9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A Wonderful Book,
This review is from: The Fallout: How a guilty liberal lost his innocence (Paperback)
I spend a lot of my time reading politics books similar to this one, and had signalled it out a long time ago as the type of book I would like to read. However, I hadn't really heard about it in the media, nor heard of the author and so it wasn't very high up on my priority list. The first two chapters read more like a novel than a polemic as well as they are essentially a biographical account of the author's upbringing, which I found perfectly enjoyable but were mostly filler for the later parts of the book, and so I still wasn't hugely enthralled to start with.
When the book really started to directly address the broad range of topics that most mainstream liberal journalists would subscribe to however, I was completely blown away. For the most part this book is probably aimed at fellow 'guilty liberals' to force them to address a lot of the assumptions and consequences of their beliefs of which I am certainly not one of them, so I personally did not find myself surprised or shocked at the broad range of popular views that Anthony was attacking.
The reason the book had such an impact on me therefore was not because I as a member of the right, enjoyed seeing a member of the left dissect and admit he was wrong on so many issues and attack so many other mainstream journalists (although I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy that aspect a bit), but because of the honesty of the writer, the style of writing, the willingness to cut through so many topics that have been paralysed by political correctness and fear of condemnation. Having read far more books of a right-wing persuasion I found myself vigourously shaking my head and murmuring in agreement far more with this book and far more passionately than any other book I'd read.
In many ways this book is very similar to Nick Cohen's book 'What's Left' which is written by another very honest and genuine member of the left that is completely dissatisfied with the direction the western left has taken since 9/11, the difference is that while Nick comes from a slightly older branch of the left and is ruthlessly academic in his work and addresses a lot more of the abstract post-modernist philosophy that has attached itself to the left, Anthony's book is far more readable and enjoyable and I would have thought more easily understood by the layman.
I find it odd that I was so moved by a book that in many way was trying to convince me on issues I was already convinced of, but the often very funny writing style, the very honest and personal way that it was written really touched me. If there are liberals reading this review whose defence mechanisms have been alerted for fear of changing their views this is the least confrontational and most persuasive book you could read to challenge your beliefs.