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The Big Lie: On Terror, Antisemitism, and Identity Paperback – International Edition, March 27, 2007

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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About the Author

David Solway is the award-winning author of over twenty-five books of poetry, criticism, educational theory, and travel. He is a contributor to magazines as varied as the Atlantic, the Sewanee Review, Books in Canada, and the Partisan Review. David Solway lives in Montreal.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Lester, Mason & Begg; First Edition edition (March 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978176502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978176501
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,575,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAME on December 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
The acclaimed Canadian poet's book is magnificent not only for its potent prose but even more for its astonishingly direct assault on political correctness and the feel-good rhetoric with which the leftist intelligentsia deceive themselves. With blazing verbal swords and arrows Solway hacks and pierces the denials, the excuses for terrorism and the leftist strategy of demonizing the USA and Israel. He hammers home the fact that terrorism and antisemitism are intertwined, that western civilization is under assault and that the politicians and the pundits have cravenly betrayed the truth through appeasement, sophistry and denial.

Following the events of 9/11 Solway reassessed the values and belief system he had acquired in the 1960s, concluding that his anti-capitalist, anti-Zionist and postmodernist beliefs were based on ignorance and intellectual laziness that did not reflect reason or reality. Titled 'Platform', part one of The Big Lie borrows the title of Michel Houellebecq's novel for a long essay ripping to shreds the theology behind the terror that flourishes in the fertile soil of the left-liberalism he had held until that day of infamy when reality struck. It's interesting to compare his approach with those of Roger L Simon in Blacklisting Myself and Bruce Bawer in While Europe Slept.

His eloquent rage is directed against both the Islamists and its Western enablers in academia and the media. Like
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Format: Paperback
The Big Lie: On Terror, Antisemitism, and Identity

by David Solway

A good polemic challenges and enlightens readers, but shouldn't leave them with a headache. David Solway's The Big Lie requires extra-strength Aspirin. Over-written and overwrought, Solway's book is both reminiscent of 1950s Red Scare screeds and depressingly similar to many works by self-identified former leftists who believe that "everything changed" on 9/11.

The book consists of two overlong essays. The first takes as its starting point the reaction to Michel Houellebecq's 2001 novel Platform, which sparked an outcry with its critique of Islam. The second, "On Being a Jew," is a lengthy dismissal of Palestinian rights and a rejoinder to anyone who might doubt that there is "more innovative brilliance, pro rata," in Israel than anywhere else in the world.

Naming Islam, gay marriage, and critics of both U.S. foreign policy and Israeli mistreatment of Palestinians as the gravest threats to Western civilization, Solway throws into the enemy camp pretty much anyone who disagrees with him. If he was hoping to sway the skeptical, he does not get much mileage out of a visceral tone that accuses anyone who questions his point of view of collusion with terrorists and anti-Semites.

If Solway did have interesting points to make, they get lost in a flurry of rhetorical brickbats. The essays are marked by hammer-blow repetition, an annoying self-referentiality, and a kind of intellectual chauvinism marked by Solway's incessant use of arcane language plucked from an obscure thesaurus. ("Crepuscular," "hortative," "sacerdotal," "edentulous," "prunella-minded," "proleptically," and "chiliastic" all make an appearance.
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