A far-right interpretation of reality that will appeal to readers already shooting at the same targets.


The Death of Reality (2015 edition)


A sustained diatribe against what the author sees as social relativism.

In this 2015 edition of his 1996 book, Dawson (The Quantum Dimension, 2015) proposes that modern society has suffered from the reality-denying principles outlined in Ludwig Wittgenstein’s 1953 work Philosophical Investigations. In that work, according to Dawson, Wittgenstein taught that language is disconnected from reality and that “the appearance of reality is only an artificial linguistic ordering by the mind.” As Dawson sees it, this philosophical concept has filtered into the modern liberal Democratic mindset, fostering an opportunity for people— enabled by the mainstream media—to embrace “unreality” instead of the observable facts. “Political unreality could not exist in a culture in which the language was still firmly tied to objective reality,” Dawson writes, blaming Wittgenstein for the uncoupling of words from the reality they purport to describe. Dawson then goes on to tell his readers about what actually constitutes reality—a fairly standard laundry list of tea-party ammunition: Martin Luther King Jr. is “the father of social fascism” because he created “a nearly pathological fear of and hatred for whites among American blacks” ; “innumerable studies” show that “blacks as a group perform intellectual skills less efficiently than do whites”; Planned Parenthood participates in profound evil; homosexuality is a “perversion”  and an “abomination”; etc. Dawson insinuates that, “perhaps not insignificantly,” Wittgenstein was also a homosexual. Never does Dawson’s supposedly objective analysis of reality lead to a conclusion that doesn’t line up perfectly with his conservative ideology. Poor people are parasites, minorities are inferior, women are uppity, animals are either food or trophies, gays are abominations—basically, anyone who isn’t more or less just like the author is warped in some way. Here’s to being warped.

A far-right interpretation of reality that will appeal to readers already shooting at the same targets.

Pub Date: May 16, 2015


Page Count: -

Publisher: The Paradigm Company

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2015

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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