185 of 212 people found the following review helpful
My "Army of One" experience
, May 27, 2010
This review is from: Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (Hardcover)
I received the book from Amazon as I arrived home yesterday evening. I was obviously pleasantly surprised as displayed by the picture I sent to both of you. The irony was not lost on me either, as a book about Rush Limbaugh, defender and champion of the private sector was actually delivered ahead of "shed"-ule, (not to be confused with "sked"-ule) and un-damaged by that wonderful government program - The U.S. Postal Service. Who knew?!?
The book is about 210 pages long and is an easy and enjoyable read. I read it start to finish on the back patio in about 4 hours, where I smoked two Churchill's (La Gloria Cubana Serie R No. 7), consumed three "adult beverages" (Laphroaig single malt scotch), and wore my Club Gitmo t-shirt ("Your tropical retreat from the stress of Jihad").
For ditto-heads who are everyday listeners, much of the material covered about the show is already known, e.g. - Operation Chaos, The NFL ownership saga, "I Hope He Fails", Michael J. Fox, etc... While ditto-heads know about these events because we attentively listen three hours a day, it is nice to be reminded of them, as they always bring back fond memories. Especially some of the older things we forget about back during the Clinton years that aren't as fresh on our minds. What was interesting to me was discovering how Rush personally feels about some of these things as they pertain to his show (not his politics); such as "Barack the Magic Negro" (by "white comedian" Paul Shanklin) is his favorite parody they've ever done on the show.
Interestingly enough we also find out a little "inside baseball" about the show and the people who make it happen, such as "Bo Snerdley" is actually James Golden and his politics were unknown to Rush when he was hired (Snerdley is actually a conservative, it's not a act. " He don't front, yo!" as the Official Obama Criticizer, Certified Black Enough100% Organic Slave Blood, might say). Additionally we find out Rush is similar to most of his listeners, in that he didn't like George H.W. Bush nor Bob Dole. During the 1992 and 1996 campaigns, he may have been seen as actively backing those candidates but in reality his attitude toward those two candidates were similar to his feelings on McCain; as Rush contends they were all essentially the same candidate: Moderate wishy-washy Republicans who stood for something other than pure Reaganism. As always, Rush was right. His relationship with "W" is also explored. He felt GWB would be more Reagan-esque in his policies than his father or Dole, and was disappointed how far "W" veered off that path after his 2004 re-election. However, they apparently do have a close friendship, even before he became president.
The most interesting part for regular listeners however, is not the recap of previous feuds or topics discussed on the show, but finding as what Rush is like as an actual person. He has always been a very private man and ambiguous about who he really is and what he REALLY thinks of himself and his success (as opposed to what his "on air" persona thinks of El Rushbo). This book cracks that shell...slightly, but really enough. Rush is a complex person in that he is very much a regular mid-western guy but apparently lives a very extravagant lifestyle; which is no surprise to someone worth close to $600 million, however he only really uses 3 or 4 rooms in his house, the rest are for his guests...he's very conscience about his guest being comfortable. When they stay on his five home estate they get the privilege of driving a black Maybach 57 S ($450,000 each) whenever they wish, wherever they wish. He also has a suit of armor, a life sized painting of himself, an exact replica of the chandelier the hung in the NY Plaza hotel lobby over his dining room table. Not my taste, but it's his money. Also, unlike most liberals, he a good tipper. The author came to discover from the wait staff at a restaurant (not Rush) he often tips upwards of $5,000 at dinner. While being interviewed by Chafets, Rush asked the question, "Do you know what bought me all this?" Before Chafets could answer, Rush proudly decreed, "Capitalism"! Rush, being the regular guy he is may also be prone to "adult language", which he apparently inherited from his father. Off air, during commercial breaks, he often call the Bamster a "f-ing liar", to which Snerdley replies "If I could lie like that, I could have any girl in the world."
Reading about his family history (they're like "royalty" in Cape Girardeau, well before Rush III was born) and how Rush (Rusty as a child) navigated several attempts as a DJ with varying success, his time as a "racial pioneer" in the marketing department in Kansas City, to his relationship with his brother were fascinating. What was most fascinating to me was Rush didn't ever really speak of politics of his political opinions until he was in his early thirties. His childhood and adult friends, such as George Brett, has no idea he was such a conservative and so skilled at articulating what it means to be a conservative.
The book is a fair portrayal of Rush, it's exactly what ditto-heads would have expected. There are some parts we may have a disagreement with the author; Chafets thinks Rush has a blind spot on race in America, or that he crossed the line when it came to "Caller Abortions" (which I still think were a brilliant piece of radio). Overall, I would say for ditto-heads it's a very satisfying book which basically confirms what we already know about Rush, or what we suspected. I would definitely recommend it to ditto-heads.
For liberals, my recommendation may be a different story. If you already have your mind may up about Rush, this book isn't for you. You'll dismiss it as an airbrushed, lying portrayal of "racist, bigot, sexist, homophobe" (which is liberal speak for any conservative) because it actually humanized him and paints him as a good person. And as most good liberals know, there are no good conservatives.
If you're on the fence about Rush or unfamiliar with him but interested, first of all, listen to him for three week...then pick up this book.
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