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100 People Who Are Screwing Up America: (and Al Franken Is #37) Paperback – May 23 2006

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Broadside Books; 1 edition (May 23 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060761296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060761295
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,032,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Entertaining.” (Buffalo News)

About the Author

Bernard Goldberg is the number one New York Times bestselling author of Bias, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, and Arrogance. He has won eight Emmy Awards for his work at CBS News and at HBO, where he now reports for the acclaimed program Real Sports. In 2006 he won the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award, the most prestigious of all broadcast journalism awards.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
These comments refer to the audio book which, I believe, is abridged. I don't think reading the book would change my review. Since the audio book was read by the author, there is the advantage of hearing how he emphasizes certain words that provide subtle, subliminal and, possibly, unintentional clues to what he is saying

How serious can you take a book written in 2005 that purports to list the 100 people screwing up America but does not include even one conservative, one Republican or one white, fundamentalist Christian leader. That's right. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Robertson, Falwell and the rest are not on the list. If they are mentioned at all, it is only in terms of how the 'truly evil' people on the list are unfairly opposed to them and speak out against them. If Goldberg had his way, anyone with the audacity to oppose America policy, foreign or domestic, suggest that white Christian ethics (whatever that means) is not the one and only way to think or to challenge the office of the president at any level or on any policy would be shipped out of the country without having time to pack their bags. He makes the claim several times that only the conservative, Republicans are devoid of racial prejudice. He seems to mean every single one of them. By contrast, every single black leader and liberal proponent is a raging bigot. The saddest part of this book is that it was written before Obama gained national prominence. I think he easily would have claimed the number one position. The challenge in listening to this book is ' listening to this book'. I made it all the way through but not without effort. Some of the people he cites have done some bad things and it is not so much their inclusion that one objects to but the omission of those on the ideological 'other side'.
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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on Sept. 9 2006
Format: Paperback
This expanded paperback edition of the bestseller now includes 10 additional wreckers, including Ramsey Clark, Fred Phelps and the five Supreme Court judges who handed down the eminent domain ruling that facilitates the expropriation of private land.

The book is an addictive read that inspires emotions ranging from incredulity, shock and amusement to disgust, revulsion and sadness at the plight of the victims. Fortunately Goldberg's witty observations mostly succeed in serving as antidote to the disturbing revelations.

The author identifies the problem in the introduction: society has become indiscriminately tolerant of bad behaviour. The pendulum has swung from judgmentalism to the unquestioned acceptance of the vulgar, the nasty and the downright evil. Most decent people seem to be too intimidated to complain or resist.

In the introductory chapters, the types of characters that make up the list are discussed by category. These comprise America Bashers, Hollywood Blowhards, TV Schlockmeisters, News Division Schlockmeisters, Rap Musicians, Trial Lawyers, Multicultural Relativists, Racial Enforcers, White Collar Thugs, Sex Warriors and Radicals writers.

Some entries on the list are dismissed with a single word (Courtney Love) or a sentence (Michael Jackson), whilst others comprise up to five pages. Certain entries are titled by characterization instead of name, like The Dumb Celebrity (Cameron Diaz), The Vicious Celebrity (Alec Baldwin), and the Dumb And Vicious Celebrity (Linda Ronstadt). Malignant narcissism seems to the problem in many cases.
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Format: Paperback
Bernard Goldberg attempts to accomplish what many have on both sides of the political spectrum, take aim at figures who distort facts, spew idiocy or hatred and are just a liability to society as a whole (as the author sees it anyway). This seems a risky endeavor, as I believe almost no reader will agree with Goldberg's assessment of every person on the list, as Goldberg himself admits. While there are those who would passionately defend Michael Savage or Al Franken or any number of self-professed experts, analysts or celebrities on both sides of the political spectrum masquerading as humans with a working brain, this book is an interesting and often insightful read (Who knew Al Sharpton was a pompous anti-Semite?).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9ffc4540) out of 5 stars 946 reviews
76 of 94 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa11570d8) out of 5 stars Actually, not what you'd think... Aug. 10 2005
By P. Abramoff - Published on
Format: Hardcover
On the surface, you'd think this book was just another

"right-winger" making a list of 100 Liberals and trashing

them. Actually, it's not, despite the criticism of the

four guests on CNN who attacked Bernie Goldberg, without,

admittedly, even reading the book.

Even though there are the usual liberal suspects on this

list, such as George Soros, Paul Begala, and Howard Dean,

trashing liberals is not really the point of the book.

What Bernie Goldberg does in this book is to cite a number

of TRENDS in America that are ruining our society, and naming

a number of people who exemplify or encourage those trends.

His first several chapters are commentary about those trends.

For example, he cites the destruction of trust in one another

caused by our fear of lawyers, he cites how television

executives are filling the airwaves with a lot of trash

simply because of ratings, and he cites how the gangsta rap

craze is sending horribly destructive messages to our youth.

Then, in his list, he chooses a number of people who exemplify

some of these bad trends. What is MOST INTERESTING is the

number of people who are not all that famous, but many whom

you will recognize once they are described to you.

Here are a few examples...

...that idiot you'd see on late night TV, who wears the green

suit with the question marks all over it. He exemplifies the

idea that the way you get rich is to get "free money", and that

our tax dollars are that "free money".

...a woman, who finding out she was pregnant with triplets,

had two aborted, claiming that if she had to take care of

all three, she'd "have to shop at Costco".

...the former California congressman who was the major

catalyst for the "self-esteem" movement in secondary

education, the result being that our children score well

behind other countries in math and science, but rank

the highest in "self-confidence".

...the congresswoman who came to the defense of a convicted

murderer, as exemplifying the trend of defending the rights

of criminals rather than the victims.

In short, this book is so interesting that I believe if a

person enters into it with an open mind, it will be very

hard to put down. Also, despite its reputation as "right-wing"

and "liberal bashing", it really is not. I recommend this

book for EVERYBODY, and if I could give it SIX STARS, I would.

Lastly, you guessed who he lists as Number One.
26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa115712c) out of 5 stars Interesting book, poor title July 31 2005
By C. Good - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Goldberg's book is as much an effort to pin down why so many people think that self-righteousness, paranoia, and non-stop cussing should guarantee popularity & influence, as it is a book-length & well-researched rant about people that Goldberg doesn't like.

Unfortunately, the title makes the book sound more authoritative than it was meant to be. Goldberg does state in the introduction than he didn't take any surveys when he came up with the list, it's his list based on his opinions and he expects people will disagree with him on his choices and reasoning.

The first section of the book is a commentary on popular culture and things about it that are out of whack. Being popular does not automatically make a person wise, intelligent or informed, and I agree with Goldberg in my dislike of celebrities who feel entitled to make political comments every time someone acknowledges their existence. I also agree with him that managers & CEOs who make power & money their main concerns are pretty disgusting, as are supposedly serious news programs that prostitute themselves for ratings. But I also feel that there are a lot of other people to blame for some of these problems, like the congressmen & reporters who are so thrilled to meet a celebrity that they'll accept anything the celebrity says like it was gospel truth; or the parents who let their kids listen to gangster rap & watch foul-mouthed sitcoms and movies, and then can't figure out why their kids are so foul-mouthed and gutter-minded themselves. I do wish that Goldberg had made some comments about those types of enablers, as well as the offenders.

The Top 100 list, which takes up the majority of the book (246 pages out of 305), consists of short essays on people that set Goldberg's teeth on edge. I agree with many of his choices, although not all of them, and there are other people I wish he had included. Many of his targets are well-known liberals, such as Michael Moore & Al Franken. (And in the cases of both Michael Moore & Al Franken, Goldberg's chapters on them could have used more substance.)

But Goldberg also discusses people who operate behind the scenes in ways that should get a little more attention. And a lot of his choices are individuals who are symbolic of whole movements. For example, Susan Beresford is the president of the Ford Foundation and is #41 on the list. According to Goldberg, if a university wants a Ford Foundation grant (and with $11 billion, the Ford Foundation has a lot of money to grant), the grant application must include figures on how many women & minorities will be involved in the project. Honestly, what business is this of the Ford Foundation's? The validity of an idea or the quality of the research into that idea aren't dependent on the demographics of the researchers, so why should the number of women or minorities on a project make it inherently more or less deserving of funding? (And if Goldberg wants to single Bersford out as an example of charitable foundations who state they are non-partisan but seem to be awfully pushy & nosy for non-partisans, then Goldberg gets to do that because it's his list!)

Another example is Todd Goldman, #97, who was the creator of a line of T-shirts with logos such as "Boys Are Stupid. Throw Rock At Them!" and "Boys Are Smelly . . . Kick Them In The Belly!" Yes, the girls who buy these shirts, the parents who don't point out how disgusting the shirts are, and the whole gender feminist movement who pushes the message that men are inherently deserving of punishment for no other reason than their gender, ALL of those people need to be in this book as much as Todd Goldman. But, like Goldberg, I was disgusted by those shirts and I'm glad he pointed out whose stupid idea they were.

Goldberg has a fairly light writing style, and most of the chapters are pretty short, so it's a pretty quick book to read. I am irritated that the book did not include a table of contents, bibliography, or index. Between those deficiencies and the really interesting & informative writing, I want to give the book 3.6 or 3.8 stars out of five, but since I can't give incremental ratings I'll give it four stars, since it definitely deserves more than three.
63 of 82 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1157564) out of 5 stars An Interesting Book and List, but not a "great" book July 18 2005
By A Midwesterner in Jersey - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I was tempted to give this a 5 star review if only to counterbalance some of the reviewers who will give this a 1 star simply on the basis of opposition politics. However, in my opinion it really does deserve 3 stars, or perhaps 2.5. Here's why:

1. The book won't change anyone's mind. However you feel about Goldberg and his opinions going in, is how you will going out. Goldberg writes entertainingly, but he's not writing a way that will change anyone's mind.

2. The book will age and become a "period" piece fairly quickly. "Hardball" will be around for a long time. This book will age right into near irrelevance in about 2 years.

3. The book is indeed a bit "biased". Goldberg is upfront about what he thinks, and says so - this is ~his~ list and he doesn't expect you to agree with it. Even so, there are a whole lot of Left Wingers here, so many that it gets a bit repetitive. Yeah, he nails Savage, Lay and Koslowski, but there are a lot more Right Wing types that deserve some attention, and some just plain no-goods that are apolitical that deserve mention.

4. You leave the book feeling angry. If you're a Conservative or Right leaning moderate, you're infuriated about what Goldberg has said. If you're a Liberal or a left leaning moderate, you're steaming about how Goldberg could be "so wrong". What you don't get is a useful long term perspective on the "culture wars", or any memorable thoughts on how the rift of opinions can be broached.

So, while I would have to say I agree with a lot of Goldberg's judgements and can understand his viewpoints, I feel the way he approached it was wrong. It seems like this was a fairly easy book to write - pick 100 people you don't like and harangue them in print, then await money to roll in. More time, more depth and more perspective would have made for a more satisfying read, and a longer "shelf life".
27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1157924) out of 5 stars A sense of Humor Helps Aug. 12 2005
By Clementina R. Morton - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bernard Goldberg has such a terrific sense of humor that I would not mind being on this list. However, I find that his humor hits the mark 100 percent of the time. When the Roman Empire started its downward spiral it had more than a little to do with the loss of courtesy and morality. The Me Me society that we have today may be individually satisfying, but the truth of the matter is that we can only pull this planet through to victory with EVERYONE shouldering a bit of the weight. Being a famous person or celebrity does not give anyone the right to tear down our country or abuse our people in Government. To paraphrase Gorky, the only people worthy of freedom are those who are willing to go out and fight for it every day. But it also has to be a Freedom for All, not just a select few. Mr. Goldberg's selections may not appeal to everyone, but I do applaud him for having the chutzpah to do this book and know that he was going to get lots of flak!
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa11578d0) out of 5 stars Why not give it look? Aug. 8 2005
By Dan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Admittedly, I never would have bought this book; I received it as a birthday gift. I took one look at the photos on the cover and thought, 'Wow, this is right-wing nonsense.' Having read it, I would say that I disagree with a lot of what Goldberg has to say, but it was an interesting read. He spends a lot of time bashing liberal elites, saying that they are so thoroughly ensconced in their own views that they are unable to even consider the viability of those of another. This is true, and I think it is important to acknowledge that way too many liberals consider 'conservative' synonymous with 'slow' and 'ignorant.' However, Goldberg is guilty of the same crime. He placed Michael Moore at the top of the list, but neglected to give any reasons - he just assumed that everyone would agree, because he is so obviously correct. That, and the fact that Rush Limbaugh is not anywhere on the list, made me give it only three stars. But I find it infinitely more entertaining to read an at least somewhat-well thought out book that I disagree with than a book that exactly echoes my sentiments.