The (Pre) Reviews Keep Coming

by Jonah Goldberg

The Claremont Review of Books has an excellent Christmas Book list. From Managing Editor John Kienker:

Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning, by Jonah Goldberg

It’s a Christmas miracle to see a book from a big publishing house addressing Woodrow Wilson’s pernicious influence on American politics. Jonah Goldberg shows how Wilson, by seizing upon war as a pretext for reshaping the government’s role at the expense of the Constitution, set in place the pattern for progressive liberalism ever since. Carefully researched, Goldberg’s first book traces the thread of fascism woven through FDR’s New Deal, the myth of John Kennedy’s “Camelot,” the street violence of the late 1960′s, and Hillary Clinton’s child-raising “village.” Liberalism’s successes have relied on crisis politics, using actual war or merely the “moral equivalent of war” (the Great Depression, the War on Poverty, global warming, the children) as the means to building an all-encompassing state.

Naturally, Goldberg is at pains repeatedly to note the crucial differences between America’s fascism and its uglier European cousin (and to acknowledge the fascist strains in the rhetoric of right-of-center figures like George W. Bush and Patrick Buchanan). He chalks up the difference to America’s cultural exceptionalism, but rightly observes, “it in turn may have replaced the fist with the hug, but an unwanted embrace from which you cannot escape is just a nicer form of tyranny.”

Liberal Fascism may yet be denounced as beyond the pale of polite conversation in all the fashionable circles…but won’t that just prove Goldberg’s point?

Me: Alas, as you may have heard, the book’s pub date is Jan 8. If you all converted to the Russian Orthodox Church, however, it would work out a little better in that their Christmas is Jan. 7. Also, pre-ordering now from Amazon may not work out for some Christmas wish-lists. But it would be a great Hanukah present to yours truly.

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