Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America

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Overview

A wingnut is someone on the far-right or far-left wing of the political spectrum – professional partisans, unhinged activists and paranoid conspiracy theorists. Campaigning as the antidote to polarized politics, Barack Obama promised to transcend the old divides of left and right, black and white, red states and blue states. But during his first year in office, he presided over an eruption of hate and hyper-partisanship that mocks the pledge upon which millions ushered him into ...

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Overview

A wingnut is someone on the far-right or far-left wing of the political spectrum – professional partisans, unhinged activists and paranoid conspiracy theorists. Campaigning as the antidote to polarized politics, Barack Obama promised to transcend the old divides of left and right, black and white, red states and blue states. But during his first year in office, he presided over an eruption of hate and hyper-partisanship that mocks the pledge upon which millions ushered him into office.
From Revolutionary War-inspired “Tea Party” protests to the health-care town hall hijackings, principled policy opposition to government spending has taken a sharp right turn into Crazytown. Not to mention death threats to elected leaders and Sarah Palin’s ranting about administration “death panels.” For those with a vested interest in stirring the crazypot, all of this has been good for business – hate is a cheap and easy recruiting tool. But it can be murder on a democracy…
As creator of CNN’s hit segment, “Wingnuts of the Week,” Daily Beast senior political columnist John Avlon has unique insight into how far-left and far-right political extremists came to dominate the country’s political dialogue and, with this audiobook, he shows the way back to a saner, smarter national conversation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

President Bill Clinton
"Wingnuts offers a clear and comprehensive review of the forces on the outer edges of the political spectrum that shape and distort our political debate. Shedding more heat than light they drive frustrated alienated citizens away from the reasoned discourse that can produce real solutions to our problems."

 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441866066
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 6/8/2010
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 1 MP3-CD, 6 hrs. 17 min.
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

John Avlon is the creator of the breakout “Wingnut of the Week” segment on CNN, and from his Daily Beast columns and commentary on cable news. He is also a regular contributor to CNN’s American Morning and Campbell Brown. He is the author of Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics. Tina Brown (foreword) is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast. She is the author of the 2007 New York Times best seller The Diana Chronicles. Brown is the former editor of Tatler, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and Talk magazines and host of CNBC’s “Topic A with Tina Brown”.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2010

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