SHAMELESS

THE ETHICAL CASE AGAINST THREE OUT-OF-CONTROL CRITICS AND THE NEED FOR CIVILITY NOW, MORE THAN EVER

An ethical look at three controversial, influential political commentators.

  Lichtman (What Do You Stand For? Stories About Principles That Matter, 2004) has been writing and speaking on ethics since 1995. Here he sets out to highlight the unethical practices of three well-known political commentators: Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. Lichtman begins with a brief history of the populist demagogues who came before and moves forward to today, where the invention of 24/7 cable and other media outlets has blurred or even obliterated the line between news and opinion. Taking into account many of the quotes cited, it’s quite unlikely that Coulter, Limbaugh or Beck believe their own hype. Coulter has made it clear that she enjoys “stirring the pot,” and followers of Beck have apparently been unable (or unwilling) to decode his doublespeak—one moment Beck says that God speaks through him, and in the next moment he tells his audience that if they believe everything he says, they’re idiots. Lichtman’s study reveals evidence that followers of Limbaugh, Coulter and Beck can’t always separate fact from fiction, a fairly serious issue given that these speakers influence literally millions of people who are “relying on exaggeration, innuendo and outright lies.” The author even goes so far as to point out the PolitiFact ratings of statements made by each of the three, which is basically an exercise in futility, as Limbaugh, Coulter nor Beck has ever claimed to have ethical intentions. Although Lichtman provides documented examples of specific verbal infractions made by each of the speakers, it’s unclear what his overall purpose is, as the book doesn’t really uncover any new information. The overall theme is similar to those that came before: The unholy trinity of Coulter, Limbaugh and Beck is little more than egotistical, self-serving fear mongers who serve no purpose other than to further their own agendas and line their own pockets.   Lichtman should be commended for taking on this oft-debated issue; ethics in politics is the proverbial needle in the haystack, which will, no doubt, continue to be a hot topic for years to come.   

 

Pub Date: March 16, 2011

ISBN: 978-1450764926

Page Count: 99

Publisher: Scribbler’s Ink

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2012

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A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

GHOSTED

In Walsh’s American debut, a woman desperately tries to find out why the man she spent a whirlwind week with never called.

Sarah has just separated from her American husband and is visiting her hometown in England when she meets Eddie. He’s kind and charming, and although they only spend one week together, she falls in love. When he has to leave for a trip, she knows they’ll keep in touch—they’re already making plans for the rest of their lives. But then Eddie never calls, and Sarah’s increasingly frantic efforts to contact him are fruitless. Is he hurt? Is he dead? As her friends tell her, there’s a far greater likelihood that he’s just blowing her off—she’s been ghosted. After trying to track Eddie down at a football game, Sarah starts to become ashamed of herself—after all, she’s almost 40 years old and she’s essentially stalking a man who never called her. But as Sarah slowly learns, she and Eddie didn’t actually meet randomly—they both have a connection to an accident that happened years ago, and it may have something to do with why he disappeared. The tension quickly amps up as the secrets of Eddie’s and Sarah’s pasts are revealed, and the truth behind their connection is genuinely surprising and heartbreaking. The barriers between Sarah and Eddie seem insurmountable at times, and although their issues are resolved in a tidy manner, the emotions behind their actions are always believable. Walsh has created a deeply moving romance with an intriguing mystery and a touching portrait of grief at its heart.

A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-52277-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

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THE STARLESS SEA

A withdrawn graduate student embarks on an epic quest to restore balance to the world in this long-anticipated follow-up to The Night Circus (2011).

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a typical millennial introvert; he likes video games, escapist reading, and drinking sidecars. But when he recognizes himself in the pages of a mysterious book from the university library, he's unnerved—and determined to uncover the truth. What begins as a journey for answers turns into something much bigger, and Zachary must decide whether to trust the handsome stranger he meets at a highflying literary fundraiser in New York or to retreat back to his thesis and forget the whole affair. In a high-wire feat of metatextual derring-do, Morgenstern weaves Zachary's adventure into a stunning array of linked fables, myths, and origin stories. There are pirates and weary travelers, painters who can see the future, lovers torn asunder, a menacing Owl King, and safe harbors for all the stories of the world, far below the Earth on the golden shores of a Starless Sea. Clocking in at more than 500 pages, the novel requires patience as Morgenstern puts all the pieces in place, but it is exquisitely pleasurable to watch the gears of this epic fantasy turn once they're set in motion. As in The Night Circus, Morgenstern is at her best when she imagines worlds and rooms and parties in vivid detail, right down to the ballroom stairs "festooned with lanterns and garlands of paper dipped in gold" or a cloak carved from ice with "ships and sailors and sea monsters...lost in the drifting snow." This novel is a love letter to readers as much as an invitation: Come and see how much magic is left in the world. Fans of Neil Gaiman and V.E. Schwab, Kelly Link and Susanna Clarke will want to heed the call.

An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-385-54121-3

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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