Friday, October 05, 2012


Just finished Ann Coulter's Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obamaand I thought I share my impression of the book.

First let me say that I did learn a bunch from reading the book. I am painfully aware that most Americans are historically illiterate. Sad but true. But though Ann Coulter does expose some very interesting history she does tend to stretch things a little too far. For example - I'm pretty sure that Sam Ervin's motivation during the Watergate hearings was not to get back at Richard Nixon because Nixon was pro civil rights and Ervin was a segregationalist. I am also pretty sure that the "ferocious opposition to gay marriage" in the black community today is not rooted in subconscious rebellion against Great Society policies that resulted in an explosion of unwed single mothers among blacks.

I am in complete agreement that liberal policies have in the whole done more harm than good but what troubled me about the book is that Coulter almost seems to dismiss the existence of racism in US society. I know she would probably say that the book was about liberal policies not about racism but when you write things like, "By 1930 there were more child pornographers in the country than racists" - you are diminishing my ability to take what you write serious.

If I were the editor of this book I probably would have suggested the following changes:

- Delete any comparisons of liberals or racists to Nazis. Not helpful.
- If you are going to mention failed liberal policies and unintended consequences on race in this country there should be at least a whole chapter on HUD and the failures of urban planning.
- Ann needs a thesaurus so she doesn't have to keep writing "mau-maued" all the time. Bully, cow, hector, strong-arm - see plenty of other words that can be used.
- Ann was born in New York City and the book is VERY NYC centric. That could be a problem for some after a while.

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