Customer Reviews: Tales from the Left Coast: True Stories of Hollywood Stars and Their Outrageous Politics
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VINE VOICEon May 3, 2004
Hollywood stars like Rob Reiner, Susan Sarandon, Alec Bladwin, Julia Roberts, Jane Fonda, Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, and others can be counted on for many things. We know that, sooner or later, we will see them in a movie production or making a television appearance. We also know that, sooner or later, we will hear them voicing their concerns about any number of political issues. And we know that, more often than not, the political side they take will have a distinctly left- leaning direction.
This book takes a close look at the entertainers that make the Hollywood world go round and it discusses the background and the different events over the past 50 plus years that have led to the present "liberal" Hollywood mindset. Communist infiltration into the American way of life back during the McCarthy era, the Vietnam War, and other events were decisive in shaping Hollywood politics. These liberal views have precipitated over the years to more and more generations of Hollywood entertainers. They are shared by a large majority of Hollywood folk, in proportions that do not reflect the population as a whole.
The Hollywood elite can often be counted on to voice some wild opinions, and author James Hirsen presents some of them in this book. Quotes like Chevy Chase's comment that "Cuba has proven that socialism can work" and Sean Penn's nutty statement that he would like to "trade news personality Bill O'Reilly for Osama Bin Laden" are just a sample of some of the crazy things that have come out of the mouths of our beloved movie making friends in La La land.
I like the way Hirsen keeps this book on an entertaining and humorous level. He doesn't hit below the belt, like some other political writers are prone to doing. Rather, he keeps things lightened up and funny as he shows how biased the members of Hollywood often are in their collectivist political mindset. They almost always favor a government- intervention position (except for issues like abortion and a few others) and they often cozy up with authoritarian- type individuals, like Fidel Castro and others.
The dry humor contained in this book and the one- sidedness makes it the type that many readers will scorn. However, I think it's an entertaining read for people of all political stripes and colors. Hollywood stars are entitled to their own opinions, but what some of them say and do will surprise many readers. Hirsen includes lots of amusing quotes and stories about the bigwigs in Hollywood and others in the entertainment industry, enough to have readers simultaneously rolling their eyes and shaking their heads as they read some of the outrageousness that comes out of Tinseltown.
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Some years ago I remember a distinguished actor of the old school- I don't remember who, specifically- said that actors come in two varieties: Those who see it as a craft, and those who see it as a calling. The first group approach it lke any other craft, something to be honed through work and study. The second group see it as a gift bestowed on them by chance and practiced through intuition, and this view tends to extend to other aspects of the world as well. Not having ever had to work or think to attain their lofty position, they tend to approach everything intuitively.
And so the people of Hollywood judge the word the way they judge each other- by appearance and other superficial measures. How else to explain Sean Penn presenting hiumself as an international diplomat- and the news media actually taking him seriously? JFK is still considered a saint in Hollywood, more for his boyish good looks than for anything else. Bill Clinton was a hero for his purported support of gays, even as he abandoned them when it came time to take a stand. Noam Chomsky is worshipped by people in show business who've never read a single book on economics or politics because he makes the right kind of overarching judgements.
Hirsen is a bit strident at times, but overall this is still a fun read- until you realize how much influence Hollywood has on the decisions people make. Then it's just a little tragic, too.
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on July 8, 2003
Being an avid book collector and reader, I couldn't rate Dr. Hirsen's book a 5 for obvious reasons... but it's still one of the funniest, wittiest, most ironic books to come out in ages! It's a book that is long overdue... and, post-9/11, much needed. Everyone who is interested in what their ... movie ticket is funding should read this book because it might give them pause at the movie theatres... when we all stop to realize that some of the celebrities we've been supporting all these years truly hate America in ways most of us "Star Spangled Banner"-singing Americans could never fathom! But let's keep this light... The anecdotes in this book are shocking, but they're also hilarious. James Hirsen has written the Bible (so far) of all that is crazed about the Hollywood Leftists... and I'm not righty!!! You go, James!!!
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on September 26, 2003
I was so happy to see someone take on Hollwood liberals. Too many of them have come to believe that we want to hear their opinions; when in fact there is much disgust with their using their meager educations and huge megaphone of celebrity to try to influence us politically. Many of us have begun to boycott the movies and TV programs made by certain people because we no longer like them and one actor particularly who thought it was cute to threaten one of our leaders on national TV. I hope this book will awaken more American servicemen, Christians, conservatives, the middle class, citizens of the "fly-over states" as the sophisticates like to call us, and others they don't like to realize these people are practicing propaganda in many formats, not just entertainment.
Thanks Mr. Hirsten for writing the book many of us would like to have written.
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on July 5, 2003
James Hirsen, the "Left Coast Report" columnist for, has parleyed his media contacts and research about the Hollywood Left into the most engaging account ever of Tinseltown's wacky ultra-liberal causes! Written in a fluid, racy, "can't-put-it-down" style, "Tales From the Left Coast" is nonetheless meticulously sourced, and covers every contemporary celluloid obsession from anti-fur hysteria to environmental extremism to the "reverse blacklist" (against Christians, conservatives, and Republicans) in LA LA Land.
Highly recommended!!!
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on July 14, 2003
This book is great because it shows why the Libs in Hollywood are so hypocritical in their causes and shows why hollywood hates AMERICA. Also it shows why libs are so inclusive, intolerant, narrow-minded, judgemental, insensitive, and teach hate speech against flag and country loving americans like us.
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on July 13, 2003
This is an awesome book. It clearly shows the "spoiled brat I'm better than you" attitude that they usually have. I'm sure that all Liberals in Hollywood will do nothing but denouce that book and say how it's a Right Wing Conspiracy full of hate. But, it's all truth, and, it's about time that we learned how stupid these people are! When these stars are on David Letterman, Jay Leno and other late night shows, they should be confonted with these things in this book, and an answer should be demanded from these people! Clearly, from this book, you can see that these Leftists Commies are NOT foreign Policy Experts!
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on August 12, 2003
Not a lot new here but it was fun to read. This book says a lot of all we knew before but had not been documented with such good humor and straight from the shoulder punch.
Not recommended for the faint of heart. It shatters the image of many of our heros that we love to see on the screen. Just makes the point, they have great talent as performers but listen to them on serious subjects at your own risk. Much wiser to stick to their day job.
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VINE VOICEon July 16, 2003
Bully pulpit: Malibu and Silver screen
Malibu mansions and the silver screen.
What are the implications when political neophytes and buffoons like Streisand send Gephardt a fax on a policy issue?
A lot of actors are uneducated in the academic sense. Does attending and completing a university undergraduate program, and/or obtaining advanced degrees mean a person knows more about public policy, culture, international relations, or politics? Of course not. Not at all. I believe "life educations, experience education, social education, travel education" is by far more relevant for personal growth and perception. In fact the classroom often is detrimental to a 'political' education. Each individual can go out and live, travel, speak, listen, read, and experience and then progress toward their own political and social identity, no matter what it may be.
Many actors (not all) live in the high hills of Hollywood, or on the Malibu cliffs of the Pacific, living off of their creativity and hard work in the entertainment industry. And, deservedly so. Does that mean they are qualified to speak to millions of Americans via the media and tell us what is right, moral, and just? Who do these arrogant clowns think they are. If anything they should be humble.
Martin Sheen publicly proclaimed Malibu to be a "refuge for the homeless" to come and live. will come to Malibu and sleep on the EDGE of his property. Will Martin Sheen feed them daily, or have his servants feed them. Will he let them in his house to stay? Will Mr. Sheen purchase land and start building homeless shelters and low-income shelters in his backyard? Martin....where have you been? You haven't done anything but spew your self-righteous superiority while doing NOTHING but TALK.
Elitist multi-millionaire exclusive club members can claim to be "liberal, leftist" or anythin. With their financial conditions they can claim anything they want. They can say anything they want. And they don't have to do anything theydon't want to do. Activist leftists should literally whack their head off for such hypocrisy.
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on July 10, 2003
It's about time somebody put the Hollywood airheads to account for their often misguided, uninformed and unAmerican stance towards many issues. It's a pity that in this land of entertainment media those with the littlest brains have the cameras rolling to gasp at their every word. They are not the bright lights when it comes to intelligence and I find it refreshing that Hirsen takes them to task.
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