HOW I ACCIDENTALLY JOINED THE VAST RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY (AND FOUND INNER PEACE) by Harry Stein

HOW I ACCIDENTALLY JOINED THE VAST RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY (AND FOUND INNER PEACE)

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A right-of-center, funny, seriously iconoclastic memoir aimed at the prevailing progressivism.

Journalist and novelist Stein (Infinity’s Child, 1996, etc.) was raised a traditional liberal and still dislikes Pat Buchanan. Yet, after reaching fatherhood, he broke with the Hillaryism that would have consigned his offspring to an infancy of day-care followed by a multicultural curriculum bereft of dead white men's objective values—and soon found himself damned by liberal friends and their thought police as a conservative. Most of Stein's rightward shift was influenced by family life. He and his wife Priscilla didn't divorce (even though their therapist deemed it better for self-fulfillment), and Priscilla actually quit her job to raise their children. Despite all the feminist gender-bending, Stein found himself relieved to see that his children played at traditional sex roles. Stein was an early supporter of racial integration, and he takes pride in the fact that his children have black friends. He regrets that a moral giant like Dr. King (despised by radicals nowadays, along with Clarence Thomas, as an Uncle Tom) was replaced by “race hustlers,” and among his satirical creations is an application for college admissions and jobs wherein one can surrender one’s space for affirmative-action minorities. Stein sees the multicultural dumbing-down extending beyond curricula, to the extent that the leftist New York Times treats gangsta rap like high culture. The author's reading pile has shifted too, and he surveys the newsstand for centrist conservative values, xenophobic rightist trash, and the self-righteous leftists whose “group-think tends to promote fierce objection to heretics.” Progressive intolerance is a major theme here, as seen in Nat Hentoff's excommunication for opposing abortion and in the general attack on Tipper Gore's objection to obscene rock lyrics.

All but the most humorless progressive Ayatollahs should enjoy and take some moral correction from Stein.

Pub Date: June 20th, 2000
ISBN: 0-385-33396-X
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2000




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