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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Politics red in tooth and claw
The brand of politics espoused by Ann has no real constituency in the UK, although American liberals appear to be roughly analagous to UK Guardian readers. Maybe Ann Coulter will consider a tour here - the Postmodern brigade would freak out, the Religous Right v The Church of Social Sciences. It would be fun, but Ann would win easily - there's nobody here with such...
Published 21 months ago by peter macnab

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Learn from the expert?
"Coulter's favorite target, hands down, is the New York Times, which she claims distorts the truth, ignores the facts or gets them wrong altogether."
(Publishers weekly)

One would not, on the face of it, expect Ann Coulter's views to have much in common with Noam Chomsky's, but this is only one of several delightful similarities I noticed while reading Ms...
Published 2 months ago by Paul Magnussen


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Politics red in tooth and claw, 3 Dec 2012
By 
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This review is from: How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter (Paperback)
The brand of politics espoused by Ann has no real constituency in the UK, although American liberals appear to be roughly analagous to UK Guardian readers. Maybe Ann Coulter will consider a tour here - the Postmodern brigade would freak out, the Religous Right v The Church of Social Sciences. It would be fun, but Ann would win easily - there's nobody here with such entertaining invective. The book is a laugh on every page, unless you take things far too seriously.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Learn from the expert?, 10 July 2014
By 
Paul Magnussen (Campbell, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter (Paperback)
"Coulter's favorite target, hands down, is the New York Times, which she claims distorts the truth, ignores the facts or gets them wrong altogether."
(Publishers weekly)

One would not, on the face of it, expect Ann Coulter's views to have much in common with Noam Chomsky's, but this is only one of several delightful similarities I noticed while reading Ms. Coulter's mind-stretching opus;

In a country becoming (so I'm told) increasingly politically polarised, it is clearly a major advantage to be able to communicate with people of different persuasions; and since my own skills are modest, the ability to talk to liberals certainly seemed worth acquiring. Consider the following, for example:

"If your workplace is safe; if your children go to school rather than being forced into labor; if you are paid a living wage, including overtime; if you enjoy a 40-hour week and you are allowed to join a union to protect your rights — you can thank liberals. If your food is not poisoned and your water is drinkable — you can thank liberals. If your parents are eligible for Medicare and Social Security, so they can grow old in dignity without bankrupting your family — you can thank liberals. If our rivers are getting cleaner and our air isn't black with pollution; if our wilderness is protected and our countryside is still green — you can thank liberals. If people of all races can share the same public facilities; if everyone has the right to vote; if couples fall in love and marry regardless of race; if we have finally begun to transcend a segregated society — you can thank liberals. Progressive innovations like those and so many others were achieved by long, difficult struggles against entrenched power. What defined conservatism, and conservatives, was their opposition to every one of those advances."

This is from a gentleman called Joe Conason, and it seems not unreasonable to hypothesise that he considers himself a liberal. How should I respond? I hoped that Ms. Coulter would enlighten me, especially after reading on the dust-jacket about her "incisive reasoning". The ensuing experience was certainly interesting, although I'm not sure I'd call it enlightenment.

RECIPE FOR SUCCESS?

It's considered customary for authors of "How to" books to possess some demonstrated competence in the field under discussion. For instance, Fencing with the Foil is by the British national fencing coach, and Indian Cookery is by one of the foremost Indian chefs of the 20th century.

What Ms. Coulter's qualifications in talking to liberals may be, is by no means made clear. Furthermore, neither is the objective. One may safely assume, after all, that one reads "Fencing with the Foil" to become a better swordsman, and "Indian Cookery" to produce meals that win the approval of family and friends. But is the objective of talking to liberals to convert them? Or to win over the audience? Or to achieve workable compromises with them? It certainly doesn't seem to be the last-named, at any rate.

In fact, if the the objective of talking to liberals is to communicate with them at all, then such comments as I've seen indicate that the author is as catastrophic a failure in her field as it's possible to be.

To talk to anyone, after all, you have first to convince them you're worth listening to.

KEEPING IT SIMPLE

But, you will say, what if the problem is not Ms. Coulter's dialectic, but willful obtuseness on the part of liberals? After all, there are as many, or more, reviews praising this book as there are shrieks of liberal outrage. How shall we decide who is right? Of course, we could toss a coin. But if we decide to evaluate logically, then things start to look gloomy for Ms. Coulter.

In her alarmingly convincing book Endangered Minds, Jane M. Healy makes the case that the problem in our schools is not only that Johnny can't read — it's that he can't think. The reading difficulty is merely a symptom.

"Approximately 90% of young people can read simple material. Yet the majority have difficulty understanding text above elementary school level, drawing inferences beyond simple facts, following an author's point or the sequence of an argument, or using facts to support an argument of their own." (p.22)

As this was written in 1990, Johnny is of course now an adult; and whatever else you say about Ann Coulter, she certainly seems to understand the market. Simple declarative sentences are her forte: words such as "because" and "therefore" (which belong to what are called elaborated codes) are kept to an absolute minimum.

For instance, we are told that "liberals hate America" (p.47), but not how the author arrives at this conclusion; (the conflation of the country itself with the creatures currently running it is of course a standard ploy of party hacks world-wide, but let it pass). We learn also (for example) that "Osama bin Laden is probably dead" (this is in 2004, mark you — p.33) and "the invasion of Iraq has gone fabulously well" (p.70).

Now, facts are certainly fine things, if properly established. And the general absence of statements of assumptions, references or relevant arguments does lend the author's prose a certain simplistic charm. But if incisive reasoning is to be the order of the day, then before we get to facts, we need definitions. And here we hit an immediate snag: not only is no definition of "liberal" offered, there is no hint of awareness that one might even be required.

There is certainly a lengthy shopping-list of supposed liberal characteristics. If you ever wondered what was meant by the old phrase, "the pot calling the kettle black", here is where you can find out. For instance, we're told that liberals shout conservatives down (but perhaps Bill O'Reilly is a closet liberal?)

There is indeed no fallacious reasoning in much of the book, simply because there is no reasoning of any kind: a fallacy at least requires an attempt, however feeble, to muster some supporting logic.

But when subordinate clauses start entering the picture, things change drastically. If you look up "Logical Fallacy" in Wikipedia, you will find these common types cited:

Ad hominem
Affirming the consequent
Appeal to the majority
Argument from ignorance
Begging the question
Correlation implies causation
Equivocation
Post hoc ergo propter hoc
Straw man

How many can you find, kiddies? Here's a starter:

AD HOMINEM

"Scott Ritter, former UN arms inspector turned peacenik, erstwhile suspected pederast..." (p.53. We may note also, in passing, that not only does our Law School graduate apparently not know the difference between slander and libel, she doesn't know the difference between pederast and pedophile; and that the charges against Mr. Ritter were dismissed — although of course it would still be ad hominem, whether or no...)

The rest will have to be left as an exercise for the reader. Don't expect to get done anytime soon.

CONCLUSION

It doesn't take much doing to find errors in such assertions of Ms. Coulter's as are precisely-enough stated to permit falsification, and some people (such as Al Franken) have actually done it.

But for the most part, as Thomas Sowell has remarked in a different context:

"It would take pages to refute each sentence, because the implicit premises would have to be elaborated first. Even if they then collapsed of their own inconsistencies, it is not clear how many readers or listeners would have been willing to stay the course as the argument tediously unfolded. That is why it is a politically clever argument. Demagoguery flourishes where something can be said in a few catchy words that would take volumes to disprove."

In a word, this is a 500-page tantrum.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect response to liberals., 22 April 2013
By 
W. Hodges "Eagles obsessed" (south wales,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter (Paperback)
Once again Ann Coulter provides the reasons why the liberals detest her and all she stands for. The trouble with so-called tolerant liberals is they are completely intollerant of anyone and anything that does'nt conform to their views, instead they resort to petulant name-calling and abuse. Ms. Coulter only deals in well referenced facts, which the left cannot argue with. This book applies equally here in the UK, as it does in America, so if you would like to read a well-reasoned and intelligent counter argument to any subject that the left hold dear, buy this book and discover how wrong the left liberals really are on any given subject. I whole-heartedly concur with Ms. Coulter on how the left have always been wrong and how they have systematically destroyed a once great nation. Not suitable for people who are brainwashed liberal die-hards, Nick Clegg or Polly Toynbee !
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32 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining set of polemics, 10 Dec 2004
Ann is not infrequently termed the Michael Moore of the American Right. This is slightly unfair - she writes with more style and panache than Moore, and she is certainly much easier on the eyes - but you should expect her columns to have a reasonable amount of polemics and irony in addition to the facts she presents. This book is a collection of her recent columns, grouped roughly by category, with additional columns that never made it to press for one reason or another.
In contrast to "Slander", Ann doesn't provide endnotes for her claimed facts in these columns - after all, newspapers aren't the place for justifying assertions - and so the reader should be careful about accepting everything as gospel. With that caveat, though, the columns are great reading. Ann's punchy, loud style of writing is complemented with a series of brutal and clever assaults on the American Left. The New York Times and the Clintons are frequent targets, but often Ann is railing against more general insanity of the media and politicians.
If you enjoyed Moore's "Stupid White Men", you are unlikely to enjoy this book. But you should probably read it anyway, if only to balance the arguments. If you are reading this book to be entertained, Ann will not disappoint you. Ann's other book "Slander" would be useful background reading to get the most out of "How To Talk To A Liberal".
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 6 Oct 2007
By 
M. A. Ramos (Florida USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ann Coulter is a syndicated columnist. In this book she presents her writings about American liberalism. Her commentary covers the war on terrorism, the 2004 presidential election, the state of the Democratic Party, Max Cleland, Bill Clinton, and Freedom of speech is just some of her topics.

I finished this in one day. Ms. Coulter is a brilliant writer that is intelligent, witty, and sarcastic. Combine that with her logical and candid manner and you can see why this very articulate woman is on the bestseller list. A very easy read. This book is entertaining and thought-provoking.

Media attacks her all the time that is why I had to get one of her books. After hearing her I am amazed at irresponsible criticisms that have been falsely leveled at this woman. She backs all she says with facts. It is just some find it hard to swallow the truth, even when served with such witty sarcasm.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The usual sloppy and lazy thinking designed to provoke, 10 Jun 2012
By 
J. How "Justin" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter (Paperback)
Ann Coulter seems to have been put on the planet to make statements that are fully of sloppy thinking, bigoted views and designed to whip up extremists (on both sides of the political divide). I depresses me that she might actually believe this stuff.
Give this a miss and get one that is less "Sunday Mail" - your intellect deserves it.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The usual sloppy and lazy thinking designed to provoke, 10 Jun 2012
By 
J. How "Justin" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ann Coulter seems to have been put on the planet to make statements that are fully of sloppy thinking, bigoted views and designed to whip up extremists (on both sides of the political divide). I depresses me that she might actually believe this stuff.
Give this a miss and get one that is less "Sunday Mail" - your intellect deserves it.
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18 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a fresh prespective, 13 July 2005
By 
Debbie Mclennan (Glasgow, South Lanarkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
A fantastic book for this time in which we live. No longer do we have to put up with ignorant rantings of liberals who want to use their view as the only correct and justifiable and permissiable position. Hooray and about time the truth was spoken.
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9 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tells it as it is., 11 Feb 2008
By 
maz "maz" (Kent , England) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter (Paperback)
It is refreshing to read a book from a writer who doesn't pull any punches about political correctness as far as the biggest threat to our society is.

Ms Coulter points out the absurd policy of airlines and other authorities of not using racial sterotyping in case they offend certain groups. She also states what few people have, 9/11 was a hate crime of massive proportions and all people can worry about is not using the word Christmas in case it offends someone.

The spineless EU and UN are rightly attacked for their general uselessness.

I really enjoyed this book and got great enjoyment reading it on the train and getting evil looks from the Guardian readers.

Purchase it and wind a few people up.
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8 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Harmless but not very funny, 25 Sep 2009
By 
el dolor de la vida (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter (Paperback)
It's hard to judge anything Ann Coulter does really- whether to take it seriously or just laugh at this woman; when I first heard from her I thought she was a comedic character, à la Stephen Colbert, except more ridiculous. Anyway, serious or not, this book isn't really a big deal as it's not going to change anyone's opinions about anything -quite simply you'd have to be a real, no-messing-about moron to listen to anything this woman has to say. You couldn't just kind of stumble into agreeing with these opinions - you'd have to have been raised as the kind of Christian who doesn't believe in dinosaurs, etc. and probably never goes outside. Because if you've been outside, if you've experienced any kind of contact with anyone who isn't well-off, white and Christian, if you've had any kind of life-experience at all, you would simply disregard people like Ann Coulter and wait for this generation of Americans to disappear.

Really there's no need for explanation or argument here, just one fact - Ann Coulter has suggested that Muslims should travel on "flying carpets" since they shouldn't be allowed on aeroplanes. Even if that's a joke, it kind of says all that needs to be said about her.
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