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Real Anita Hill Paperback – March 7, 1994
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This is a rare case where a book has been totally and completely recanted by its author...self describing it as "character assassination". Any potential reader should be fully aware of this. Mr. Brock has clearly and publicly apologized to Ms. Hill. This new book lays bare his confession. This is quite extraordinary.
The reason for reading his second attempt at all, is to study, as a specimen of the genre, the extraordinary confluence of politics, self interest, and pure ambition, in our mangled public discourse. Our politics have gone awry when such writing can so glibly become part of the public discussion. This is how bogus "facts" are created out of thin air. While Mr. Brock merits only condemnation for his cynical abuse of free speech in his first book, he also deserves respect for recanting it in his second. I do respect him for this reason.
There had been a legitimate debate about Hill's accusations...but now, similar Thomas behaviors have been corroborated by five women. It's increasingly fair to say that something did happen...whether it should have risen to the level of personal scandal...in the context of a public confirmation hearing, the way it did...is an open question. But the original book was never about this. It was about one very scurrilous and admittedly unethical, ad hominem, after-the-fact, reaction to it.
".... Tainted by bias, and already committed to a flawed interpretation of events in print, I got no closer to the truth in the book.... I failed to weigh my findings against the fact that all of my sources were pro-Thomas partisans..... I had no access to Hill's supporters, and therefore no understanding of their motivations, no responses to any of my charges, and no knowledge of whatever incriminating evidence they might have gathered against Thomas that was not introduced in the hearing..... As for the traits ascribed to Hill that might have motivated her to lie -- ambitious, willful, and even vengeful -- they were all culled by me from the Thomas camp. Everyone I spoke to HATED that woman."
It is truly sad, and frightening, that not only was the book published, and believed, but that, as far as I'm aware, none of the conservatives who continued to rip Anita Hill to shreds based on the falsehoods contained in this book have come forth to apologize to her. Partisanship seems almost always to trump truth and plain human decency.
In March 1992 Brock penned a critical story on Anita Hill for The American Spectator, which was the springboard for the book that was published 13 months later. Hill had testified under oath during the latter stages of the 1991 Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court-nominee Clarence Thomas that Thomas - as her supervisor at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - made harassing sexual statements directly to her. Hill's allegations initially became public when information from an FBI interview about the allegations was leaked to the media.
The book became a best-seller and propelled Brock's career, but the stardom did not last. Several years later Brock disassociated himself from his right wing benefactors and disavowed his writing of the book, while publicly issuing an apology to Hill.
That the book is still in print is not a surprise; it was a cause celebre that virtually ushered in the era of shoddy, hateful reporting of "liberal" politicians. But that it is published as if the author stands by his work is a highly despicable act.
Now, Mr. Brock, a former darling of the extreme right, has recanted and admitted that the entire book was little more than a smear job, in which even the most absurd and unsubstantiated "evidence" was included so long as it fit the right-wing's own image of Ms. Hill. In fact, according to Mr. Brock, at least one of the claims reported in his book as absolute fact came from Thomas himself, via an intermediary, with positively no corroborating evidence whatsoever. He also admits to deliberately burying evidence (provided in a Wall Street Journal article and another book, "Strange Justice," that Brock savaged as a "left-wing hit job") buttressing Ms. Hill's claims that Thomas was addicted to pornographic films.
Of course, Brock still should not be absolved. His crimes against truth and honest journalism are so extensive (remember, this is the man largely responsible for breaking the Troopergate "scandal") that it will be years before his reputation can be considered rehabilitated. Still, Brock's recantation of this book provides further corroboration of what most objective observers have long since realized -- that Anita Hill was telling the truth and Clarence Thomas was lying.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Had to give 5 star review so it would be read next to the clueless conservative reviews that hold this up as an indictment of the American left, despite the author himself... Read morePublished on April 2, 2011 by Allan Brown
Brock famously described Anita Hill as "A little nutty and a little slutty".
Regardless of your opinion on Hill's testimony, how can you take seriously a book that uses... Read more
It's a real shame that I've apparently wasted my time reading almost 100 pages of The Real Anita Hill. At least I didn't buy it. I found it in a local library. Read morePublished on August 22, 2010 by Dana Stone
Not many people know this, but David Brock (now owned by George Soros) used to be a pretty good investigative journalist. That was before he got tired of being dissed in Rehoboth. Read morePublished on August 18, 2008 by M. SANCHEZ
Reader beware: In David Brock's later book, Blinded by the Right, he admits to smearing Anita Hill in this book. Read morePublished on August 23, 2007 by sclairet
I do not understand why this book is still in print, or at the very least is not published with a huge disclaimer on the front cover. Read morePublished on August 28, 2006 by Reader from Mayland
This book is clearly partisan without any objectivity whatsoever. All attempts at actual journalistic integrity totally failed.Published on September 13, 2005 by Pearse O'Sullivan