Most helpful positive review
I can feel it coming in the edge of night, oh lord!
on June 13, 2002
Myron Magnet, publisher of the quarterly "City Journal", has written an absolutely wonderful book about the best laid plans of mice and men going awry. In this book the aspirations of the socialist central planners are shown to create more problems than they solve hence the title.
Magnet is a skillful writer and a deep and intricate thinker. While his observations are absolutely correct, his depictions of the carnage wrought are gentle and rancorless. To draw a contrast, Martin Gross, the equally intelligent author of the "the End of Sanity: Social and Cultural Madness in America", is far more trenchent and bitter in his denunciations of the same problems that Magnet describres.
Magnet's thesis is that the Socialist Left's embrace of Marxist as well as Freudian theory has accrued to poltical and social policies which have been incredibly destructive to the culture of the have-not's in America. When one considers that the Left has controlled the political process for the most of the last half century one cannot help but wonder what it takes for bad societal outcomes to stop bad social policies? Indeed the record is clear and the jury is in, Socialism is a loser. Even Western Europe is moving inexorably toword the Center-Right in election after election. Keynes is out and Hayek is in. The 3rd way is not the way.
Magnet goes through the underpinnings of Marxist theory and the intricate arguments of its more intellectual proponents. It never ceases to amaze how intelligent people can concoct such detailed and seemingly logical arguments to support such blatently sophist conclusions, but Magnet patiently weaves together his fabric of stories, facts and conclusions until you cannot resist agreeing with his solutions and his remedies.
The theories of both Freud and Marx, as depicted in this book, are on the outside looking in at this point in history, but a fierce rear guard action is still being fought by the true believers in academia, Hollywood, the major media and the major book publishers. In this book Magnet shows them the way to redemption. When will they listen?
To those of us willing to acknowledge the turning of the wheel of history, Magnet does a marvelous job in helping us transition from the old to the new. This book is purportedly the most important book read by "W" other than the bible, and it is said to form the basis for his stance as a compassionate conservative. It should be read by everyone seeking to understand how we got here and where we're going to go.