THE TEN THINGS YOU CAN’T SAY IN AMERICA by Larry Elder

THE TEN THINGS YOU CAN’T SAY IN AMERICA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Radio talk-show host Elder charges, in a series of trenchant essays, that some popular myths and fantasies are promoted as solid facts by a powerful, biased, dominant members of the media, extremely partisan politicians, “activists,” and elite pressure groups with self-serving agendas.

The author sets out to rebut the power-group propaganda that he believes lies continuously about solutions to bad schools, crime, drugs, tax cuts that favor the “rich” (i.e., middle-class working stiffs), welfare-state dependency, illegitimacy, the gap between rich and “poor” (who still live well in a prosperous economy), health care, gun control, etc. He is not afraid to sound provocative in a popular culture that he considers decadent when he exposes and confronts “the myths” with “the truths” of factual statistical research. He says the things “you can’t say” in ten separate chapters: “Blacks Are More Racist Than Whites,” “White Condescension Is as Bad as Black Racism,” “The Media Bias—It’s Real, It’s Widespread, It’s Destructive,” “The Glass Ceiling—Full of Holes,” “America’s Greatest Problem: Not Crime, Racism or Bad Schools—It’s Illegitimacy,” “The Big Lie—Our Health Care Crisis,” “America’s Welfare State: Helping Us—To Death,” “Republicans Versus Democrats—Maybe a Dime’s Worth of Difference,” “Vietnam II—The War Against Drugs—We’re Losing This One Too,” and “Gun Control Advocates—Good Guys With Blood On Their Hands.” The latter argues that total gun control leaves law-abiding citizens helpless against better-armed, confident criminals carrying the latest uncontrolled weapons—and cites as proof Australia’s recent confiscation of guns (which was followed by a sharp rise in crime).

Elder slays dragons and sacred cows with wide, authoritative research and witty, entertaining, informative prose that is sure to enlighten most readers who live in a culture where truth is elusive.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-312-26660-X
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2000