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The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage Hardcover – November 13, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 895 customer reviews

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Guest Review by Jonah Goldberg on Greg Gutfeld’s The Joy of Hate

Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and contributing editor to National Review. A USA Today contributor and former columnist for the Times of London, he has also written for The New Yorker, Commentary, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications.

The funny thing about Gutfeld is that he’s really funny. But this fact obscures the other funny thing about Gutfeld: He’s really absurdly smart. This is readily apparent to anyone who picks up The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage.

Gutfeld’s basic argument is that the Forces of Tolerance claim an exclusive monopoly on, well, tolerance. But they use tolerance as a cudgel, a means of enforcing political correctness and shaming heretics into silence. “The idea of tolerance—a seemingly innocuous concept—has now become something else entirely: a way to bludgeon people into shutting up, piping down, and apologizing, when the attacked are often the ones who hold the key to common sense,” Gutfeld writes. “They speak an unspeakable truth, and they get clobbered by the Truncheon of Tolerance. Tolerance has turned normal people into sheep/parrot hybrids, followers in word and deed—bloating and squawking at everyone in a psychological torment not experienced since Dave Matthews picked up a guitar.” In other words, behind the liberal double-standard conservatives so often complain about is a single standard: the left holds a monopoly on acceptable speech.

To his credit, Gutfeld acknowledges that conservatives are too often prone to adopting the “voice of perpetual outrage.” Gutfeld considers himself a libertarian, albeit one of an admirably Victorian variety, though I may be the only person who’d use that adjective. “I have a rule,” Gutfeld proclaims. “Anything that can be done privately does not need to be performed publicly. It’s why I love the gays but I hate their parades.” The reason I say this is Victorian, is that in Victorian England, there was all sorts of wild hanky-panky going on, but it was behind closed doors. In public there was one social norm for everyone, in private there were so many freak flags flying it looked like the rotunda outside the U.N.

Obviously, Gutfeld doesn’t want the one standard to be anything nearly so constraining or oppressive as that of Victorian England. But he does want one standard: Don’t whine about how someone or something hurts your feelings and is offensive when what really bothers you is that someone disagrees with your point of view or agenda.

Gutfeld doesn’t mention Herbert Marcuse, but he talks a lot about “repressive tolerance,” a term Marcuse coined and popularized. The Frankfurt School Marxist argued that traditional—i.e., classically liberal—notions of tolerance were in fact oppressive because they helped perpetuate the sorts of societies Marcuse disliked (liberal, capitalist, democratic, free, decent, etc). And so, as Frankfurt School Marxists are known to do, he vomited up a bilious stew of nonsense that basically served as a secular fatwa: Leftwing groups are free to say whatever they want, but “rightwing” groups (defined as any outfit not loyal to leftwing groups) were to be treated as bigoted and offensive simply because they disagreed with leftwing groups. As Marcuse writes, “Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left.”

Gutfeld doesn’t bother with Marcuse, because Marcuse is dead and was only considered really smart by the people who wanted an eggheaded excuse to be asinine hypocrites. Gutfeld’s fight is much closer to the ground. It’s an incredibly timely argument, given the new rage for what the kids today call “concern trolling.” This is where people pretend to be deeply, deeply troubled or concerned about this or that when they’re really not. Have you ever noticed how many extremely liberal columnists and TV pundits devote so much time to worrying about the Republican Party’s electoral prospects given America’s changing demographics? Or evolving attitudes about abortion? Or homosexuality? Because we all know that if the GOP suddenly became pro-choice and for open borders, Keith Olbermann would suddenly start voting Republican.


“Gutfeld is like Voltaire if Voltaire were actually funny.” —Dennis Miller
“Greg Gutfeld is a sweet, hysterical, evil genius. Liberals fear him because whenever they look down their noses, they see him. Or at least the top of his head. This is a man who would take time out from starring in two daily television shows just to help someone who has fallen down on the sidewalk. Mainly because it would be so funny to watch him fall. Viva Gutfeld!” —Ann Coulter
“According to the Internet, Mother Teresa once defined Joy as ‘a net of love by which you can catch souls.’ In The Joy of Hate, Greg Gutfeld continues her mission—in a completely different way. Hilarious, outrageous, and brilliant, this is the best book on how to think about your fellow man since Atlas Shrugged, and the best book on how to deal with your enemies since The Anarchist’s Cookbook.” —Jonah Goldberg
“It’s hard to get through a page of The Joy of Hate without collapsing in tears of laughter. With every paragraph, I’d stop and say ‘You won’t believe what he just said.’ The truth hurts.” —Dana Perino, former White House press secretary, Gutfeld’s cohost on The Five
“Greg Gutfeld is this generation’s Mark Twain. Or is that this generation’s Shania Twain? What I’m trying to say is he looks great in a skirt. Also, this book is funny as hell.” —Dan Bova, editor in chief, Maxim magazine
“Anger is like sex. It feels good but it’s exhausting—and we often think it’s better if we include more people. But as Greg Gutfeld aptly illustrates, words of outrage should be saved for things that truly are outrageous, or you will ultimately lose all your friends and drive yourself crazy. I, for one, cannot recommend this book strongly enough, and it has nothing to do with my relationship with the author.” —Greg Gutfeld

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Forum (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307986969
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307986962
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (895 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I give this SIX stars. I'm a conservative professor at a university that leans heavily to the left and I constantly see the kind of "tolerance" and phony outrage that Gutfeld talks about in this book! Constantly! I found myself nodding along and laughing with almost every paragraph. Gutfeld is not only funny--he's freaking smart. I'm a big fan of The Five and I just had to get this book and read it all the way through on my Kindle the day it came out. Anyway, if you're still stinging from the election results, pick up this book and feel good about yourself :-)

This quote from Greg, pretty much sums up the book: "A funny thing about tolerant people? They're really only tolerant when you agree with them. Suddenly, when they find out you disagree with just one of their assumptions, they become intolerant of you. Which kind of misses the whole point of tolerance, but I'll tackle that later."
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I love Greg. He's funny, twisted, irreverent; blended together with a very generous helping of insight and intelligence. I'm a TiVO-stalker of his,in that I follow him around on tv, record, and then I WATCH him on TiVO. He doesn't even suspect!
I think he is about the only person who could write on this topic in a way that's concise without getting preachy; genuine without being smarmy; bold enoughto take on touchy concepts; and damned hilarious to help the medicine go down. READ THIS BOOK. Thank you.
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From his dedication to Andrew Breitbart to the final sentence (if by "final sentence" you mean two-word fragment), Greg covers taboo terrain with practiced ease, common sense, and uncommon wit. He forages on the forbidden and feasts on foibles with firmness to the right and malice toward none. Wise and wonderful, funny and insightful, and oh so timely.
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Gutfeld does a very good job of poking fun at a serious issue regarding Liberals (the Intolerati as he refers to the Liberal Elite) and their singular view of conservatives or even those whose view differ from theirs. He does this in an unorthodox manner which I enjoyed. Worth the read.
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First of all, thanks, Gutfeld, for writing the book I've wanted to write for ten years, then making me break my rule of not EVER spending a penny for a book on Amazon Kindle! I am currently reading this book, but my attention span, being what it is, made me come in and write this review because THANK GOD for an honest book about American society for a change.

I recently stopped my Facebook, OK, to be honest, I was thrown out for not being the happy happy, hearts and flowers writer, but also because I have been disowned by my family for writing "bad" things about them (that they were true wasn't the point). This recent election taught me that cavorting with the happy people on Facebook was a waste of my time since obviously my astute economic analyses and pointing out issues like it would be nice to have a president who showed up for work once in a while, and maybe it's not a good thing that he colluded with Medvedev when he thought the mike was off, and Benghazi and on and on, and was completely ignored. But then again, I am one of those gun toting, rascist morons who listens to Fox News, so what do I know? And that the fact that he spent an hour on the rubble that was once the Jersey Shore changed enough minds to get Axelrod errr Obama elected for four more years of that "change" we still don't really understand, but who cares? He spent an hour walking with a fawning Chris Christie (who I was TOLD was a Republican - geez am I dumb or what for believing that?) on the Jersey Shore, thus giving the mainstream media the exact ammunition to spread all over their "news" those last few days before the election. And all those educated people could change their mind at the last minute because, well, he has that big Hollywood smile and he's so presidential on that rubble!
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This book is full of something we don't see a lot of from political analysts anymore: common sense. It's fascinating that we need someone to point out the obvious to us these days, but we do, and Gutfeld does it brilliantly. He is smart and funny and if you are a true believer of free speech, you will love this book. He very astutely points out the difference between those who claim they believe in it and those who actually do. Many claim to believe in freedom, free speech and tolerance. However, that quickly ends when someone disagrees with them, at which point they will smother that person by every insult known to man, especially those that can smear a person's reputation (the truth of the insult being completely unimportant). The hypocrisy of this behavior and phoniness of these people is laid bare.

If you are a staunch liberal I doubt you will be able to enjoy the humor in this book because a lot of the humor will be at your expense, so for you, I might pass unless you are truly a free speech purist. Conservatives, Centrists/Moderates, Libertarians and those who are just sick of political correctness and fake tolerance will probably laugh their way through the book. It's a nice release for many who just want people to speak the truth of what they really feel and think, not what they believe they are supposed to feel and think.
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