- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Sentinel; Reprint edition (April 30, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1595231021
- ISBN-13: 978-1595231024
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 230 customer reviews
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The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas Paperback – April 30, 2013
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“Jonah Goldberg is the voice of the post-Reagan conservative generation.”
—John Podhoretz, editor, Commentary magazine
“Everyone says ‘think for yourself’ but very few people do. In The Tyranny of Clichés, Jonah Goldberg reveals how we’ve become trapped by ideas we think we understand but don’t. A must read.”
—Vince Vaughn, actor and producer
“Bold, brilliant, and bursting with humor, every page of The Tyranny of Clichés is right on the money. If you thought Liberal Fascism was good, wait till you read The Tyranny of Clichés—it is fantastic!”
—Brad Thor, bestselling author of Full Black
“It might be the best and most fun-to-read primer on the tenets of conservative politics since P. J. O’Rourke’s Parliament of Whores.”
—Mark Hemingway, senior writer, The Weekly Standard
“Whether you love or hate what he has to say, you’ve got to love the way Jonah Goldberg says it.”
—SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R–FLORIDA), AUTHOR OF AN AMERICAN SON
“The puncturing of pretentions and disruption of lazy thinking are extra base hits in journalism. Doing so with humor and originality on every page qualifies Goldberg’s work as a grand slam.”
—FORMER GOVERNOR MITCH DANIELS (R–INDIANA), AUTHOR OF KEEPING THE REPUBLIC
About the Author
JONAH GOLDBERG’S first book, Liberal Fascism, was a numberone New York Times bestseller. Afellow at the American Enterpriseinstitute, he is the founding editorof National Review Online. He isalso a Los Angeles Times columnistand a member of the board ofcontributors at USA Today. He liveswith his family in Washington, DC.
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I doubt that I could argue like Goldberg when he goes on offensive in colleges and universities, but if our higher educational system is truly to be a battleground of ideas, somebody needs to. Reading TOC does an excellent job in proving that liberals are just as flawed as the conservatives they fight. But the general public never hears or thinks about it, which is truly sad.
Can't imagine all the research Goldberg did to accumulate everything here but he has my respect. He's helped me to study new terms like "statolotry," and the cases he's presented.
When I have time, Goldberg's Liberal Fascism is on my reading list.
These platitudes or cliché's if you will, are statements like, "it is better that ten guilty men go free than one innocent man be imprisoned" or, "I may not agree with what you said, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" or, "violence never solved anything". Such statements as these are not entirely untrue, but they're not actually true either. They are not real arguments, just words and phrase meant to take the place of real arguments.
Jonah Goldberg explores this phenomena in his second book, The Tyranny of Clichés. He begins by relating the problem of clichés as I have above. This, he asserts, is largely a problem of the Left who are incessantly accusing the Right of being ideologues while their positions are shaped by practical, nonideological considerations. In fact, the Left's use of clichés undermines that whole idea that their belief are based solely on logic and facts and actually, many Liberals seem to be very bad at articulating just why they believe what they do.
Of course, according to Goldberg, Conservatives really are ideologues. But, he argues, so are Liberals. And, at least, Conservatives, by admitting their ideology can develop their positions logically from basic premises. Liberals, by asserting that they are non-ideological tend to divorce themselves from their theoretical roots and so lose the ability to explain just what their positions are and why they hold them.
After this introduction to the problem, Goldberg then spends twenty-four chapters analyzing these clichés and breaking down their meaning, or lack. He shows just why each cliché really doesn't mean much of anything with the humor that regular readers of his column will appreciate.
I think that in many ways, The Tyranny of Clichés is a better book than Jonah Goldberg's first effort, Liberal Fascism. Goldberg seems more comfortable this time around and more willing to be himself. I think that most readers will find the Tyranny of Clichés interesting and enjoyable.
Goldberg focuses on the manner in which these words and phrases are used to support straw-man arguments, re-write history, foster black-and-white thinking, and generally mask the underpinnings of liberal thought and action. The book is well-sourced throughout, if not exhaustive in its examination of each topic (most chapters are between ten and twenty pages, with a few even shorter).
Goldberg takes a few shots and launches a few mild zingers, but these are noticeably less prominent than in the writings of the acerbic Ann Coulter. Indeed, Goldberg remains generally civil and gentlemanly throughout, as is his custom, and the middle-of-the-road reader (if there are any left) is unlikely to be put-off by his style.
I found the chapters on science, the Catholic Church, diversity, and dissent to be among the most valuable, and the chaper "let them eat cake" provided historical background on the origin of that phrase which was new to me.
Although the book probably falls within the category of "preaching to the choir," I would encourage middle-of-the-road readers to give it a chance, as it does challenge many of the common - and false - bromides that are routinely found in our nation's newsrooms, editorial pages, and political advertisements.