From the Publisher
No matter what you think you know about Rush Limbaugh, be prepared to discover that he is even more evil and more dangerous than you ever imagined. John Wilson unmasks America's leading conservative as a shallow thinker, intolerant bigot, and congenital liar. And that's just for starters.
Praise for Barack Obama: This Improbable Quest
Essential reading for anyone wishing to try to make more sense of contemporary American presidential politics and social policy. Highly recommended for all libraries.
A thoughtful look at what Obama's candidacy means.
The nearly 20 million people who listen to Rush Limbaugh regularly are not likely to pick up this critique documenting the distortions and negative tactics he uses to entertain and to advance a conservative agenda. The likeliest audience is readers who already believe that Limbaugh is racist, sexist, and homophobic. Wilson (Patriotic Correctness: Academic Freedom and Its Enemies) has spent hours listening to Limbaugh broadcasts and reading transcripts. To illustrate how dangerous and extreme Limbaugh's ideas are, he examines the language he uses to describe women and minorities, dissects "Limbaughnomics," and documents the misinformation broadcast on health-care reform. Wilson decries Limbaugh's impact on civil political discourse. VERDICT With over 2000 footnotes, this book almost serves as a reference tool to document Limbaugh's extreme views. It provides more description than analysis and, with its extensive documentation, can be slow reading. Of interest to liberal readers and scholars concerned about Limbaugh's influence on American society and politics.—Judy Solberg, Seattle Univ. Lib.
An inadequate effort to storm Fortress Limbaugh.
Rush Limbaugh could build that fortress out of dollar bills if he so chose. After all, writes Illinois-based academic Wilson (President Barack Obama: A More Perfect Union, 2009. etc.), he makes "more than $15,000 every minute he's on the air"—or "more than the average American worker's annual wage." "Worker," of course, is a socialist word in Limbaugh's stern lexicography; we have associates and employees and colleagues, he insists, but not "workers" or, heaven forbid, a proletariat. Wilson ranges widely in his quest for damning evidence about the vastly wealthy blowhard, but what he turns up is seldom news. Too often it comes in the form of psychologizing without a license, as when he limns a childhood under the dominion of a harsh and "ideologically inflexible" father that Limbaugh never resolved, lacking the education that might have allowed him to diagnose his own soul sickness. All that may be true, and certainly Limbaugh isn't the only right-winger to detest education and the educated, but it seems a bit of a stab in the dark. Better defended, though shrill, is the author's depiction of Limbaugh as a neo-Confederate racist, for which he was denied ownership of a pro-football franchise by other owners, and the dissection of his unschooled but still influential opinions on everything from geopolitics to global warming. Wilson's tone is usually indignant, which becomes tiresome. Yet, outrage notwithstanding, it would be more useful to account for Limbaugh as one of a long line of self-appointed moralists on the prowl for a buck, a Father Coughlin for the Internet Age who represents a very old type of American huckster.
Broad shots at an admittedly broad barn, and doubtless not destined to change any minds.