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Less than I'd Hoped For
on October 8, 2012
I first became aware of Kevin Williamson and his book "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism" through an interview he did on CSPAN's Book TV.
During his interview he seemed very smart and knowledgeable about the subject of socialism. One point that caught my attention was his discussion of Sweden. The people who like more government often point to Sweden as the country whose government that we should follow. Kevin Williamson points out that "if Sweden were a U.S. state, then it would be the poorest state in the country." There are several other reasons that Sweden is not a good example, and he went over them in the interview.
To some extent this book is teaching to the choir when I read it. I was hoping to find more facts, statistics, and sources with which I could debate those who favor more government. I was disappointed to find that this book is poorly laid out and its facts are not sourced in a way that would make it easy for you to look at the sources for yourself.
Another complaint that I have with this book is that he wrote the first chapter with the idea of defining "socialism," just like I would have done, but he never really comes up with a definition. Even in chapter 5, ostensibly about India, he spends the first half of the chapter still trying to define "socialism."
I don't disagree with anything that is written in the book, but I was very unimpressed with it. I doubt that anyone who is pro-socialist would change their minds after reading it; even though they should.
This is not to say that all of the Politically Incorrect Guides are bad, "The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal" is very good and full of the stuff that I was hoping to see in the PIG to Socialism.