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Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline Paperback – December 16, 2003

4.2 out of 5 stars 210 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Robert Bork will go down as one of history's footnotes. Nominated to the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan in 1987, he was voted down by the Senate following a no-holds barred confirmation fight. Almost a decade later, he returns to reopen old wounds with Slouching towards Gomorrah, an extended attack against everything liberal. From pop culture and our universities to the church (Protestant and Roman Catholic) and the Supreme Court--the very institution he once fought so hard to join--Bork finds fault wherever he looks. This is a bitter book from a passionate man who has very little good to say about the world he lives in. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Controversial former federal court judge Bork (The Tempting of America) has produced a wide-ranging but turgid jeremiad, citing mostly familiar, conservative explanations for American decline. Thus he attacks multiculturalism, racial and sexual politics, the Supreme Court and the criminal justice and welfare systems, among others, often relying on the work of critics such as Charles Murray, Thomas Sowell, Richard Bernstein and Christopher Lasch. Bork's tone can be overwrought: "[M]odern liberalism... is what fascism looks like when it has captured significant institutions, most notably the universities." He also offers a knee-jerk condemnation of rock and rap. Despite such verbiage, Bork does strike a chord with his criticisms that individualism and egalitarianism have loosened social ties and weakened America, and with his warnings that recent decisions on assisted suicide may have broad, Roe v. Wade-like implications. Several arguments should spur debate. Bork disagrees with those who call for greater economic equality?"it is not that America is odd compared to Sweden, but that Sweden is odd compared to us." He believes that constitutional legitimacy can only be reclaimed if we pass a constitutional amendment allowing Congress to override federal and state court decisions. He also supports censorship of "the most violent and sexually explicit material," though he doesn't suggest how it might be implemented. Bork finds some hope in the rise of religious conservatism, and proposes a multiple-front strategy to reclaim American institutions. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Rep Sub edition (December 16, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060573112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060573119
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"I use to call him 'Dork'," said a Liberal friend of mine recently. I patiently replied, "Ha, ha. I used to call him 'Railroaded'." He knew exactly what I was talking about--the 1987 confirmation hearing of Robert Bork before the Senate Judiary Committee. This confirmation hearing was very instructive to many of us--if you actually think that the Constitution of the United States has anything to do with Constitutional Law, don't bother looking for a job on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Here in Slouching Towards Gomorrah Bork, in taking some well-earned and enlightening revenge, continues the incisive and dead-on analysis of his subject which he exhibited in The Tempting of America, his book about Constitutional Law, judicial activism, and the Court's hijacking of our country.

Bork's thesis here is this: Modern America has been infected and weakened by two main currents embraced and perpetuated by Liberalism, (1) radical egalitarianism and (2) radical individualism. Interestingly, he doesn't just place the locus embryonicus for these intellectual and cultural viruses in the 1960s, although he certainly traces their major gestation period to that decade. Rather, Bork points out the historical and fairly old occurences of these maladies. He gets to the very seeds of these currents which germinate and blossom on the scene in the early 1960s.

Well, the radical egalitarianism that Bork identifies perfectly is not an egalitarianism which stems from Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence, and Lincoln, but the egalitarianism that says that everybody, darn it, is going to be equal, or else. People should not be allowed to make too much money, or own too many things, or be too successful in this world.
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Judge Bork does a superb job of describing the various elements of destruction that have arisen from the application of modern liberalism to American society. He also offers best and worst case scenarios for the future of the Republic if the current trends continue.
Bork makes it clear that he speaks not of the traditional liberalism exercised by the Founding Fathers but rather an ideological departure from that tradition that has hijacked and bastardized the name.
The modern form of liberalism consists of radical egalitarianism, which inherently requires a coercive State. It also consists of a radical individualism that corrodes institutions of restraint (i.e. family, religion, etc.) eventually leading to a free-for-all that will require the strong hand of government to contain. The centrality and powerfulness of the State in modern liberalism is its most radical departure from traditional liberalism.
Bork does not deride the successes and accomplishment of liberalism when it still possessed the goals and intentions compatible with its tradition - e.g. civil rights for minorities, suffrage for women, etc. However, it quickly evolved into an entirely different beast in the mid-to-late 1960s and has never looked back. The fact that there are currently forty professed Socialists in the U.S. House of Representatives (all Democrat) is testimony to the extreme left-turn taken by those calling themselves liberal today.
Bork does deride the goals, intentions, and actions of this new breed of liberal. It is virulently anti-American and anti-Western Civilization. As it has with the term "liberalism," the modern liberal has hijacked worthy causes (e.g. civil rights) and has politicized them in order to advance their radical agenda.
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I had always admired Robert Bork's brilliant mind and superb understanding of constitutional law. However, I had never read any of his books until his untimely death in December 2012. I bought "Slouching Towards Gomorrah" after his death in memorial to this brilliant American.

This is truly the magnum opus of a towering figure in constitutional law and societal commentator and I was shocked how prescient his work is. Having read it a couple decades after he wrote it gives one the ability to compare his dire predictions with the ugly reality of the outcome. He was generally spot-on.

In this book, Judge Bork chronicles the rise of the radical "liberal" as we call them (though cultural marxist would be a more accurate term) in the 1960's. The radical, hard-left successfully executed Gramsci's "long march through the institutions", beginning with the universities and have, over time, come to dominate not only academia but also infotainment, law, government, the hierarchies of mainline Christian churches.

His conclusions are not comforting, rather, quite dire and pessimistic. The reader will have to admit after reading this book that his pessimism was justified by events. It's frightening how close his predictions come to actual events in the continued march of the Communist...er, liberal...er, progressive ideology.

His reasoning is brilliant. His logic is flawless. One may not agree with everything he has to say, but one must admit his thought processes and ability to argue his points are brilliant. I do not agree with everything he writes (i don't think he went far enough on a number of topics) but I have to admit he was right on most points and wrong very rarely.

This is a fine and important work that should be read even though it offers little comfort. This is more than deserving of five stars.
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