Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative Paperback – Feb 25 2003
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David Brock made his name (and big money) by trashing Anita Hill as "a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty." But it was Brock's reporting that was nutty and slutty, he confesses in the riveting memoir Blinded by the Right. He absolves Hill; claims he helped Clarence Thomas threaten another witness into backing down; portrays a ghastly right-wing Clinton-bashing conspiracy of hypocrites, zillionaires, and maniacs; and accuses himself of being "a witting cog in the Republican sleaze machine." Now Brock is sliming his former fellows--everyone from the lawyer who argued the Bush v. Gore case to gonzo pundits Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham ("the only person I knew who didn't appear to own a book or regularly read a newspaper") to Matt Drudge and Tom Wolfe. Brock excoriates the gay hypocrites of the right wing, including himself, and tells how he cleverly spun his own outing. (He calls himself "the only openly gay conservative in the country," evidently forgetting about the far more open and famous Andrew Sullivan.)
If Brock says he was a liar for much of his life, how do we know he's not lying now? Blinded by the Right is less addicted to anonymous and third-hand sources than the madcap character assassinations that made him famous, and it is infinitely more plausible. But that doesn't make it necessarily true. (Anita Hill's lawyer has acidly observed that Brock confessed his Hill-related lies after seven years, when the statute of limitations prevents suing for slander.) Dumped by the right after he wrote a non-hatchet-job book on Hillary Clinton, Brock profits by running to the arms of the center and left. But that doesn't make this book untrue. All I can tell you is you'll have to read it and decide for yourself. And I'll bet you'll admit this mea-culpa memoir has the revolting, irresistible fascination of a bad car wreck. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Library Journal
When Brock (The Real Anita Hill; The Seduction of Hillary Rodham) was a freshman at the University of California at Berkeley in 1981, his political idol was Bobby Kennedy. Four years later, he was a committed conservative who idolized Oliver North and Robert Bork. In this book, Brock chronicles the political round trip back to his more liberal roots. Along the way, he earned the adoration of the extreme right, even after he acknowledged that he was gay, because he worked feverishly as a writer for conservative publications such as the Washington Times and American Spectator, promoting and validating conservative causes. An American Spectator article in early 1994 broke the "Troopergate" scandal and laid the groundwork for the Paula Jones suits against President Clinton, but Brock says he was troubled by the relentless investigations of the Clintons and came to regret his part in them. Eventually, the shallowness of his relationship with the conservatives forced him to make a final break in 1997. Although readers may doubt the sincerity of Brock's latest conversion, the book offers a revealing inside look at the conservative media and provides a careful chronicling of the investigations of the Clintons. Recommended for media studies and political science collections and for larger public libraries. Jill Ortner, SUNY at Buffalo Libs.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Brock and his buddies attended the delivery of the current Rosemary's Baby of a presidential administration that we currently cower under in a state of near-perpetual fear and utter victimhood. He appears to repent as it twitches away in its black cradle, but his confessions and regrets are little more than weak platitudes, and the author's core personal defects are neither explored nor resolved here in any meaningful way. At the bitter end, I was left with a haunting feeling that endures. The book is billed as an autobiography, but the interior world of its author is either heavily guarded or nonexistent. Who is this guy, and who abducted his soul? Certainly not the Berkeley anarchists who angered him, or his neocon professor friends who mentored him - no comic book activists or university faculty could ever warp a smart guy like this to such an extreme. Don't crack this book expecting anything but solid concrete - it's nothing more than a running diary describing who he screwed, how hard he screwed 'em, and his resulting ample compensation. That's what you get, but you get a LOT - perhaps more than you can take.Read more ›
Anyway, I'm pretty conservative, and learned a lot. Brock's is a hard book to get through, but I'll never view the 90's (Newt, Clinton, all media) the same again. Oh yeah, back to my review title: Brock tells of his relationships with right-wing queens Arianna Huffington, Laura Ingraham, and Ann Coulter. More details next time! Do they like to play quarters? Caps?! Keggers or wine boxes?
David Brock identifies and describes how the right wing echo chamber grew from infancy during the Reagan years and hit critical mass with unsubstantiated reports and ruthless allegations during the Clinton years. He even underscores how Clarence Thomas' confirmation hearing, and the sour grapes that followed, lead to his villifying Anita Hill, the Clintons, and anyone else who dared to go against conservatism in the slightest (he makes it a point to argue Bush Sr. was never really trusted by the conservatives).
However, he places too much irrelevant personal reference into the story and his storytelling isn't always coherent or concise.
The story itself has more in line with Stephen Glass or Jayson Blair concerning the importance of proper journalism techniques than it does with political discourse--he doesn't argue who was right or wrong, only that he himself willingly chose a side and slandered those that went against it. To that end, it serves as a mea culpa in the same vein as Blair's or Glass's novels rather than an affirmation as to which side has the better argument. For Dems it verifies what many already knew and for GOPers it is the confession of a person who lost the faith.
Most recent customer reviews
Brock comes clean and writes a fantastic account of the late 80s and 90s war between the Right and the Left. Read morePublished on May 22 2004 by J. Fischer
I just finished reading this book . . . I stayed up to 5 a.m. last night finishing the book because it was so riveting. Read morePublished on May 3 2004 by D. Johansen
This is an extremely readable book that I found difficult to put down. Mr. Brock draws the reader in by making a national movement personal and intimate rather than trying to tell... Read morePublished on April 16 2004 by Sarah Bellum
First of all, let me deal with the things I thought were bad about the book. There's no index or references in the book. Read morePublished on April 9 2004 by Jim Richards
I believe David Brock's account in, "Blinded By The Right." He became alienated by the radical left and fell in with conservatives while a student at UC Berkley. Read morePublished on April 2 2004
Last weekend I finally had a chance to read David Brock's infamous Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative and was underwhelmed to say the least. Read morePublished on March 29 2004 by Bernard Chapin
After having read a good number of books in the "Franken vs. O'Reilly" genre, I found Brock's book engrossing not just because of the politics involved, but because the... Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2004 by Pablo Bridges
David Brock provides an "insider" look at the so-called right wing conspiracy that apparently is still lurking in the shadows. Read morePublished on Jan. 24 2004 by Avid Reader
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