How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter. Crown Forum, $27.95 (368pp) ISBN 978-1-4000-5418-3
Never mind this book's title; from the writings collected here, it sounds like Coulter has never talked calmly with anyone, much less ""liberals."" In her view, ""liberals"" aren't even ""sentient creatures."" Rather, they are conspiracy theorists and ""street performers"" who ""traffic in shouting and demagogy."" Following her previous bestseller, Treason, this book reprints installments from the last five years of Coulter's syndicated column. Her modus operandi is to ""start with the maximum assertion about liberals and then push the envelope, because, as we know, their evil is incalculable."" If the title isn't clue enough, the ""we"" in that quote demonstrates her assumption that the reader is as angry as she is, which frees her to make any accusation, whether grounded in reality or not. Coulter's favorite target, hands down, is the New York Times, which she claims distorts the truth, ignores the facts or gets them wrong altogether. Her proposed solution for the 2001 incident in which China's ""three-foot-tall dictator"" held an American flight crew hostage: ""give us the Americans and we'll let them keep any New York Times reporters."" Not surprisingly, she was in favor of attacking Iraq, and many of her columns dating back to the first months of the invasion sound exceedingly out of touch now (""The rebuilding in Iraq is going better than could possibly have been expected""). Besides previously printed columns, the book includes a few new pieces on Coulter's pet peeves (like Democrats' ""double standards""), as well as articles rejected by editors at magazines like the National Review and Good Housekeeping. Frequently funny, if only for its sheer audacity, this book will gratify ""cranky conservatives"" and outrage everyone else.
Reviewed on: 10/04/2004