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Two Steps ahead of the Thought Police [Paperback]

by John Leo
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 1, 1998 076580400X 978-0765804006 2

"A satirist in the tradition of Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken, John Leo has been long entertaining his readers by pillorying the worst excesses of the Political Correctness movement while lifting high the standard of common sense. This collection of editorials is Leo at his best-bitingly funny and with a keen moral edge."

-Relgion and Liberty

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Political correctness is the principal target of this collection of columns reprinted from U.S. News & World Report . Leo contends with our nation's more prickly social issues: censorship, racism (and reverse racism), sex education. He is most convincing in examining the politics of language, including the "three languages of addiction, victimology, and political evasion," as well as what he calls "journalese," "feminese" and even "Bushspeak." Adding up the various victimized groups in the U.S., Leo notes wryly that "America's victims exceed 1.2 billion, not bad for a population of only 251 million." His columns offer an odd sort of moderatism, with a number of essays deserving consideration, if not agreement. However, his disregard for society's margins seems particularly unenlightened.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

If satire and sarcasm could achieve victory against political correctness as easily as trumpets did against the walls of Jericho, Leo would be a modern Joshua. Those who have followed his column in U.S. News & World Report know that the annihilation of what he sees to be pomposities, fakes, frauds, and fatuities is his stock in trade. Leo goes in deep like a sharp, polished knife. The general drift of his arguments are politically and socially conservative; but even liberals should take time out to read him, if only just to discover how formidably armed the opposition is. Leo tells the truth as he sees it. It may not be everybody's truth, but no one who reads the book will fail to be provoked and/or stimulated. Strongly recommended.
A.J. Anderson, GSLIS, Simmons Coll., Boston
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 345 pages
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers; 2 edition (February 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076580400X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765804006
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,618,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh air!! October 6, 1999
I had enjoyed Mr. Leo's remarkably clear-eyed, rational, and "enough already" columns in U.S. News for years when I ran across this gem that collected several years worth of his sterling efforts.
Yes, Leo does skewer some people but I found that he was always right on the mark when he did so. Basically, John Leo puts almost any other columnist to shame. What I really want to know is this: Mr. Leo, where, oh where is Volume II?
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific!!! October 22, 1999
By A Customer
This rates as one of the best books I've read all year! John Leo looks at subjects and takes them apart in an intelligent (yet humorous) way. I've recommended this book to all my friends who are even slightly interested in politics or contemporary culture
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Every social commentator has their opinion on the justice system, welfare, gender feminism, affirmative action, etc. However, John Leo truly towers over most of his competitors (& dwarfs his opposition) with his humor, sense of balance, and simple common sense. The book still holds up in '98, though many of the essays deal with the events of 1991-1994. A wonderful read, and a compass for searching minds.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best July 2, 2000
John Leo is the best commentator on the culture wars and the best critic of political correctness, and I have read them all. I buy US News & World Report solely for his column. If you loath political correctness, like I do, you will love this book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
In reading this book, I found myself saying again and again, "Boy, is that ever true!" Mr. Leo writes in a clear, straightforward style. I assume that the sections in the book are columns taken from his weekly appearance in U.S. News magazine. His entries in this book makes one want to go to the local library and dig up all the other columns not included in the book. It is THAT good. Politically correct, victim-mentality individuals need not read--this book will poke too many holes in that fragile worldview. Heartily recommended for those with the ability to think on their own.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful January 31, 2001
By A Customer
This was an x-mas present from a friend who is a bit to the right of center.
John Leo's great strength as a writer is that he knows how to quickly cut to the bone of an issue. Can't say I agree with 100% of his veiwpoints, but I like the way he writes. His ability to capture in a few words the thrust of his argument or obnservation makes for very powerful reading.
The parts that made me laugh out loud are any of his pieces describing campus politics. Although I certainly sympathize with certain minority groups on my campus, Leo does a nice job of explaining how campus liberals have become vapid shells clining onto some radical past.
A good book to spend the afternoon with.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shouldn't words have precise meanings? February 2, 2002
While many things irk John Leo, the academic left's tendency to radically expand the meaning of words like "racism", "rape" and "rights" inspires columns of outrage and humor. Racism, not so long ago, meant denying people the right to vote, eat in a restaurant, or even a trial prior to lynching. Now the word, observes Leo, has morphed into anything that makes people feel uncomfortable. Leo, being a traditionalist, wants words to mean to have precise meaning. Who can blame him?
This wide-ranging collection of his favorite essays captures Leo's brilliant wit, brual logic, and safely narrow range of subjects. Attacking the 1990's as the "golden age of censorship," Leo rebukes the right for wanting to censor everything: "pornography, rap, rock singers, military news, J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, photors of Robert Mapplethorpe's idea of a good time, and the burning of the American flag." Yet the left, Leo's primary target, "wants to censor tobacco ads, girlie calendars and sex jokes in the workplace, Saturday morning TV, overly Eurocentric schoolbooks, Andy Rooney, many college newspapers, all sorts of speech, and the waving of the American flag."
Leo, it seems to me, reflects the views of his mostly moderate, upper-income readers. He dissects the loonier edges of leftist political activists far more than vapid euphemisms that fill commercials and deflect attention from the misdeeds of the Enrons of our society.
Perhaps Leo will find a way, in his sequel, to make all professional liars equally uncomfortable.
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