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The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11 Hardcover – January 16, 2007

3.3 out of 5 stars 166 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Conservative pundit D'Souza (Illiberal Education) roots the blame for the 9/11 attacks in the left wing's "aggressive global campaign to undermine the traditional patriarchal family" in this mostly lucid but unconvincing argument. Pointing to Hillary Clinton, Britney Spears and Noam Chomsky, he decries those who have teamed up with Hollywood and the U.N. to foist an irreligious, sexually licentious, antifamily liberal culture—epitomized by Eve Ensler's play The Vagina Monologues and gay marriage initiatives—on a Muslim world that rightly reviles it. By deliberately attacking Islamic values, the left tacitly allies itself with al- Qaeda in its effort to defeat Bush's war on terror and thus discredit conservatism at home, he asserts. But D'Souza's claim that Islamic extremists are inflamed solely by America's music videos and feminists—not its U.S. bases in Saudi Arabia, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or American support for Muslim dictators—is too single-minded. For example, he paints Abu Ghraib poster-girl Lynndie England as the personification of liberal sexual depravity, without acknowledging that the U.S. Army sent her to Iraq, not the left. Charging that liberals aid terrorists while sympathizing with the terrorists' culturally conservative worldview, D'Souza's critique of American cultural excess trips over its own inconsistencies. (Jan. 16)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

D'Souza once again turns his eye for social criticism to liberals, this time asserting their responsibility for the rise of anti-Americanism abroad and perhaps even the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The cultural Left in the U.S., by pressing for sexual freedom for women and gays through birth control, no-fault divorce, and support for gay marriage, has not only undermined American culture but also provoked the ire of religious conservatives in other nations, most prominently Islamic fundamentalists. Contrary to President Bush's assertions that terrorists and their supporters hate American freedom, D'Souza asserts that what they really hate is our licentious culture. He notes that American conservatives have more in common with Islamic Fundamentalists than with American liberals. He outlines a battle plan for the Right that includes building alliances with traditional Muslims and enlisting them in the war against radical Islam. This is an interesting perspective on the hostilities between the West and the Muslim world, particularly in light of the ongoing declared war against terrorism. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (January 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385510128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385510127
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #828,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I approached this book with much skepticism; by the time I was mid-way through the book, I was much intrigued with the author's thesis. Toward the end, however, I was of the mind that the author's deductions and conclusions were too much of a stretch.

I believe the D'souza correctly diagnosed several key points, which escape many mainstream thinkers:

1. The driving passion behind the masterminds of 911 was not religious, but cultural.

2. Most Americans, at all levels, tend to be rather ignorant about other cultures and simplistically believe that what we think is good should naturally be welcomed by other cultures. In reality, as many scholars have pointed out, democratic institutions must be home grown for them to take hold. People in foreign lands perceive America through the lens of American pop culture, which has become very coarse and depraved. We also "export" ideas such as strident feminist, abortion and homosexual agendas which, even in our own society are controversial, are viewed with suspicion and contempt in other traditional societies.

3. The key to winning this war is winning the hearts of traditional Muslims. Traditional Muslims have more in common with conservatives than many think. Most traditional Muslims do not subscribe to the fringe teachings of the Taliban and Al Queda; they are God-fearing people who want to live in a society where the traditional family values are respected. They are natural sympathizers of the radical Islamists, although they are not active supporters. We should not attack their religion and drive them right into the arms of the radicals. Many in the West tend to look at certain things, such as "honor killing", in the Muslim world, and conclude that Islam is outdated, and its followers barbaric.
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Format: Hardcover
It seems that every reviewer here read an interview, or saw the author on Comedy Central, then rushed to write a review here loaded only with a vague concept of this book's central themes.

First, it should be noted that the author talks about the motivation behind the book, that in today's public discourse there is very little focus on the cultural aspects of America that could be fomenting hate and terrorism against us. There was a void on the subject which he has filled; as he says, "let the debate begin."

Now whether you ultimately agree with him or not, this IS a debate worth having, not just as it affects our current conflict, but as it informs us as a nation to take a good hard look in the mirror at times.

Many people, usually liberal but not always, are often eager to discuss "why" people hate us, and what WE have done to create such enemies that would be willing to become martyrs in a struggle to defeat us. There is a vague sense that maybe we HAVE done something to earn the title of "great satan," but there's a difficulty in expressing what this is.

Perhaps it is our military dominance, our heavy-handed diplomacy, or our choice of friends. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. Often it comes down to our support of Israel. But to say a discussion concerning how we achieved the status of enemy #1 in the muslim world is absurd is to ignore many current discussions now taking place.

I encourage people to HAVE this conversation, even if you don't agree with it; it is well worth having. I can say that I have had it, in large part with a group of friends of mine from Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. We talk about this topic all the time, and I find what they have to say very credible.
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Format: Hardcover
I have read and reread Mr. D'souza'a new book as well as many of the Amazon reader's reviews. I can see how upsetting the author's book can be to a person who's deeply held - "secular beliefs" bordering on religion - are scrutinized and criticized from a devote Muslims perspective.

Mr. D'souza is not a Muslim however he has spent the last 4-years studying the sermons, speeches and writings of Muslim leaders. The author has not just explored contemporary Islam but has delved into the history of this great religion to better inform the reader in identifying who Muslims really are, moderate and fundamentalist both. All to answer the perplexing question, "Why they hate us?"

Do they hate us for our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, our free market economy or that McDonald's restaurants are springing up all over the world? The short answer is no. Nor do they hate us for our freedom. They hate us for how we USE our freedom. They hate is because we have inundated the Middle East and much of the third world with a pervasive, immoral secular based culture that threatens the very foundation of their culture and traditions. If America were under such an attack we would hate the purveyor as well.

Leftists, liberals, atheists and secular crusaders of all stripes will not hear and will not consider that Mr. D'souza may be on to something. Many will scoff and criticize the author without giving his view a fair hearing, as to do so would undermine deeply held convictions that the left in America believes are above criticism. Anyone considering the authors points with merit will immediately be branded, a bigot, racist, homophobe or misogynist. Since the left will not have a logical argument against Mr. D'souza they will use invective as a defense, it is the only defense they have.

I recommend this book to anyone that is open minded enough to consider rational argument.
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