and by subtly applying a lower set of expectations to African-Americans' behavior. Taking swipes at Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Johnnie Cochran, Louis Farrakhan and others, he blasts the black leadership, which, he insists, should focus on ways to morally and legally discourage "the young, irresponsible and unwed from having children." In Elder's apt phrase, we have become a nation of "victicrats," people blaming their ills on others and demanding special treatment while refusing to accept personal responsibility. While many readers will consider his prescriptions simplistic, they'll find his candor and straight talk refreshing.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Revised edition (September 4, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312284659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312284657
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 99 people found the following review helpful By A Positive Guy on October 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Larry Elder is not called the "sage of south central" for nothing. If every American would open their minds instead of letting media and political bias sway their decisions we would have a new country inside of a month. In this book, Larry Elder shows in a very convincing and forthright way that although we live in the the country with the most freedom, we are relying more and more on a government which has no interest at all in seeing us free, and in many cases, seeks to enslave us and make us dependent.
This book is a real eye-opener and will have you thinking hard for some time after you read it. Some parts, particularly the chapter on legalization of drugs and how our "drug war" has failed will surely raise controversy and that is a good thing. Americans need to think and rethink their positions on issues instead of allowing those with their own vested interests to make up their minds for them.
If you believe that you can run your own life and affairs and that the money you make should remain in your own hands and that it is arrogance in the least and tyranny in the most for a government to tell you otherwise or make decisions about your life without your consent, then this book is for you. Larry Elder presents the evidence that we as Americans have been duped and conned into believing things that just aren't true.
This is a book well worth the money and you can't walk away from it without being challenged, enlightened, and informed.
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124 of 132 people found the following review helpful By Dorothy Weiss on September 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I never heard this radio talk show host. This is the first time I have read his words or reviewed his work. He makes Joan Rivers' dialogues and Bill O'Reilly's opinions seem as fluffy and soft as cotton candy. Dynamic, terse, over flowing with facts, Larry Elder invites debate. Among the issues, the "things you can't say in America", that he dares to explore are racism, drugs, the glass ceiling,politics and the destructive media. If you read this book, you're in for a very different perspective. Underneath the searing glass of this authors microscope are Orrin Hatch, Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Gloria Allred, Dick Morris, The Los Angeles Times, Spider-Man Comics, Johnnie Cochran, O.J. Simpson, Al Gore, George Bush, Ross Perot, welfare, NAFTA, Sister Connie Driscoll and her partner, Sister Theresa O'Sullivan, just to mention a few. After a surprised gasp at this author's outrageous audacity, you will probably laugh then enter the debate. The book awakens your sense of inquiry and zeal for answers to the issues of today. Move over Joan and Bill, Larry Elders is on the move. Amusing and entertaining.
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91 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Sara on July 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As a libertarian I was thrilled to find this book. Months ago I couldn't have even told you who Larry Elder is. The radio stations in my neck of the woods do not carry Elder's program so I didn't know anything about Elder when I bought this book. I read the blurb, thought it sounded interesting and read it with an open mind. I wasn't prepared to agree with 99 if not 100 percent of what I read but that's what happened. But as a caveat let me again reiterate that this book is NOT for anyone with a closed mind. If you are so entrenched in certain religious and/or political beliefs that you cannot read someone else's ideas without becoming enraged then do not even waste your money. For those of you with more maturity, this is a great buy.
Elder's 10 contentions are simple but loaded: Blacks are more racist than whites, white condescension is as bad as black racism, the media bias is real, widespread and destructive, the glass ceiling is full of holes, America's greatest problem is illegitimacy, there is no health-care crisis, America's welfare state is tyranny of the statist quo, there's maybe a dime's worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats, the war on drugs is a losing battle and gun control advocates are good guys with blood on their hands. I can just see many of you reading this and gasping with horror at those statements. But before you condemn Elder as someone who loathes himself, acts white, subscribes to radical political ideas and/or has no sense of practicality, look closer. How many times during, say, one week can you turn on your TV and see one of the "victicrats" Elder describes crying about some evil he/she faced and how the government *owes* it to everyone to write a law about said evil?
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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Donald E. Zimmerman, M.D. on November 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that is much needed to provide the proper perspective for so many hot issues in today's political climate.
Society has come to accept a number of assumptions, which become the basis of discussion for these hot issues. Many of these assumptions are erroneous, and the result is that the discussions are destined to produce results that are not relevant or useful.
Larry Elder has a genius for challenging and exploding some of these underlying assumptions.
Why discuss white racism, when black racism is not acknowledged or even allowed to be entered into the discussion?
Why discuss the "glass ceiling" for women, when the issue of preparation and "paying of dues" is not a part of the discussion?
Why discuss gun control when the positive effects of an armed populace are not recognized in terms of preventing crime, and lowering crime rates?
Elder has a genius for stating his points, and making them clear in a way that is easy to read. His writing is never convoluted or hard to follow. (And actually very hard to argue against.)
Elder has a genius for picking the most important topics and related points that need to be made - at the present time - as far as their overall impact on society.
Elder has a genius for cutting through the emotional arguments that grab so many individuals on a superficial level, but which do not stand up to intellectual and objective scrutiny.
The serious and objective seeker of what should be accepted as given and true, cannot afford to miss reading this book!
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