I was browsing Amazon just now, and I noticed something very helpful.
The book I was reading reviews for was called Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans.
Like pretty much all political books, it had a lot of 5 star reviews from people who agree with the politics, and a bunch of 1 star reviews and a few in between. I chose to look through the 4 star reviews to see what people who had some criticisms had to say.
Then I noticed the above. Hm, so we can now tell who’s bought the book. Well, pretty much all the 4 star reviews seemed to have purchased the book, and thus did actually have some basis for talking about the book.
So I flick to the one star reviews.
Big suprise: of the 27 listed, I see only 2 people who’ve actually bought the book. One gave it 1 start because it wasn’t readable on Windows 8. The other gave this fairly thoughtful critique.
I already knew members of the Left were bullies. I’d hoped this book would give me tools for dealing with the bullying. It did not.
Reading more like a list of Leftist sins, there was nothing in here I didn’t already know. However, while castigating the Left for making ad hominem attacks on people’s characters or even on their physiques, Shapiro repeatedly does exactly the same thing. He attacks opponents’ appearance or intelligence, often doing so totally out of context.
He doesn’t even display consistency. He condemned Teddy’s Roosevelt hypocritical diatribes against the rich and business and against Roosevelt’s power grab via the Pure Food and Drug Act. 100 pages or so later, Shapiro proclaims Teddy to have been a balanced steward of the environment and the economy.
Further, toward the end I began to pay attention to Shapiro’s foot noting technique. He would assert certain items as facts while using no reference at all. Shapiro thanks his editor in the Acknowledgments, but I wonder exactly what his editor checked.
The others confirmed what we already know: that people who disagree with a book’s author’s politics will go on amazon and give it a bad review – most without actually reading it. To be fair, a couple do actually look like they’ve least taken the time to make their fake review look credible.
I think this book would have appealed to me in the past, but over the last couple of years, I’ve come to the realization that partisan politics has a habit of making people stupid People end up supporting things they never should have supported had “their” party been supporting it.While I’m quite sure that there are some good examples of left-wing bullying in this book, I don’t really need a book to tell me that the left are bullies or that and I don’t think this book is the serious look into how either side of politics acts that might be more useful to read. Certainly there are some serious issues with bullying on the left, and a perception in many quarters that that isn’t the case but rather is a problem on the right.
But outside of partisan circles, people are full well aware of union behaviour and other examples of the left behaving badly. What they tend to see is two sides that are as bad as each other.
Which is why I made this suggestion after the US re-elected Obama.