11 of 24 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (And Al Franken Is #37) (Hardcover)
As one of the most curmudgeonly people I know, I was looking forward to a good grousing session with Bernard Goldberg's 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America. Moreover, to keep in the Oscar-the-Grouch mode, I found myself raising my fist and yelling "Yeah!" ten or twelve times. "Yeah, Jesse Jackson!" "Edward Kennedy, yeah!"
The book comes down to a plea for more many-sided, civilized discourse. Who would object? I wish the positive agenda the criticism implies had been more explicitly spelled out, but doing so would have made this a more serious book than it pretends to be.
As for Goldberg's choices, some, to my mind, are arguable. Norman Mailer, even when one disagrees with him, is part of what is good about America-provocative, imaginative, daring, fearless. Ingrid Newkirk, on the other hand, has so little influence outside her kooky, half sympathetic enclave that I doubt she's screwing up anyone except herself and a few clothiers. The discussion of Paul Begala seems to me unfocussed and inconclusive. The influence of Michael Moore, number one, is confined to those who believe as he does; his heading the list makes the rest hoist by its own petard.
Ultimately, the book falls prey to that which it inveighs against. Given its title, for instance, Goldberg should not object to someone swearing on a cell phone in an airplane, nor should he dismiss Courtney Love (who takes her seriously?) with the single word "Ho." To cavil too much, though, is not to read the book at all.
There is someone who is screwing up America. However, we elected him and are thus complicit.
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Initial post: Jan 15, 2012 1:40:41 PM PST
13 out of 23 lurched back snarling when they hit the last sentence (before I gave it a helpful vote). Touche.
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