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The New American Revolution: Using the Power of the Individual to Save Our Nation from Extremists Hardcover – November 1, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Mostly a stage upon which to beat her stridently individualist chest and congratulate herself for melding seemingly contradictory political ideologies, this book opens with Bruce, a pro-death penalty, gun-owning, pro-choice lesbian feminist and former NOW chapter president who lives in San Francisco and is a Fox News contributor, hailing the 2000 election as "a message from the nation" that we were ready for someone "who was, at his core, decent." Bruce lashes out against liberals, whom she says carry around so much hatred toward the country that it has begun to infect the globe, and explains her unique politics by reasoning "party loyalty takes a backseat to the safety of your family and this nation," and "there's nothing more radically individual these days than a liberal who doesn't conform." Given the current bevy of accusations swirling over the Bush administration and its handling of intelligence, Bruce's extended attack on the "deep depravity of the American Left" seems like a victim of bad timing. Readers willing to wade through Bruce's frustratingly frequent invocations of "hate," "savage" and "evil" will hear the call to readers to think for themselves instead of relying on the party line, be it on the left or right. Unfortunately, her thesis is buried beneath mountains of dismissible rhetoric.
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About the Author
Tammy Bruce is the bestselling author of The New Thought Police and The Death of Right and Wrong. She is the host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show, serves as a Fox News political contributor, and writes regular columns for Newsmax.com and Frontpagemagazine.com, and for her website and blog, www.tammybruce.com. She lives in Los Angeles.
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Top Customer Reviews
This would probably be a good "first Tammy Bruce" book for a lot of people.
At least I'm reviewing her book and not her politics.
In this book Bruce is optimistic that the cultural left has been defeated. She thinks that after 9/11 Americans regained a sense of identity that rejected the politics of division that the left promotes. She sees in the 2004 presidental campaign a further rejection the narcissist left views of those like George Soros. And she provides a game plan for how the "new individuals" can continue to fight the collectivist propaganda put forth by Viacom' media outlets like CBS. These are very thoughtful suggestions. Bruce shows that individuals can make a difference when confronting large institutions, be they corporations or local governments.
Despite this, I cannot share Bruce's optimism. Although I agree with Bruce's claim that leftist politics and culture tends to isolate individuals (indeed, I have a close friend who constantly barrages me with fairly crude, and sometimes outright hateful propaganda simply because I do not tow the line on each and every single issue the Democratic Party is positioning itself with at the moment) I do not see Republican victories, such as they are, as victories for the radical individualism. Many of my right wing friends are just as involved in group think and delusional conspiracy theories as the members of NOW and the Feminist Majority are. And the recent 2005 elections show that radical individuals, given the choice of "tax and spend" liberals or "tax and borrow" conservatives, are increasingly just sitting out elections. Rightly so. I, like Bruce, was personally appalled by the willingness of Democrats to give Clinton a pass on his many failings. I was also appalled by the number of conservatives who would support Bush no matter what he did prior to the nomination of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court. (Even after that nomination, many Republican "family rights" advocates supported this obvious cronyism with the same mindless loyalty Democrats had earlier exhibited.) There is no reason to support bad policies or politicians from either party.
Despite finding Bruce's optimism unwarrented, I think this book is exceedingly important. In the last chapter, Bruce defends her "choice" to be a lesbian (that very description will bother many of her gay friends) and her pro-choice beliefs to an audience that will largely disagree with her. She does so with the understanding that "thoughtful people [can] disagree and not be 'enemies.'" (p.217) This chapter, therefore, exemplifies how political discourse should be. Honest, fair, and respectful. Everyone on the political left and right should use it as a model.
In THE NEW AMERICAN REVOLUTION, Bruce presents the readers with a practical perspective on some issues and gives some practical advice as to what people opposed to the Left can do to fight back against the sneaking advancement of leftist policies into our lives. Unfortunately, she does so in a rather haphazard and disjointed manner. But let us come to that later and start with the positives instead.
Bruce is pretty solid in articulating the various issues in her book. She provides a solid defense not only of gun ownership but of the underlying idea that an armed citizenry is essential to a free society. Bruce provides balance to a media that almost consistently plays up gun use against innocent civilians while ignoring those instances in which law abiding gun owners save themselves or others through the use of firearms. She also is persuasive in her case that those on the left want to take away our right to own guns in order to make us weak and passive and therefore easily led to the utopian society envisioned by the Left itself.
Bruce's take on the United Nations is particularly entertaining. She rightly slams the U.N. for doing nothing while genocides have taken place and also for propping up any two-bit dictator who strokes the ego of the U.N. bureaucracy. An exceptional point is made when Bruce informs us that sexual abuse by U.N. officials of citizens of devastated and ravaged countries is not isolated. Rather, even the U.N. admitted that such abuse has taken place in every single one of its sixteen missions throughout the world. Clearly the problem is institutional rather than simply that of a few bad apples and seriously calls into question the ability of the U.N. to do anything even closely approximating its supposed mission.
As I recently read Peter Singer's execrable ONE WORLD, in which Singer displayes a boundless enthusiasm for the United Nations while paying only the most perfunctory lip service to its scandals, I was particularly receptive to this part of Bruce's book. That Singer is considered one of the world's top philosophers while Bruce is not is a good demonstration that the common person often displays a clear wisdom as compared to intellectuals who see the same issues through an ideological lens.
The biggest weak point of THE NEW AMERICAN REVOLUTION is that it is poorly put together primarily due to a weak underlying theme. Bruce wants to provide readers with practical advice on how to combat encroachment to our liberties (and she does helpfully provide information on organizations to support and concrete actions one may take) but she obviously wants more. She overplays her hand by placing these ideas and policy prescriptions into the framework of her new revolution that provides her with the book's title. Unfortunately, this produces some problems.
Bruce uses the re-election of George W. Bush as the basis of her assertion that some new revolution against Leftism is in the works. But that can be seen another way. The Democrats put up the most leftward tilting member of the Senate who consistently downplayed America's role in the world. Yet he still managed to get almost half the vote. Please forgive me if I am not comforted that some new revolution is taking place. Further, Bruce spends an inordinate amount of time trying to describe this alleged new revolution and the people who are part of it. The result is that the first half of the book is an extended ego stroke towards the readers telling us how wonderful we are for being a part of it. At some point one just wants to tell her, look, thanks for the compliment Tammy, but can we get down to business.
Although there are a number of little issues which I could address that are problematic, let me pick just one. Bruce devotes a section on her positions on abortion and homosexuality assuming these are the rough spots between her and many of her readers. But one issue that she does not address is the annoying tendency of feminists to simply show shockingly little regard for men and it is an issue to which Bruce herself contributes.
In her discussion of conditions in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, we are treated to typical concerns about women and children without a word to that group consistently missing from the feminist zone of concern - men. Perhaps this would be understandable if Bruce were an old Texas cowboy demonstrating traditional chivalry. But let us be honest - she is not. And perhaps we can agree that women are indeed treated much worse in the Islamic world than men. Maybe. But in a society such as Hussein's in which men were lowered into paper shredders feet first and treated to acid dips, this only takes us so far. It also fails to take into account that which Bruce herself reminds us to always consider - context, context, context.
The context here is that Bruce has aligned herself with an ideological movement - feminism - with a long history of flat-out contempt for men. Indeed, I occasionally point out to feminists that men are more likely to be the victims of violent crime than are women and I consistently receive the same response. The feminists twist their faces in utter disgust and spit out "Well, by other men" with complete contempt in their voices. When I point out that anyone not willing to make moral distinctions between violent criminals and their victims is not in a position to lecture the rest of us about anything, they become even more hostile. Sure, I have heard plently of so called moderate feminists claim to disagree with the sentiments here described, but only after I start shoving back. Left to their own devices, moderate feminists have shown an unbelievable talent to do absolutely nothing to address this issue only to babble endlessly after I take it up instead.
Given this context, one comes to the unfortunate conclusion that Bruce excludes men from her statements of concern for the simple reason that she is just not that concerned about them. If that seems harsh, keep in mind it is a harshness based on years and years and years of dealing with feminists.
The result of all this is a rather haphazard book. Read it for the descriptions of those issues that Bruce has decided to include herein and for those practical steps that she suggests we take. But be aware of the numerous problems with THE NEW AMERICAN REVOLUTION and be aware also that the first half could well be skimmed over or perhaps even skipped.