Some nice emails today in response to my admittedly heavy-handed G-File (though it really wasn’t intended to sound so guilt-mongering, I was just writing very, very, fast that’s what came out).
Subject: Be of good cheer
I finished the Kindle edition of TOC, and immediately ordered 7 copies and gave them to the members of our high school debate team. We started discussing the book yesterday. No one has finished it yet, but we all agree that it is going to be an excellent weapon for us next year. We all had stories of encountering your examples in debate rounds (me and the other coaches while judging). The universal response was some variant of “They used that ‘one man’s terrorist’ crap on us at Princeton, and I wish I had had this answer ready!”So to your list of comforting accomplishments, you can add the fact that, thanks to J. Goldberg, the Randolph-Macon Academy Debate Team is going to kick some serious ass in the fall.
And another, from a longtime reader:
Subject: Loving the Book!
Wanted to let you know that:
1) I’ve been burned by pre-orders before…but pre-ordering your book
was not too much to ask at all, and it turned out to be a Very Good
Decision. I knocked off the first 100 pages on Tuesday alone. Well done.
2) My ideal, hypothetical Jonah Goldberg book would be about midway
between LF and ToC in terms of density, scholarliness, and tone. But I
greatly appreciate each book for what it is, and wouldn’t make major
changes to either.
(Except maybe to publish a separate edition of ToC in coloring-book form
to increase the chances that Piers Morgan might read it.)
3) Good news: I touted ToC to the Facebook crowd. Bad news: I did so by
sort of accusing you of intercepting my thoughts. To wit–
> Jonah Goldberg’s new book arrived today, and–wow–it’s like
> he’s been stealing thoughts from directly inside my brain. Like
> this one:
> “Now when it comes to enlightenments I’ve long followed the rule
> of the dad in So I Married an Axe Murderer: ‘If it’s not Scottish,
> it’s crap.’”
> I swear I said the exact same thing myself just the other day…
I had indeed said that very thing…I wasn’t making it up!
4) Reading the Acknowledgments, I once again got a lump in my throat
over Josh. That may seem silly, since I never met him, and I’ve only
gotten to hang out with you in person on two occasions (though pints
were lifted and a good time was had by all).
But I’ve been a flying monkey for so long that you’re a big part of my
mental furniture (as is The Couch of course!); and also, some of the
things you wrote about your brother reminded me a lot of myself. So I
remember him along with my own family when I pray for those who have
died; and this week I’m hoping especially that he’s been able to enjoy
the book you dedicated to him.
Cheers, and get some rest when you can.
And finally, damn libraries! Here’s hoping Mitt Romney takes care of them once he’s elected!
Subject: LOVE the new book
Jonah, today’s G-File only added to the guilt I was already feeling: I checked your book out at the library rather than buying it. I know, this is awful. I am a HUGE fan of yours (actually only 6′1″, 180, but you know what I mean). I’ve only read the Introduction, and I already find myself saying “YES!, YES!” out loud (not quite in the “When Harry Met Sally” way) as you articulate points and observations that pretty much everyone else ignores or lets slide. They really need to be said, and the book has a chance of actually helping debate move forward rather than get sidetracked or stalled by conventional turns of phrase.
I’m trying to do my part in other ways: I’ve gone to Amazon and marked the good reviews as helpful, and the ones written by people who haven’t read the book or are criticizing Amazon’s DRM as unhelpful. I’ve written emails and internet message posts recommending the book. But I haven’t yet bought the book. I was looking this morning to see if you were doing a book-signing anywhere, but I understand that so far appearing on TV shows hosted by left-wing weenies has taken up most of your time. I’ll probably end up picking it up at Costco. I know it is only one book and that won’t really move the needle, but more than anything else I want to accomplish one thing: ensure a next book by Jonah Goldberg.
Thanks, and good luck.