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Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One Hardcover – May 25, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 144 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Rush Limbaugh is a complicated man. There is some Sunday School boy in him, over from the Centenary Methodist Church in Cape Girardeau, Missouri and a touch of Hugh Hefner's Playboy Club; some of Bo Diddley's swaggering guitar, mixed with William F. Buckley's drawing-room harpsichord. Rush is an introvert with forty guests for dinner on Thanksgiving; a cynical romantic who doesn't understand women but keeps on trying; a polite, soft-spoken listener who, on the air, aims rude, sometimes vulgar personal insults at his ideological enemies; a sophisticated political satirist whose own taste in humor runs to corny mother- in-law jokes. He is a conservative revolutionary, the inventor of the talk-back radio industry, a school-hating college drop-out who turned into a "weapon of mass instruction." There probably isn't another man on planet earth whose role models and heroes include Ronald Reagan, Muhammad Ali, James Madison, Larry "Superjock" Lujack, Justice Antonin Scalia, and Professor Irwin Corey.

"People who dismiss Rush Limbaugh as an entertainer, a pitchman or a hot-air balloon are very wrong. He is a brilliant and tenacious advocate, a major political and cultural force who can't be wished away or shouted down or sniffed into irrelevance. Smart liberals will listen to his show, even if they hate what he has to say. The easily outraged, will be. Those with a sense of humor will find themselves laughing despite themselves. But nobody will fully understand American politics and media culture until they get who Rush Limbaugh really is, what he does, and how he does it."

—from Limbaugh --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Zev Chafets is the author of ten books of fiction, media criticism, and social and political commentary.

He was a regular columnist for the New York Daily News from 2000 until 2004. Today his columns appear frequently in major newspapers around the world, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Post. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Sunday Magazine.

Born and raised in Pontiac, Michigan, he moved to Israel after graduating from college, and spent a decade in the army, government service and politics. In 1977, he was appointed Director of the Government Press Office, a post he held for five years during the administration of Prime Minister Menachem Begin. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Sentinel HC (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595230637
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595230638
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #729,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Ryan on May 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I received the book from Amazon as I arrived home yesterday evening. I was obviously pleasantly surprised as displayed by the picture I sent to both of you. The irony was not lost on me either, as a book about Rush Limbaugh, defender and champion of the private sector was actually delivered ahead of "shed"-ule, (not to be confused with "sked"-ule) and un-damaged by that wonderful government program - The U.S. Postal Service. Who knew?!?

The book is about 210 pages long and is an easy and enjoyable read. I read it start to finish on the back patio in about 4 hours, where I smoked two Churchill's (La Gloria Cubana Serie R No. 7), consumed three "adult beverages" (Laphroaig single malt scotch), and wore my Club Gitmo t-shirt ("Your tropical retreat from the stress of Jihad").

For ditto-heads who are everyday listeners, much of the material covered about the show is already known, e.g. - Operation Chaos, The NFL ownership saga, "I Hope He Fails", Michael J. Fox, etc... While ditto-heads know about these events because we attentively listen three hours a day, it is nice to be reminded of them, as they always bring back fond memories. Especially some of the older things we forget about back during the Clinton years that aren't as fresh on our minds. What was interesting to me was discovering how Rush personally feels about some of these things as they pertain to his show (not his politics); such as "Barack the Magic Negro" (by "white comedian" Paul Shanklin) is his favorite parody they've ever done on the show.
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Format: Hardcover
Combining historical data along with personal interviews and emails from Rush himself... author Zev Chafets has fashioned a detailed narrative of Rush Limbaugh's life from childhood to his current day *MEGA-STAR* status. While unabashedly admitting in the opening that the first time he heard Rush on the radio was akin to the first time he saw Elvis on TV... I found it refreshing that the author did not try to cover-up Limbaugh's gaffes whether public or private. Along with following Rush's life steps from Missouri... to Pennsylvania... to California... to New York... to Florida... and everywhere in between... this remarkably free-flowing easy to read tale of the man that Ronald Reagan himself dubbed "THE-MOST-DANGEROUS-MAN-IN-AMERICA"... includes his prescription drug addiction... rehab... legal battles... and public embarrassment and mea culpa.

Rising from not being an overly popular teenager who worked as a disc jockey and whose life goals were more of the same... to becoming perhaps the most influential non-politician in the country... Chafets digs deep to show the influence and history of the men in Rush's family. Rush's Grandfather, Rush Sr. was a lawyer and when he retired at the age of *ONE-HUNDRED-TWO-YEARS-OLD* he was the oldest attorney working in the United States. A fact that Rush's enemies might want to take into consideration if they're hoping Rush won't be around very long. Rush's Father, Rush Junior, also a lawyer... was an absolute hero to Rush III... "AND STILL CALLS HIM THE SMARTEST MAN I EVER MET." "BIG RUSH" was a World War II combat pilot and his anti-communist opinions and the way he thought the United States should be run formed the nucleus of what Rush is today.
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Format: Hardcover
I have to agree with M. Alexander's review that the book is too lightweight to get a five-star rating. At just over 200 pages, it will be a one-sitting read for a lot of people, two sittings for me.

Having been in the news business myself for 25 years, I can quickly smell who's trying to render an honest report and who's pushing some kind of agenda.

Chafets is a real reporter. And there are not a lot of them left.

Part of this job is recognizing your own biases -- and everybody is biased one way or another. Armed with this knowledge, you try to sift your facts carefully and try to be as fair as you can to everybody, even those you don't agree with.

A lot of the time, that just means quoting people in context. Just because I don't agree with somebody doesn't mean I need to do a hatchet job on them. And I can think of a couple occasions where I had such doubts about a person's integrity that I just held my fire -- at least until the criminal justice system finally confirmed my suspicions and I could finally go ahead and write in confidence.

Chafets' writing fits my standards for ethical journalism. He's no conservative but you can tell on every page that he's trying to make sense of his subject and do as fair and balanced a report as he can.

I finished "An Army of One" just a couple days after Chafets' 1990 "Devil's Night: And Other Tales of Detroit." Although somewhat dated, it's still worth tracking down. You can sense a little liberal bias here and there but overall, Chafets went to Detroit with his eyes, ears, and mind open.

We probably won't see the definitive Limbaugh biography in our lifetimes. Indeed, just the show transcripts could have been mined for maybe 100 pages of additional material. Still, Chafets manages to cover a lot of territory in just over 200 pages, and in a thoroughly fair and engaging manner.
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