I borrowed this book from the library so as not to put money into the pockets of the author. My desire to read this book is simply to peek at a playbook of the opposing side.
Before I begin this review, I'll leave you with a quote from the author's blog to help characterize him. This message was directed at a heritage group:
"Don't try and post here. I won't approve your comments.
I'm sick of you. I detest you. I don't want to hear from you. No sane person wants to hear from you.
You're a variant on al-Qaeda, and you're too deranged to realize it.
Go to Hell, where the likes of you belong."
The author seems to have desperately wanted to put on airs of toughness with the aesthetics of this book, from the pseudo-stencil graffiti font of the title, to the pre-tattered and uneven page edges. The illusion attempted here, I suppose, is that the book is supposed to look like it has seen many hard miles in the messenger bag of a modern progressive revolutionary, ever there as a seminal go-to political bible that just might save your life in a conservo-fascist tear gas attack. You will also notice that each time you see the letter R capitalized, it has an elongated tail, almost as though it was the "prescription" glyph.
Looking beyond the poser-ish exterior, let's examine the content. The author starts each chapter with an italicized snippet which appears to be an attempt at emulating a quote from an archaic book of scientific lore, with fake latin and everything. The author seems to get bored of his own little schtick by the later chapters. For that matter, so had I.
You might find that the chapter titles are a bit misleading. The chapter entitled "How to Identify a Conservative" is far from accurate. This is the chapter where the author tittilates his progressive readers with plenty of derogatory descriptions of conservatives; as ignorant mouth-breathing bigots who hate arts and culture, resentful of the progressives for their "book-learnin". Although this chapter may be effective as a nice little written pep rally, it offers nothing for the 'outsider' audience, apart from a sense of wasted time and a clearer picture of the contempt espoused by the left for people of opposing viewpoints.
The following chapters are a completely unremarkable string of name-droppings, endless asinine anecdotes, and conspicuous self-inclusion. The reader can safely skip the middle chapters if he can mouth the following words: "Yes, Mr. Kinsella, we get it: You were a somebody, back when your colleagues were figures of significance."
Let's have a little browse at the last two chapters. Let's pay particular attention to this section of the book, because the final chapter throws down a gauntlet: "HOW TO FIGHT THE RIGHT (AND KICK ASS). Ooooohhhh... Wow.... this has got to be good! I mean, after all, someone compared him to a modern day machiavelli! Well, I'll summarize the conclusion;
In 1964 L. B. Johnson was running against Goldwater in the US presidential election. Johnson was getting spanked. He had a dude put together a television advertisement known as "Daisy", in which the message is "Vote for Johnson or we all die in a nuclear apocalypse". Johnson won. Kinsella spends the sunset of his book vaunting and venerating the cat that whipped this advertisement together. Kinsella's conclusion is this: Since appealing to the voter's mind is a losing tactic for the progressives, the only arrow left in the quiver is to appeal to the voter's emotion and scare him or her.
For an example of this magic bullet in action, do a youtube search for "The True Nature of the Harper Government", and see the PSAC's modern take on "Daisy" as per doctor Kinsella's prescription.
If you've read this entire review, you could really skip the book, unless you have an affinity for long drawn-out explanations of why the publication of a picture of Jean Chretien on water skis was the penultimate and crucial moment in Canadian politics. Seriously, you could save yourself 80 minutes of reading, and instead go have an incredulous laugh at the libta-... progressives on rabble.ca