Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph

Dennis Prager. HC/Broadside, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-198512-6
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The culture wars rage on in this vigorous right-wing polemic. Conservative talk-show host Prager (Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism) fires salvos at “Islamism,” the redoubt of terrorists, anti-Semites, and theocrats, but his focus is the ideological struggle between “Americanism”—defined as low taxes, small government, religion, and militarized patriotism—and “Leftism,” the big tent of everyone from Karl Marx to the Democratic Party. Short on substantive policy analysis, he relies on broad, biting sociocultural caricatures: conservatives value liberty, reason, moral standards, hard work, earned rewards, faith, self-reliance, and manliness; leftists value authority, emotionalism, moral relativism, sexual license, unearned welfare handouts, spurious equality, nihilism, victimhood, and effeminacy. Prager scores entertaining points against left-liberals’ excesses—overblown health crusades, moral hypocrisies, profane celebrities, avant-garde art installations—while tossing off conservative briefs on everything from affirmative action to global-warming denial. Unfortunately, he often succumbs to the same kind of exaggerations and inconsistencies that he attacks. (He condemns leftists for hysterically equating the Guantánamo Bay prison to the Soviet gulag, for example, then offers the banning of incandescent lightbulbs as a latter-day example of leftists’ “Totalitarian DNA.”) There’s juicy red meat here for Prager’s fans, but other readers may find it underdone. Agent: Richard Pine, Inkwell Management. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/06/2012
Release date: 04/01/2012
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-211633-8
Ebook - 464 pages - 978-0-06-209781-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-211632-1
Paperback - 444 pages - 978-0-06-198513-3
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