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The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech Hardcover – May 11, 2015
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Charles Krauthammer, Pulitzer Prizewinning syndicated columnist and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Things That Matter
"Kirsten Powers convincingly calls out her fellow liberals for being astonishingly illiberal. A great read."
Brit Hume, Fox News senior political analyst
"Kirsten Powers explodes and skewers 'The Silencing'the demonizing and repression of different views, especially conservative views. Here is a liberal calling out other supposedly liberal people who claim to believe in free speech but tell all who disagree with them to shut up. Hallelujahyou are lucky to have this book in your hands!"
Juan Williams, Fox News political analyst and New York Times bestselling author of Muzzled
"I salute my friend Kirsten Powers for boldly and eloquently breaking the spiral of silence on silencing."
Eric Metaxas, New York Times bestselling author of Miracles and Bonhoeffer
"Tolerance and free expression are founding values of our republic and yet they're under attack from the extreme wings of the American political spectrum. Shining a harsh light on the 'illiberal left,' Kirsten Powers exposes a grim campaign to silence speech. This is an important book."
Ron Fournier, senior political columnist and editorial director of National Journal
"In this examination of the multiplying attacks on freedom of speech, Kirsten Powers casts a cool eye on the damages done to politics, academia, and civic discourse by the aggressive assertion of a perverse new entitlement. It is the postulated right to pass through life without being disturbed, annoyed, offended, or discomposed by the expression of anyone else's thoughts."
George F. Will, Pulitzer Prizewinning syndicated columnist and author of the New York Times bestseller A Nice Little Place on the North Side
From the Inside Flap
Powers chronicles this forced march toward conformity in an exposé of the illiberal tactics deployed to shut down debate on some of the most important issues of the day. While preaching tolerance and claiming to hold liberal values, the "illiberal left" works to delegitimize political and ideological opponents in ways that stifle freedom of expression, thought, and religious belief.
In The Silencing, Kirsten Powers, herself a proud liberal--but from a far more tolerant Jeffersonian tradition--exposes the illiberal left. You'll learn:
- Why the illiberal left has become an Orwellian "big brother," policing what it deems acceptable speech and opinions
- How the illiberal left is obsessed with delegitimizing Fox News
- How illiberal left pundits--even self-proclaimed "feminists" (and Powers names names)--engage in outrageously misogynistic and sexist dismissals of their female opponents
- How illiberal colleges and universities limit freedom of expression to tightly regulated "free speech zones" and ban speakers (even liberals) with whom the illiberal left disagrees
- How "truth" matters little to the illiberal left, for whom ideology is everything
- How is it that liberalism, once associated with open-mindedness and reason, has become a vehicle for irrational prejudice, ideological conformity, and the marginalization and punishment of alternative opinions? Kirsten Powers chronicles this troubling trend in perhaps the most important--and chilling--political book of the year.
Top Customer Reviews
The subtitle of the book, How the Left Is Killing Free Speech, and her choice of a publisher, Regnery, suggest that this is a radically right-wing book. It is not at all that. It is simply a plea for common sense. Here, already before she has started, her point is made. Liberal orthodoxy has so defined the spectrum of thought in modern America that simply to question it, which is all she really wants to do, is to brand oneself as a right-winger.
Miss Powers is a USA Today contributor and a Fox News contributor. These are both centrist mass outlets, conservative mainly in the sense that they are often smeared as conservative. At 36 she is relatively young. She does not make many historical references. Let me start out with a few.
Saul Alinsky wrote the book on smearing conservatives. He called it “Rules for Radicals.” (NB: I included his rules as the 8th comment below.) The techniques that Miss Powers describes have been used by propagandists for all of my lifetime. I live in Ukraine, and note with chagrin that Russia is extremely effectively applying most of the techniques that she describes in order to vilify Ukraine and turn the Russian people (and American and European libertarians!) into unthinking supporters of Vladimir Putin.
The illiberal liberal camp, her word, champions pet issues which will be familiar to any reader of this review.Read more ›
Anyway, this book exposes a disturbing trend happening in the US and specifically in college campuses in general--the assault on free speech by a growing segment of liberals that Kirsten calls ILLIBERALS (I like this term because it sounds like illogical and liberal juxtaposed).
For ILLIBERALS, free speech is fine, as long as it's the kind of speech they agree with. Anything else must be silenced FOR THE GREATER GOOD. Of course, they define what "the greater good is" and it rarely is good for society as a whole.
ILLIBERALS feel any speech they disagree with is violence against them. And they feel warranted in some cases to use physical violence. Kirsten gave the example of a UCSB professor who >physically attacked< a teenage pro-life activist. Her university hailed her as a hero. Which I find funny because a professor at my university tweeted a post about fat graduate students not having will power, and he was reprimanded, and told to take sensitivity training, removed from committees, and had to issue a public apology.
Kirsten describes two main techniques that ILLIBERALS use to silence free speech, and gives copious examples throughout.Read more ›
She grew up as a Liberal child in Conservative Alaska. Her parents were Liberal academics who taught at the local University. Her house mourned when Carter lost to Reagan while their neighbors cheered. During her adult life, she became a professional in various aspects of Democrat political life and eventually she came to Fox News. A few years after that, she became a Christian. Still a sincere Liberal, she also began to see the bubble she had been living in for what it was.
Powers uses this book to point out the problems with the political debate in our Country right now and while both parties have some guilt in the sins she enumerates; the Liberals in academia, the media, and in the highest offices in the land are the most egregious and systematic offenders.
She points out that only about a quarter of adults over 45 think there is too much free speech in America. But over 45% of those 18 to 45 do! That means as those adults mature and become the authority figures in society, free speech is going to be in trouble. We hear many on the Left, including Hillary Clinton(!) saying the first amendment must be changed because it is infringing on too many other rights – the ones she and other Progressives prefer and can’t win if there is open and free debate about them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Thank you for writing this book! I have been a life long democrat who no longer can accept the closed mindedness of those around me. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Kindle Customer
(Written by her son) - This text is a modest albeit poignant commentary on a political/rhetorical trend that poses an incredible threat to American democracy, higher education,... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Melonie G Elequin
The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech
Book Review ©
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“Lifelong liberal Kirsten Powers blasts the Left's forced march towards conformity in an exposé of the illiberal war on free speech. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Armando A. Gomez
An honest look at the strategy of the "illiberal left" to "win" the argument by preventing civil discourse and disagreement. Ms. Read morePublished 15 days ago by voice of reason
Similar to Ham's and Benson's "End of Discussion", Kirsten Power's "Silencing" documents the growing trend of factions of the political, intellectual, and media... Read morePublished 21 days ago by ChemProf