“We are only as free as the least free among us.” Is that really true, or is it the kind of statement most people will nod at without actually thinking about? Best-selling conservative author Jonah Goldberg calls it a liberal cliché—fundamentally wrong and potentially very dangerous.
According to Goldberg, if the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist, the greatest trick liberals ever pulled was convincing themselves they’re not ideological. Today “objective” journalists and academics and “moderate” politicians peddle some of the most radical arguments by hiding them in homespun aphorisms. Barack Obama casts himself as a disciple of reason and sticks to one refrain above all others: he’s a pragmatist, opposed to the ideology and dogma of the right, solely concerned with “what works.” And today’s liberals follow his lead, spouting countless clichés.
Goldberg exposes the truth behind many of these clichés, including “the living constitution,” “social justice,” and even simple words like “inquisition”/ With humor and passion, he dismantles these Trojan horses to show how our thinking is profoundly shaped by deeply ideological concepts and convenient myths that most of us accept uncritically—to our great detriment.
You’ll learn the real history of dangerous liberal clichés, such as:
“Better ten guilty men go free than one innocent man be put behind bars.”
“One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”
“Violence never solves anything.”
“Diversity is strength.”
“We need complete separation of church and state.”
From Gandhi to Marie Antoinette to Madonna, Goldberg explores the context of clichés in our culture and shows how often we rely on them at the expense of serious thinking.
©2012 Jonah Goldberg (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Straw man down! In the PC prison yard of accepted political thought, Jonah Goldberg has just shivved progressivism. Bold, brilliant, and bursting with humor, every page of The Tyranny of Clichés is right on the money. If you thought Liberal Fascism was good, wait till you read The Tyranny of Clichés—it is fantastic!” (Brad Thor, New York Times best-selling author)
“What can one say to the self-proclaimed ‘independent’ who never has nor ever will vote other than Democratic; or to the wise soul suggesting, of any conflict at all, ‘the truth must lie somewhere in between?’ Mr. Goldberg reminds us that one must stand up and demand of the muddled and supine either an absolute declaration of their principles and acknowledgment of the results of actions having flowed therefrom or a straightforward admission of their intransigence in refusing a concise reply.” (David Mamet, New York Times best-selling author)
“Everyone says ‘think for yourself’ but very few people do. In The Tyranny of Clichés, Jonah Goldberg reveals how we’ve become trapped by ideas we think we understand but don’t. A must-read.” (Vince Vaughn, actor and producer)
Jonah Goldberg reads his own book that takes the reader on a masterfully reasoned deconstruction of common liberal ideas and arguments. Not only does the book present numerous well formed and presented arguments against liberal sentiments commonly (and incorrectly) held to be true, but he also provides tons of history and academic papers backing up his argument. Also, Goldberg weaves in quite a bit of humor and geeky movie references to keep things entertaining in the midst of all the serious arguments.
If you lean hard left, you will probably hate this book. Goldberg absolutely shreds some liberal positions, sometimes several times over. This will either frustrate you or you will totally disagree at such a fundamental level that the book will not be at all enjoyable.
I found the author's voice to work extremely well in reading his audiobook. (Unfortunately, there are a few authors that have given such poor readings that I couldn't help but wish a professional audio narrator read it instead.)
I enjoyed the fact that there were times Goldberg had natural laughter as he shared his opinion. Makes you feel like you're a part of the "conversation."
His warmth and excitement about this material - there were many times that it felt like I was in a classroom listening to this.
I absolutely hated his last book, "Liberal Fascism," but he has completely redeemed himself with this book. It helps not to count an author out - check out other audio productions of their books. You might wind up very surprised.
If you are a regular reader of Jonah Goldberg's work for National Review (as I am), there isn't a lot in here that you've never heard before. But it is all collected in one place and nicely bound up with a bow.
I wouldn't call it an anti-liberal screed, which some books by conservative authors have an unfortunate tendency to become, so I feel comfortable recommending it to non-conservatives as well as true believers. If you're a liberal and take this author's comments to heart, even if they don't convert you to The Right Side of History (TM) you'll at least be able to give a better argument than just spouting a cliche and thinking you've won the College Bowl of argumentation.
As a narrator, Jonah did a good job, with only one problem - when he's giving an aside, he drops his voice to a nearly inaudible murmur - so when driving, those parts get lost. Fix that and I'd give him 5 stars for narration.
. Recommended this book to many friends, because it is informative and really funny
Reminds me of good college lectures.
References to Monty Python. (Yes, I know the words to “I’m a Lumberjack.”)
I'm travel alot and auido books are my moble home. I seem to be hooked on them and there is rarely a time that there not on for me.
This book is a good discussion on background clichés that form most of our life and culture. However I must warn you it is pretty politically conservative or American right. It tends to toward a preach to the choir style of book.
is a good, clean romp through what we take for granted. It discusses the background ideas that build everything that "we know" or talk about or all the small details that make up arguments that nobody actually makes.
The author is an excellent reader and makes the book a lot more interesting. It is however one of those books that you already know whether you like it or not. If you enjoy political conversations or talk radio or anything like that then you probably will like it. If you don't then you probably won't however it is good data that anybody can use. So I recommend it.
Yes! Jonah is a great reader of his own work.
The content is amazing, and I feel that everything I was ever taught was just wrong and biased.
The explanation of Social Justice is brilliant.
The cliche that "understanding breeds peace" is so wrong.
I notice in my life that the people I fight the most are the ones that I understand the best.
This book draws back the curtain to expose the many ways we forfeit thinking in favor of prepackaged clichés. Goldberg points out that many of the clichés that we routinely turn to in political discourse carry ideological weight that we do not consider. Many of the common clichés that Goldberg dissects, such as "violence never solves anything," or "I may disagree with you but I'd die to preserve your right to say it" are actually logically inconsistent and don't stand up to scrutiny.
After reading this book you'll be able to better form and express your thoughts while avoiding sloppy clichés that don't accurately reflect your true thoughts. You will also be able to spot weaknesses in the thoughts of others and notice the role that cliché plays in political discourse.
Not only is the content great, but Goldberg's delivery is funny, natural, and fun to listen to. I highly recommend this book.
It's a fun book. It provides good examples and highlights the ridiculous nature of much of today's political rhetoric.
Jonah is my favorite.
Yes, the book is quite entertaining.
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