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on 11 April 2017
I am bemused by some of the reviews on Amazon of this and other books by Ms Coulter. She is a right wing polemicist and as such she is bound to infuriate people with left wing views. This is exactly what she wants to do, both because she wants to challenge beliefs with which she disagrees, and because publicity leads to more sales of her books. The reviewers pour vitriol on her and I think I can hear her laughing all the way to the bank.

The book argues that the left in America has created something akin to a religious belief system. She believes the basis of this system to be atheism. I think her religious arguments are not always as interesting or expressed with the sharp wit of her political views.

With regard to politics she has a splendid ability to skewer the shibboleths of the left. Of course she picks and chooses her evidence, but then that is the case with left wing polemicists as well.

Her chapter on Michael Dukakis and the Willie Horton incident is perhaps the best writing in the present book. If her facts are correct then it appears a liberal governor of the most liberal state of Massachusetts took it upon himself to extend prisoner furloughs to those who have committed murder. From this start Ms Coulter makes merry with the whole sorry story but not without forgetting the impact of Willie Horton on the two people he took captive and assaulted. In contrast it is rather telling that the then governor allegedly refused to meet with Horton's vicitms or acknowledge them publicly.

Ms Coulter spends three chapters discussing evolution and how it is nearly a criminal offence in America to suggest in public schools that there are any other alternative explanations of life's origins. Some reviewers have suggested that she is completely out of her depth here. However while I do not have a position (belief or disbelief) in intelligent design I have yet to see any evidence as to how some of the most complex systems (such as the eye) actually evolved. Evolutionary theorists do keep saying 'it evolved and some day we will show you how' but this evidence never seems to show up and Ms Coulter does a good job of baiting these people. - The problem is similar to evolutionary psychology where every single human behavioural trait can be attributed to an 'evolutionary story' which is then taken on faith because there is no actual evidence for this, it is only a story.

On balance I would say 'Mugged' is more the interesting than the present book as it is geared entirely to a specific political issue.

I am sure Ms Coulter is on television somewhere right now. I would probably find that a bit strident!
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on 28 January 2017
I bought this because of the bad reviews on Amazon, not the good ones. This is a great book and everyone (not just American's) should read it. Lots of stuff on Religion/Darwin and Mike Dukakis, the guy who ran for President. He was letting people out of jail who were convicted of murder, and when they got out they murdered again.
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on 1 October 2016
Ann Coulter on another rant
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on 12 October 2016
For the past decade attorney and political commentator Ann Coulter has been one of the most passionate, articulate voices on behalf of modern American conservatism. In her first book, "High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton", Coulter made a persuasive case for former President William Clinton's impeachment, conviction and removal from office (Looking back, I might add a more serious charge than those she cited in her book; gross dereliction of his duty to defend the United States from attack by refusing to take seriously the threat of Islamofascist terror. If Clinton had listened to excellent advice from aides like Dick Morris, then perhaps the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks on the United States would have been prevented.). More recently, in "Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism", Coulter wrote a stinging indictment of the Left's handling of American foreign policy since the end of World War II; one which should be taken seriously by anyone interested in the history of American foreign policy in the postwar world (I thought so highly of this book, that it earned recently a glowing Amazon.com customer review from me.). For these reasons alone I should be prepared to write a glowing review of "Godless: The Church of Liberalism"; instead, I will condemn, not praise, Coulter's prose.

Coulter contends that secular humanism has become the unofficial state religion of the American Left. Furthermore, she argues passionately that this religion has allowed the Left to embrace causes like women's reproductive health rights, to defend spies and murderers ranging from Alger Hiss to Mumia Abu-Jamal, and to subscribe to a creation myth known as "Darwin's Theory of Evolution". Coulter also implies that the Left has gone far astray from the moral and religious values of our Founding Fathers. In "Godless: The Church of Liberalism" Coulter offers a somewhat paranoid view of the Left, ignoring the significant roles played by liberal Christian religious leaders during the Civil Rights movement and the anti-war protests against the Vietnam War from the 1950s to 1970s; roles which some liberal Christian theologians like Reverend Jim Wallis, author of the recent best-selling book "God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It", are not yet willing to concede to the so-called Christian Right. Coulter also ignores the excellent scholarship of eminent historians like David McCullough and Gordon Wood (Our foremost authority on the history of the American Revolution and the early republic in the decade after the drafting of the U. S. Constitution; he was also one of the finest professors I had in college.) who have stressed the strong influence of both the Scottish and French Enlightenments on the Founding Fathers' religious and political thinking (Furthermore, Newsweek editor-in-chief Jim Meacham, in his recently published "American Gospel", has argued persuasively that our Founding Fathers had a more secular humanist view of Judeo-Christian values; contrary to the more fundamentalist Protestant interpretations voiced by Ann Coulter, Patrick Buchanan, Pat Robertson and others of their ilk.).

Nearly half of "Godless: The Church of Liberalism" is devoted to "debunking" the liberal creation myth known as "Darwin's Theory of Evolution". Regrettably, Coulter demonstrates repeatedly her ignorance of the scientific method, ignoring the overwhelming body of evidence which exists from the fossil record to molecular biology, in support of both the fact of evolution, and of Darwin's theory of evoluion via natural selection. Coulter presumably believes that evolution is a liberal creation myth since prominent evolutionary biologists such as Edward O. Wilson and especially, Richard Dawkins, have either expressed their strong indifference or hostility towards Christianity; however theirs is a minority view since I know of many prominent scientists, ranging from University of Arizona ecologist Michael Rosenzweig (a devout Jew) to Brown University cell biologist Kenneth Miller (a devout Roman Catholic; author of "Finding Darwin's God"), who see no conflict at all between their personal embrace of religious faith and superb scientific research in evolutionary biology and other aspects of biology. Coulter seems too eager to point out hoaxes like the infamous Piltdown Man discovery or inept scientific research like Ernst Haeckel's assertion that "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" (A hypothesis which the late Stephen Jay Gould debunked in technical works such as his classic mid 1970s book on this subject, "Ontogeny and Phylogeny", and in his superb essays for general public consumption from his "This View of Life" column in Natural History magazine which were also published in a critically acclaimed series of essay collections.). Coulter adds to her ignorance about the significance of the fossil record as important evidence on behalf of evolution by ridiculing as an evolutionary dead end, the recent discovery of Tiktaalik, an aquatic primitive tetrapod which shared a mosaic of fish and amphibian features (The current July/August 2006 issue of Natural History has an article, "From Fins to Limbs", by noted British veterbrate paleontologist Jennifer Clack, which correctly notes the importance of Tiktaalik towards our understanding of the evolution of tetrapods from fish ancestors.).

Coulter comes across as yet another strident apologist for Intelligent Design, contending that a liberal bias in scientific research is the reason why serious scientific research on Intelligent Design has not yet been published in prominent scientific journals. She cites as a sole example, a survey article written by Intelligent Design supporters which was published in an obscure journal published by a Washington, D. C.-based biological society, using it to demonstrate liberal bias against Intelligent Design scientific research. Regrettably, Coulter's legalistic argument doesn't hold muster, since the article in question did not contain any notable research validating the Intelligent Design hypothesis (Coulter should ask herself why prominent scientific journals like Nature and Science have yet to publish Intelligent Design-oriented research articles; could the answer lie in the fact that Intelligent Design is not a credible scientific theory?). Coulter also resorts to a bizarre, McCarthyesque attack on Judge John E. Jones III, the Republican jurist of the Dover, PA trial, who ruled that Intelligent Design is a religious doctrine masquerading as science (Coulter's bizarre behavior stands in stark contrast to the well-reasoned, often profound, critiques of Intelligent Design and favorable appraisals of Darwin's Theory of Evolution via Natural Selection written by fellow conservative commentators Charles Krauthammer and George Will immediately after Judge Jones issued his verdict (These were published in the New York Post and Washington Post soon after Jones' verdict was announced.).

Ann Coulter has earned degrees from two universities which are among the world's preeminent centers for research in ecology and evolutionary biology: Cornell and Michigan. I am surprised that she shows little interest in or knowledge of the excellent research conducted by evolutionary biologists at both universities (If she had acquainted herself with Michigan vertebrate paleontologist Philip Gingerich's seminal research on the origin and early evolution of whales - which is still ongoing - then I think she would not have made the fallacious claim that the fossil record doesn't support evolution.). Instead of reading "Godless: The Church of Liberalism" for Coulter's insipid insights on evolution, I would have to recommend instead, such notable works as Robert Pennock's "Tower of Babel", Kenneth Miller's "Finding Darwin's God" and Niles Eldredge's "Darwin: Discovering the Tree of Life" (Since Coulter does reside in New York City, I hope she has the opportunity to view the American Museum of Natural History's "Darwin" exhibition - curated by noted evolutionary biologist and paleobiologist Niles Eldredge, who is a curator of invertebrate paleontology at the museum - before it closes next month.). But I suspect the prospect of that occuring is as likely as her listening to conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly's recently published advice for her to tone down her strident rhetoric.

(Reposted from my 2006 Amazon USA review.)
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on 30 October 2011
I am appalled how this woman generalizes her views on liberalism, not even supported by scientific studies but mostly quotes from various journals or newpaper articles, like from the Daily Telegraph, New York Sun, The Mirror or RollingStone, among others (which are reflections of the journalists' views - however, Ms Coulter uses their arguments as facts)... and she does it in the same manner Hitler won his early elections: accusing others of atrocities and thereby hiding his own intolerant views.

I can't find any tolerance in this book, and neither is there humility, compassion or respect for other people (except for those who agree with her fundamentalist opinions). That is, unfortunately, a deeply narcissistic stance.

Well, I have to assume that this author possesses some intelligence (else she wouldn't be able to write books, I'd say), but she lacks in many important areas. When I spotted her in a talk show stating that the US were bombing Egypt (confusing it with Libya), ahem, and changing the subject when being called out on this appalling mistake, not even showing the necessary grace of admitting to her embarrassing mistake. Unfortunately, she didn't show any kind of conflict- or communcational competence - which is also evident in this book.

Perhaps Ms Coulter should spend more time in libraries learning instead of resorting to this kind of fundamentalist, if not fascist logorrhoea. What scared me the most, actually, is that these books sell. Some people do listen to that reactionary, radical voice which would, should this go on, throw the United States back into the stone age. Books like this only encourage other nations to go back to the Anti-American positions which were found during the Bush administrations.

I read this because I didn't believe what I had heard about this author and this particular book, so I invested time and money to be able to form an opinion, and I can't say that I found any value in this book. Basically, what I found was a pathetic display of the worst kind of fundamentalism.
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on 19 August 2008
I found this book absolutely brilliant. A hilarious 'must read' for anyone who has an interest in politics that leans to the left. Coulters blaming of all things bad on single parents, atheists, (-and I quote) 'Ragheads', and homosexuals is suprisingly inoffensive and very funny.
I always make sure I buy her books second hand though. I'd hate to be funding her ability to survive.
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on 29 August 2009
Extreme right-wing propaganda of the worst kind, this poorly-argued, factually-bankrupt book from Ann Coulter will have you laughing in disbelief at the continuation of her career. Any time she attempts to critique the theory of evolution (she labels this "Darwinism" which is an essay-length fallacy in itself) the book devolves into outright creationist farce as several of the other reviews have mentioned. More puzzling is that fact that the stated central thesis of the book, to expose a godless "religion" of liberalism is abandoned wholesale for entire chapters at a time (apparently Ms. Coulter realised about three quarters of the way through Chapter 1 how pitifully little weight this argument had) in favour of cheap shots at a handful of controversial left-wing figures the likes of which would make even Michael Moore blush (if he swung that way politically). Someone should have taken her aside at an early stage and explained the several dozen gaping holes in her attempt to brand tenets of liberal political stances as somehow amounting to religion (an odd and hypocritical choice in the first place since she subjects her own faith, and the ways in which it informs her political and moral rhetoric, to none of the pitbull rigours she employs elsewhere) and we could have saved a hell of a lot of paper. But then Ms. Coulter's fanatical hatred of all things in nature (with the telling exception of oil) and naturalists would not have been served. Couldn't have that, eh Ann? Also of note are the frankly disturbing attitudes Ms. Coulter, clearly a woman of some intelligence, displays towards women's rights and the movements that support them, but it is better left to a female commentator to analyse these further - I will content myself with simply stating my revulsion. Lacking a direction, a point and the means to cogently argue it the book dissolves time and again into faith-based and politically-naive ranting, but as Ms. Coulter herself states: "The moment self-righteousness takes over, you are dealing with dangerous psychopaths" (Oh, the irony).

One of the few times one wishes one could award zero stars.
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on 5 December 2006
Ann Coulter is extremely intelligent, but she appears to see the world in stark shades of black and white with no shades of gray in between. This book is like a train wreck - you know going in you will be horrified, yet it is that horrified fascination and morbid curiosity that keeps you from turning away.

This author's philosophies are completely divergent from mine and I admit that her strident reiteration of her seemingly relentless views drive me up a tree. She has every right on earth to express her opinions and that same right applies to everyone else, including those who hold very different opinions. I can't stand the way she condemns those she calls liberals and claims that anybody who supports a remotely liberal philosophy is godless. Horse feathers! How on earth does she support the claim that liberals' beliefs are the anthesis of Biblical precepts? She fails to support that argment which I think is a fallacy at best and a sick indictment of a large segment of the population at worst. This hollers "intolerance" with painful reverberations.

Her weird hypothetical scenario of a Martian arriving in America, that Martian would be hard put to guess what the nation's official state religion is and would draw the conclusion that it was liberalism. Baloney! Since when is a political ideology a religion that includes worship of a deity? The arguments in this book are nonsensical at times and just don't add up.

Coulter also claims that Christianity has been outlawed in Massachusetts, but there is absolutely nothing to verify this. In fact, I have been to Massachusetts many times; know people there and let's just say that all Christian religions are flourishing. How does she explain the Kennedy family, a juggernaut of politicians from Massachusetts who are Catholic? I defy her to explain that one. Catholicism, which is also the religion I follow is a Christian faith. I have never once encountered religious intolerance in Massachusetts or a dearth of Catholic churches and people to do faith sharing with there.

The sheer smugness and tone of intolerance that underscore this book really turns my stomach. It is bad enough enduring the liberal bashing, but to make matters worse, Coulter stridently attacks Episcopalians, stating their church is not a real church. By whose standards? And what consitutes a "real" church to her? For Pete's sake!

I think it is stupid and counterproductive to indict entire groups of people. There is diversity in ALL groups, liberals and Christians included. Ms. Coulter does not even personally know most of the people she paints with her broad brush strokes in stark shades of black and white with no variation. How on earth can anybody make generalizations about any group of people, most of whom they don't even know? To add further insult to further injury, Ms. Coulter appears to snarl at anybody who dares disagree with her. Archie Bunker, the fictional bigot of "All in the Family" fame sounded quantum leaps more tolerant than Ms. Coulter EVER has!

Challenging and refuting Ms. Coulter was not difficult. Let's hope that she will take the Biblical passages about tolerance of others to heart before she writes another book or lambastes the widows of 9/11.
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on 9 October 2009
This is a very witty and impassioned polemic against the internal inconsistencies, lies and plain stupidities of the Left (whom Ann Coulter misleadingly calls 'liberals', rather than, as I will from now on, 'progressives'). Of course, it is a Left-baiting diatribe, and none the less hilarious for that, given the po-faced self-regard with which progressives have set the political agenda and try to control what can be said and thought.

For example, 'John Dewey, the founder of public education in America, said, "You can't make Socialists out of individualists - children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming ..." You also can't make socialists out of people who can read, which is probably why Democrats think the public schools have nearly achieved Aristotelian perfection' (page 152).

Or, with regard to the censorious over-reaction by progressives to 'The Bell Curve', which provided evidence of racial differences in IQ (progressives attacked the evidence as racist, rather than any proposed political solution), Miss Coulter says 'Only liberals (sic) could interpret a statement that people have varying IQs as a call to start killing people' (page 174).

Leftist balloons are also pricked in regard to lies concerning abortion ('partial-birth abortion' is the euphemism); inconsistency in AIDS propaganda; unearned respect for public-school teachers; and an hysterical over-reaction by women to the opinion that sex-differences are real. Except the last, these may not seem like subjects to joke about but I laughed out loud in a dozen places.

Unfortunately, Ann Coulter's merry iconoclastic progress is derailed on page 204 by a ridiculous misunderstanding of Darwinism. According to Darwin (she says), evolution must be true unless someone can prove that no complex organ could possibly evolve by small graduated steps. Darwin said exactly the opposite, of course. In 'On The Origin of Species', Darwin outlined four potential refutations of natural selection. Ann Coulter mangles the first case, which is that evolution would be false if an irreducibly complex organ were ever discovered (a riskier prediction in 1859 than now, given improved knowledge of microbiology, but still falsifiable).

I give only four stars because Miss Coulter's ignorance about evolution is unjustifiable and because she encourages Leftist authoritarians to call themselves 'liberals'.
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on 19 June 2007
One of Ms Coulter's statements is: "I defy any of my co-religionists to tell me they do not laugh at the idea of Dawkins burning in hell." Is that what Christians would call charity? Do her co-religionists really deserve her low opinion of them? Is eternal torture really a joyous idea? I notice that none of those reviewers who like her book has contradicted her on this point! So are they evil-minded sadists too? The religious Right do tend to reveal themselves as the last people you would like to have on your side in a crisis.
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