Customer Reviews


3 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed With Knowledge!, 7 Jun 2004
By 
Rolf Dobelli "getAbstract" (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Dinesh D'Souza has produced earlier incisive, groundbreaking books. Illiberal Education and The End of Racism are both thought-provoking reads for conservatives and liberals alike, but this is one has an additional purpose: a comprehensive outline of conservative doctrine and a blanket condemnation of the opposing points of view. D'Souza revisits some previously published opinions, and if he doesn't always support them with fact, he does bring heartfelt argument to the fore. He also refers back to his other two books when illumination is needed. The book, as the title suggests, is formatted as a series of letters to a college student, complete with fond recollections of the author's days as a conservative firebrand at Dartmouth. Even constrained by this gimmick, D'Souza is an entertaining writer who delights in, "harpooning liberals," eloquently if with slight regard for fairness. We recommend this book as an ideological dessert for potential conservatives, more than as a soup-to-nuts guide to conservatism - and its no-shades-of-gray approach may even help liberals prepare their counterarguments.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with Knowledge!, 16 Oct 2003
By 
Rolf Dobelli "getAbstract" (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Dinesh D’Souza has produced earlier incisive, groundbreaking books. Illiberal Education and The End of Racism are both thought-provoking reads for conservatives and liberals alike, but this is one has an additional purpose: a comprehensive outline of conservative doctrine and a blanket condemnation of the opposing points of view. D’Souza revisits some previously published opinions, and if he doesn’t always support them with fact, he does bring heartfelt argument to the fore. He also refers back to his other two books when illumination is needed. The book, as the title suggests, is formatted as a series of letters to a college student, complete with fond recollections of the author’s days as a conservative firebrand at Dartmouth. Even constrained by this gimmick, D’Souza is an entertaining writer who delights in, “harpooning liberals,” eloquently if with slight regard for fairness. We recommend this book as an ideological dessert for potential conservatives, more than as a soup-to-nuts guide to conservatism — and its no-shades-of-gray approach may even help liberals prepare their counterarguments.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars neo-conservative polemic, 10 Feb 2003
I bought this while on holiday in Boston and wondered why nobody in the UK writes these kinds of books. It is an engaging personal account of D'Souza's development as a conservative - conentrating largely on his student days at Dartmouth, where he turned a campus publication into a national phenomenon - as well as a refutation of liberal/left-wing positions on a range of issues, including affirmative action and the welfare state.
Don't expect anything profound from this book: it is not intended to be a substantial contribution to conservative thought. There is, for example, no attempt to seriously address the contradictions of conservative philosophy (e.g. why is the present considered the accumulation of all past wisdom, while any change is considered to be deleterious - surely the present is an accumulation of all past changes?). More disappointingly, D'Souza doesn't present the case for free-markets in much detail - there is little summoning of statistics, nor any rigorous comparisons between pro-market economies (USA, UK, etc) and social democracies (Germany, France, etc). His attempt to defend globalisation from the pious hypocrites and cretinous no-marks of the anti-globalisation movement is welcome, but ultimately not very substantial.
A further criticism is that D'Souza appears more concerned with deconstructing liberalism (often resorting to anecdotes about leftist professors) than advancing the case for conservatism - although this probably has much to do with the fact that conservatism is not a coherent ideology as such, but rather a general view of human nature and historical development. Nevertheless, as one of the leading intellectual exponents of the New Right dominance of American politics during the past generation, D'Souza should be able to offer more credible arguments for his beliefs than he does.

However, none of this matters much because the book does not attempt to be a classic of conservative thought in the first place. Indeed, D'Souza helpfully provides a reading list of more large-scale works that readers can investigate, including stuff by Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Michael Oakeshott and, er, Pat Buchanan.
Instead, this is an accessible, vituperative and often devastatingly funny outline of what the author belives is conservatism and why he prefers it to completely alternative ideologies (such as socialism/social democracy) as well related ones (namely libertarianism). You don't have to be a conservative to enjoy it - I'm not.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Letters to a Young Conservative (Art of Mentoring)
Letters to a Young Conservative (Art of Mentoring) by Dinesh DSouza (Paperback - 13 April 2005)
7.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews