"GIVE WAR A CHANCE: Eyewitness Accounts of Mankind's Struggle Against Tyanny, Injustice and Alcohol-Free Beer" by P.J. O'Rourke
Kirkus Star

"GIVE WAR A CHANCE: Eyewitness Accounts of Mankind's Struggle Against Tyanny, Injustice and Alcohol-Free Beer"

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Flush with the success of his gonzo attack on big government--last year's Parliament of Whores--the self-proclaimed ""Republican Party Reptile"" here collects his recent articles, mostly from Rolling Stone and The American Spectator. O'Rourke finds a certain singularity of purpose in his ongoing fight against evil, which he defines loosely as communism, Iraq, and liberals. Hardly as bully or bellicose as his title suggests, these essays nevertheless take no prisoners. At his best when goofing off across the globe, O'Rourke reminds us that most of the world isn't worth visiting. Not East Berlin after the Wall came down; not Russia before and after the failed coup; and certainly not Northern Ireland, with its ""acceptable level of violence."" In Nicaragua, O'Rourke celebrates the defeat of Ortega and his North American sympathizers, those ""Birkenstock Bolshies."" In Paraguay, during their elections, he discovers an unlikely outbreak of democracy and freedom. And in the Persian Gulf throughout the war, he notices that. it's the first conflict ever covered by sober journalists. For all the governmental silliness, O'Rourke finds lots of good cheer and patience among the enlisted men. And his post-Vietnam sensibility emerges in liberated Kuwait City, which looks like ""the fall of Saigon with the film run backward."" The domestic enemies here include: politically correct rock-and-rollers; Lee Iacocca (""conceited big-mouth gladhanding huckster""); Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter (""prissy old ratchet-jaw hicks yammering away about nothing""); and the Kennedys (""a large and dirty family""). O'Rourke treats Dr. Ruth rather gently, while he declares ""the sexual revolution is over and the microbes won."" Other essays chart his turn from the radicalism of his youth; celebrate cars over people; condemn drug testing; and call for a new, improved McCarthyism. O'Rourke is an antitourist of revolution, a capitalist John Reed who delights in breaking every ""rule"" of journalism, especially staying sober. You don't have to share his peculiar, right-wing politics to love his fuel-injected prose--but it helps.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1992
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: "Atlantic Monthly--dist. by PRI (P.O. Box 7001, La Verne, TN 37086)"