A book that is comfortable to live in its own sphere of fact, evidenced by the mere datum that it takes Ann Coulter as a...

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FOOL ME TWICE

OBAMA'S SHOCKING PLANS FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS EXPOSED

Move over, Mao Zedong. There’s a big, bad, black sheriff in town who’s coming to claim your title as Head Commie by overseeing “the progressive socialist takeover of our country.”

Note the “our country” bit. That’s because Barack Hussein Obama is, of course, from Kenya, or Indonesia or somewhere else. He’s not homegrown, like the much-adored George Bush, who provides the title of this screed through one memorable bout with the English language that Klein and Elliott (co-authors: The Manchurian President, 2010) seem to have drawn the wrong lessons from. The two serve up the stuff that, back in the olden days, you’d have to draw down from the weakest of shortwave-radio transmissions generated from some bunker out in the desert: Obama wants to open the Mexican border so that illegals can come streaming across and get documented so they can vote up in el Norte, which is just one of many nefarious tactics meant to ensure the dominance of the Democrats. Well, if Karl Rove had a game plan to ensure Republican rule for generations to come, it stands to reason that the Democratic Party might have one, too—save that the Dems, of course, will pull this off by weakening America’s military and sending the Army off to fight not al-Qaida but global warming. Gas guzzlers may now wish to tremble in terror, but it will do them no good: The military will be under U.N. command, anyway, thanks to Obama’s love of big one-world government. This book is alternately slipshod and stupid, citing the moral equivalent of Cliff’s Notes as an authority while ignoring some pretty heavy realities—such as the fact that the Mexican border is in fact more tightly controlled than under Bush and that the foreign-policy weakling Obama did actually end Osama bin Laden’s tenure on the planet.

A book that is comfortable to live in its own sphere of fact, evidenced by the mere datum that it takes Ann Coulter as a reputable source.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-193648857-5

Page Count: 290

Publisher: WND Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

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BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME

NOTES ON THE FIRST 150 YEARS IN AMERICA

The powerful story of a father’s past and a son’s future.

Atlantic senior writer Coates (The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, 2008) offers this eloquent memoir as a letter to his teenage son, bearing witness to his own experiences and conveying passionate hopes for his son’s life. “I am wounded,” he writes. “I am marked by old codes, which shielded me in one world and then chained me in the next.” Coates grew up in the tough neighborhood of West Baltimore, beaten into obedience by his father. “I was a capable boy, intelligent and well-liked,” he remembers, “but powerfully afraid.” His life changed dramatically at Howard University, where his father taught and from which several siblings graduated. Howard, he writes, “had always been one of the most critical gathering posts for black people.” He calls it The Mecca, and its faculty and his fellow students expanded his horizons, helping him to understand “that the black world was its own thing, more than a photo-negative of the people who believe they are white.” Coates refers repeatedly to whites’ insistence on their exclusive racial identity; he realizes now “that nothing so essentialist as race” divides people, but rather “the actual injury done by people intent on naming us, intent on believing that what they have named matters more than anything we could ever actually do.” After he married, the author’s world widened again in New York, and later in Paris, where he finally felt extricated from white America’s exploitative, consumerist dreams. He came to understand that “race” does not fully explain “the breach between the world and me,” yet race exerts a crucial force, and young blacks like his son are vulnerable and endangered by “majoritarian bandits.” Coates desperately wants his son to be able to live “apart from fear—even apart from me.”

This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

Pub Date: July 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9354-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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