The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas

The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas

3.4 18
by Jonah Goldberg
     
 

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“An indispensable and enduring field guide to the arguments the left makes—and the ones it tries to avoid.”
The Claremont Review of Books
 
According to Jonah Goldberg, if the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist, the greatest trick liberals ever pulled was

Overview

“An indispensable and enduring field guide to the arguments the left makes—and the ones it tries to avoid.”
The Claremont Review of Books
 
According to Jonah Goldberg, if the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist, the greatest trick liberals ever pulled was convincing themselves they’re not ideological.
 
Today, “objective” journalists, academics, and “moderate” politicians peddle some of the most radical arguments by hiding them in homespun apho­risms. Barack Obama casts himself as a disciple of reason: He’s a pragmatist, opposed to the ideology and drama of the Right, solely concerned with “what works.” And today’s liberals follow his lead, spouting countless clichés such as:

   •  One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter: Sure, if the other man is an idiot. Was Martin Luther King Jr. a terrorist? Was Bin Laden a freedom fighter?
   •  Violence never solves anything: Really? It solved our problems with King George III and ended slavery.
   •  We need complete separation of church and state: In other words, all expressions of faith should be barred from politics . . . except when they support liberal programs.
With humor and passion, Goldberg dismantles these and many other Trojan horses that liberals use to cheat in the war of ideas. He shows that the Pro­gressive tradition of denying an ideological agenda while pursuing it vigorously under the false flag of reasonableness is alive and well. And he reveals how this dangerous game may lead us further down the path of self-destruction.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Jonah Goldberg is the voice of the post-Reagan conservative generation.”

—John Podhoretz, editor, Commentary magazine

“Everyone says ‘think for yourself’ but very few people do. In The Tyranny of Clichés, Jonah Goldberg reveals how we’ve become trapped by ideas we think we understand but don’t. A must read.”

—Vince Vaughn, actor and producer

“Bold, brilliant, and bursting with humor, every page of The Tyranny of Clichés is right on the money. If you thought Liberal Fascism was good, wait till you read The Tyranny of Clichés—it is fantastic!”

—Brad Thor, bestselling author of Full Black

“It might be the best and most fun-to-read primer on the tenets of conservative politics since P. J. O’Rourke’s Parliament of Whores.”
—Mark Hemingway, senior writer, The Weekly Standard
                             
“Whether you love or hate what he has to say, you’ve got to love the way Jonah Goldberg says it.”
—SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R–FLORIDA), AUTHOR OF AN AMERICAN SON
 
“The puncturing of pretentions and disruption of lazy thinking are extra base hits in journalism. Doing so with humor and originality on every page qualifies Goldberg’s work as a grand slam.”
—FORMER GOVERNOR MITCH DANIELS (R–INDIANA), AUTHOR OF KEEPING THE REPUBLIC

Publishers Weekly
Conservative columnist Goldberg (Liberal Fascism) takes on those who, in his view, regurgitate popular nostrums as an alternative to conducting informed discussion. The wide-ranging narrative covers such topics as ideology vs. pragmatism; separation of church and state; the quest for “diversity”; social Darwinism vs. social justice; and the “Living Constitution.” Though Goldberg’s obvious purpose is to hammer liberal rhetoric, he relies on overstatement to clinch his points. Are we actually “almost at the point where we have a constitutional crisis if a kid says ‘God bless you’ to a sneezing public-school teacher”? Such hyperbole detracts from the legitimate concerns he raises, such as that sloppy language can lead to sloppy thinking or the easy acceptance of extreme ideas. While commitment to a partisan outlook does not necessarily invalidate the product, the observer of today’s political whirligig will regard this book as a touch one-sided. Agent: Jay Mandel, WME. (May)
-JOHN PODHORETZ
"Jonah Goldberg is the voice of the post-Reagan conservative generation."
-VICTOR DAVIS HANSON
"Goldberg draws on both the Great Books and popular culture to rip apart the commandments of the modern therapeutic society. Behind all the feel-good, come-together mush, Goldberg finds the age-old driving forces-power, profit, and plain old ignorance. The dissection of these feel-good assumptions is informal and light, but the conclusions are deadly serious-and chilling."
-DAVID MAMET
"What can one say to the self-proclaimed 'independent' who never has nor ever will vote other than Democratic; or to the wise soul suggesting, of any conflict at all, "the truth must lie somewhere in between"? Mr. Goldberg reminds us that one must stand up and demand of the muddled and supine either an absolute declaration of their principles and acknowledgment of the results of actions having flowed therefrom or a straightforward admission of their intransigence in refusing a concise reply."
-MARCO RUBIO
"Whether you love or hate what he has to say, you've got to love the way Jonah Goldberg says it."
-MITCH DANIELS
"The puncturing of pretensions and disruption of lazy thinking are extra base hits in journalism.  Doing so with humor and originality on every page qualifies Goldberg's work as a grand slam."
-BRAD THOR
"Straw man down! In the PC prison yard of accepted political thought, Jonah Goldberg has just shivved progressivism. Bold, brilliant, and bursting with humor, every page of The Tyranny of Clichés is right on the money. If you thought Liberal Fascism was good, wait till you read The Tyranny of Clichés --it is fantastic!"
-VINCE VAUGHN
"Everyone says 'think for yourself' but very few people do. In The Tyranny of Clichés, Jonah Goldberg reveals how we've become trapped by ideas we think we understand but don't. A must read."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781595231024
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/30/2013
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
304,721
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Jonah Goldberg is the voice of the post-Reagan conservative generation.”
—John Podhoretz, editor, Commentary magazine
 
“Everyone says ‘think for yourself’ but very few people do. In The Tyranny of Clichés, Jonah Goldberg reveals how we’ve become trapped by ideas we think we understand but don’t. A must read.”
—Vince Vaughn, actor and producer
 
“Bold, brilliant, and bursting with humor, every page of The Tyranny of Clichés is right on the money. If you thought Liberal Fascism was good, wait till you read The Tyranny of Clichés—it is fantastic!”
—Brad Thor, bestselling author of Full Black
“It might be the best and most fun-to-read primer on the tenets of conservative politics since P. J. O’Rourke’s Parliament of Whores.”
—Mark Hemingway, senior writer, The Weekly Standard
                             
“Whether you love or hate what he has to say, you’ve got to love the way Jonah Goldberg says it.”
—SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R–FLORIDA), AUTHOR OF AN AMERICAN SON
 
“The puncturing of pretentions and disruption of lazy thinking are extra base hits in journalism. Doing so with humor and originality on every page qualifies Goldberg’s work as a grand slam.”
—FORMER GOVERNOR MITCH DANIELS (R–INDIANA), AUTHOR OF KEEPING THE REPUBLIC

Meet the Author

JONAH GOLDBERG’S first book, Liberal Fascism, was a numberone New York Times bestseller. Afellow at the American Enterpriseinstitute, he is the founding editorof National Review Online. He isalso a Los Angeles Times columnistand a member of the board ofcontributors at USA Today. He liveswith his family in Washington, DC.

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The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Shylock37 More than 1 year ago
Goldberg does a very nice and cogent job is laying out arguments I hear from liberal colleagues and friends quite frequently. It is a very detailed work which efficiently explicates how asinine and foolish these arguments really are.
judyengel More than 1 year ago
Anything Jonah puts his pen to is worth reading. "Liberal Fascism" is one of the best history books I have ever read about Hitler/WWII/Fascism.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Left will hate this book.
UncleDennis More than 1 year ago
Mr. Goldberg (or recent fame from his Liberal Fascism book) comes back with a really entertaining look at how the Left lives off of cliches in their approach to policymaking, voter "informing" and in denigrating all other outsiders. Yes, a conservative can be very funny when writing about political topics (he's not alone on this). A very worthwhile read, and broken up well so it works well as a lunchtime distraction with chapters of manageable length.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a very good read, that the left will hate.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*sigh
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another right wing fascist lier.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Goldberg is one of the very worst right wing hacks. What is pathetic is he is obviously a victim of projection. Everything he accuses the left of doing is exactly what republicans do. A complete waste of time and paper.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another standard right-wing polemic that primarily serves to waste paper and ink. The only thought-provoking thing in this book is the question it raises of whether Goldberg is actively lying or simply lacks the brainpower or intellectual honesty to actually comprehend the ideas he so clumsily tries to smear. If you like strawmen and tribal reinforcement, by all means go ahead. Otherwise, you'll get more meaningful social commentary from the Twilight series.