Customer Reviews for

Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

Is Civil Discourse in Politics Really Possible Today?

John Avlon established his credentials as a serious scholar of the vital center in American politics with his fascinating first book, Independent Nation. This short book is a teaser in some respects - an introduction to an equally vital topic that should be required rea...
John Avlon established his credentials as a serious scholar of the vital center in American politics with his fascinating first book, Independent Nation. This short book is a teaser in some respects - an introduction to an equally vital topic that should be required reading by all American citizens.
Avlon is an articulate, well -informed contributor to our national dialogue on extremism in American political life. His examples of right and left wing super partisanship - many of which are scary- would be great discussion topics for middle school and high school students as well as for adults. The Wingnuts appear ignorant of the facts (or are they pretending to be?) at a time when investigative journalism is in decline and many rural areas are losing their newspapers; more and more Americans rely on sound bites from car radios or watch partisan cable stations for news. Listening to inaccurate, inflammatory rhetoric on a daily basis undermines citizens' ability to make informed judgments or choose candidates that address their concerns. That is why debate about the views explored in this disturbing paperback will be critical to preserving true democracy.

The partisanship so skillfully documented by Avlon deserves a fuller study but Beast Books wisely chose this subject for its 1st book. Avlon's suggestions for tackling the problems created by the "lunatic fringe" (a term coined by Teddy Roosevelt) are good ones - and they could go further. The cover design- which was probably not the author's choice- may put off some who would most benefit from the book. But Avlon has done some solid research under considerable time pressure. Several useful websites and books are mentioned in the notes and the Wingnut Glossary following Tina Brown's Foreward is helpful as well.

posted by RRCutler on March 14, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

solid

first off i'm a liberal...... but not on everything. but the things I am liberal about, i'm very liberal about. however, I came to my views by looking at both sides of the argument and looking at the facts and deciding. this book was interesting because it certainly ill...
first off i'm a liberal...... but not on everything. but the things I am liberal about, i'm very liberal about. however, I came to my views by looking at both sides of the argument and looking at the facts and deciding. this book was interesting because it certainly illustrates the problems that plague this nation. the problem is people on the right- as illustrated by a couple reviews already- believe any opinion that isn't their own is unamerican or attacks on their beloved heroes and won't even bother to read the book. People on the left are more likely to read it, but are simply to convinced of their own superiority to heed the advice. but I do recommend it to anyone who wants a third, and in many ways, more logical, point of view.

posted by 2744264 on April 19, 2010

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  • Posted March 14, 2010

    Is Civil Discourse in Politics Really Possible Today?

    John Avlon established his credentials as a serious scholar of the vital center in American politics with his fascinating first book, Independent Nation. This short book is a teaser in some respects - an introduction to an equally vital topic that should be required reading by all American citizens.
    Avlon is an articulate, well -informed contributor to our national dialogue on extremism in American political life. His examples of right and left wing super partisanship - many of which are scary- would be great discussion topics for middle school and high school students as well as for adults. The Wingnuts appear ignorant of the facts (or are they pretending to be?) at a time when investigative journalism is in decline and many rural areas are losing their newspapers; more and more Americans rely on sound bites from car radios or watch partisan cable stations for news. Listening to inaccurate, inflammatory rhetoric on a daily basis undermines citizens' ability to make informed judgments or choose candidates that address their concerns. That is why debate about the views explored in this disturbing paperback will be critical to preserving true democracy.

    The partisanship so skillfully documented by Avlon deserves a fuller study but Beast Books wisely chose this subject for its 1st book. Avlon's suggestions for tackling the problems created by the "lunatic fringe" (a term coined by Teddy Roosevelt) are good ones - and they could go further. The cover design- which was probably not the author's choice- may put off some who would most benefit from the book. But Avlon has done some solid research under considerable time pressure. Several useful websites and books are mentioned in the notes and the Wingnut Glossary following Tina Brown's Foreward is helpful as well.

    16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 18, 2010

    If you are a fanatical conservative or a fanatical liberal...

    ...just move along, there's nothing to see here..

    For those of us who aren't far left or far right, but are happy to be in the political center, this is a good book that offers a nice overview of what's wrong with civil political discourse, or the lack of it, in today's USA.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2010

    solid

    first off i'm a liberal...... but not on everything. but the things I am liberal about, i'm very liberal about. however, I came to my views by looking at both sides of the argument and looking at the facts and deciding. this book was interesting because it certainly illustrates the problems that plague this nation. the problem is people on the right- as illustrated by a couple reviews already- believe any opinion that isn't their own is unamerican or attacks on their beloved heroes and won't even bother to read the book. People on the left are more likely to read it, but are simply to convinced of their own superiority to heed the advice. but I do recommend it to anyone who wants a third, and in many ways, more logical, point of view.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2010

    Not recommended.

    Since I really don't see how anyone can compare Keith Olbermann with either Palin or Beck, I can't recommend this book. Palin and Beck are the wingnuts, while Olbermann does his best to keep the rest of us sane.

    7 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2010

    great informative read

    Catches you up on headline names and warns to watch out for extremists who push hate and paranoia by educating yourself. Totally interesting and enlightening

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2010

    A "Wingnut" Encyclopedia

    In this simple-to-read text, the Author successfully identifies a range of so-called "Wingnut" characters--including popular political commentators--for his readers and tries to chronicle the path of individual wingnut arguments. While numerous groups/ideas are identified, the reader is left wanting more in terms of substance. It also seems that, right or wrong, a disproportionate amount of time is spent on right-wing nuts, with a few leftist nuts thrown in for good measure.

    It is a good read for somebody looking for an overview of various radical groups and thinkers and could also be reaffirming for moderates who view parties as moving increasingly towards the left and right.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    only 1/3 true.

    Keith Olberman is a joke. That this book puts Beck and Palin in a category with 'Pinhead' Olberman is a joke. I guess Beck is crazy because he actually calls out these crazy liberals by playing video and audio of these freaks saying radical BS. Keep in mind he doesn't take it out of context like the lamestream media. I watch Olberman because it's fun to watch a turd stroke out in anger every night about nonsense. At least Beck and Palin have substance.

    2 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2010

    HATERS

    glenn beck haters!!!

    2 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2012

    T

    Would one qualify as a wingnut by sitting in Rev. Wrights church for twenty years?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    Good read.

    First started to hear John Avlon talk on POTUS with Pete Dominick and was fascinated by Mr. Avlon's centrist views. I bought this book and couldn't put it down. Can't wait to read another by him.

    And for the record, Olbermann, Limbaugh, and Beck are in the same class just different sides.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 14, 2010

    Same Old Same Old

    Just another boring thoughtless book attempting to capitalize on the rampant partisanship and unfair and unbalanced agenda pushing media.

    Nothing new. Everything borrowed. Everything blue.

    1 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Excellent and entertaining

    Enjoy reading

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted April 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted January 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted January 16, 2011

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    Posted March 24, 2010

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    Posted November 10, 2010

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    Posted June 23, 2010

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    Posted November 5, 2010

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