Reexamining the 60-year history of the Cold War and beyond - including the career of Senator Joseph McCarthy, the Whittaker Chambers-Alger Hiss affair, Ronald Reagan's challenge to Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall", the Gulf War, and our present war on terrorism - Coulter reveals how liberals have been horribly wrong in all their political analyses and policy prescriptions. She also examines how history, especially in the latter half of the twentieth century, has been written by liberals and, therefore, distorted by their perspective. Far from being irrelevant today, her clearheaded and piercing view of what we've been through informs us perfectly for challenges today and in the future.
With Slander, Ann Coulter became the most recognized and talked-about conservative intellectual of the year. Treason, in many ways an even more controversial and prescient book, will ignite impassioned political debate at one of the most crucial moments in our history.
©2003 Ann Coulter; (P)2003 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
Ann Coulter's work is one of those strange marketing stories of the new century. Virtually all her claims are consistently and throughly debunked, yet people continue buying her books! "Treason" is no exception. What you have here is vitriol without truth. Hate-speech without substance. Or, as it has been better said, "The sound and the fury, signifying nothing."
I am writing this review as an unashamed liberal (card-carrying member of the ACLU) and someone who, despite Coulter's assertions, does really love my country. As a history teacher, I have also spent a fair amount of time thinking about the political traditions of this country. The changing arguments between liberals and conservatives has been basic to this tradition and when either of these mainstreams has become too dominant or has stopped listening to their opponents, the results have been damaging. By dismissing liberals as a group (as if THEY all think the same way any more than conservatives do), portraying them as anti-American and even as, well, TRAITORS, she is poisoning the political well of this discussion by encouraging her conservative readers to question the motives of anyone who disagrees with them.
I believe that if we can't have a healthy discourse within which people can disagree about difficult, complex issues like the proper response to terrorism, without resorting to tactics of the kind that this book is filled with, we are in deep trouble as a nation.
I am astounded after reading this book that any one woud consider this author an "intellectual." Her deductions are wrong, her facts seem to be plucked from someone's inagination, and her totally unscholarly approach to this topic is offensive to the thinking reader.
This book is most certainly defined bast a "a waste of time, money and intellectual effort." My only consolation is that I got the book from a friend and was able to return it without paying the author. I would be ashamed to let another see this book on my shelf since the books one keeps define one's character.
I must caution the readers of this review that I am not a "conservative" or a "liberal." I am able to speak 8 languages and have lived on 4 continents for extened periods of time and this lends some balance, and internationalism to my view. This is a book with an agenda and that agenda is not truth nor wisdom but probably better summed up by title of Ms. Coulter's last book, Slander. If you love US magazine, Jerry Springer, WWE and hate the way the blacks and minorities are "taking over" you will love this book.
On the surface Ms. Coulter appears to be an attractive young woman. Sadly beauty is only skin deep. In Treason Ms. Coulter attempts to do for a fairly complex half century of American political history what she tried to do to the profession of journalism in her last book Slander; namely, scatter a series of half truths and outright lies about individuals and events, with which she is clearly unfamiliar, throughout a test notable for its otherwise weak prose craft. Ms. Coulter relentlessly peddles a vindictive revisionist history in which tail-gunner Joe McCarthy saves the day from the Red Menace, while cowards like Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter betray the nation. I'm sorry but nice legs and a word processor do not a political historian make. Ms Culter will no doubt sell a lot of books but it does not make her any less a crank. She might also want to watch how she swings a loaded word like traitor around, one might note that presidents Truman, Kennedy, Johnson and Carter all served their nation honorably in the armed services as opposed to say, deserting their posts and running off to work on a political campaign in the midst of a war? just a thought.
As the public grows weary, the voice of many Conservative mouthpieces grows more and more shrill every day. This book is, unfortunately, no exception. It's full of far-fetched "connections" between "those wacko Liberals" and treason. The scapegoat is hardly novel. The tone of the book glaringly oversimplistic. The conclusions drawn are often simply wrong and universally insulting to liberals who are accused and everyone else who is expected to agree.
If more actual thought and care went into detailing the nature of treason, I would have been much more generous in my review. Many of the author's arguments are almost identical to all the other hyper-conservatives dittoing the exact same thoughtless prattle: Liberals are the cause of all evil.
Pass this book up and you will not miss anything. Pick it up and you can either be repulsed by the ignorance and intolerance being presented, or you can turn off your mind and repeat: All conservatives are right and all liberals are wrong. Sounds rather one-sided, right? So is this book.
This book doesn't surprise me. Released to coincide with Hillary Clinton's book this is just the latest example of the "Big Lie" phenomenon that any outrageous lie repeated often enough and loudly enough will begin to sound sensible to individuals. This book is the worst form of demogoguery. It is no accident our country prospered as it did during Clinton's administration. Despite his personal problems (sexual addiction), Mr. Clinton was a highly capable and effective leader for his country. When the right figured out they couldn't beat him at the polls they decided he must be destroyed at all costs.
In my review of Ms. Coulter's last book, Slander, I made it clear that although I didn't agree with many of her views, I was entertained by her intelligent humor. Unfortunately, in Treason, Coulter's naked hatred for all things liberal made listening to Treason tiresome.
Here are a few problems I have with Coulter's assertions in this book:
Nixon - Coulter blames his impeachment on liberals as a witch hunt for payback for his involvement in the ouster of communists during the 50's. My history is a little hazy but, wasn't he impeached for what HE did during HIS presidency and isn't he the only president in history to have resigned? But that's all liberals fault according to Coulter. She sounds like a democrat defending Clinton!
Carter - I hold Carter as an American hero. Carter is a true peacemaker who works tirelessly to better our world. Whether he is building homes for the homeless or trying to oversee elections where democracy is trying to spring forth in new places or working to arrive at peaceful settlements to problems anywhere in the world, Jimmy Carter is the face of the United States that I would like most the rest of the world to see. Not the war mongering Bushes. Coulter has nothing but insults for Carter in particular and peacemakers in general. Sorry Ann but it takes much more courage to take that long and arduous route to peace than it does to start a war.
Bush - everyday the evidence grows that Bush lied about and fabricated various facts about Iraq to pump up the populace for war. What is more treasonous, lying about an adulterous affair to cover one's butt or lying about WMD's to start a war resulting in thousands of deaths? Much of Coulter's support of Bush in Treason points to overwhelming poll numbers supporting attack. What if the "facts" presented by the Bush camp to prop up those poll numbers were falsified? Isn't that treason?
Treason is a disappointing follow-up to Slander.
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