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Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America
     

Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America

3.0 36
by John Avlon, Tina Brown (Foreword by)
 

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What’s a Wingnut? It’s someone on the far-right wing or far-left wing of the political spectrum - the professional partisans and the unhinged activists, the hardcore haters and the paranoid conspiracy theorists. They’re the people who always try to divide us instead of unite us.

Wingnuts looks at the outbreak of extremism in the

Overview


What’s a Wingnut? It’s someone on the far-right wing or far-left wing of the political spectrum - the professional partisans and the unhinged activists, the hardcore haters and the paranoid conspiracy theorists. They’re the people who always try to divide us instead of unite us.

Wingnuts looks at the outbreak of extremism in the opening years of the Obama administration – from the unprecedented government spending that spurred the Tea-Party protests to the onset of Obama Derangement Syndrome. John Avlon explains how hate-fueled rumors take hold (one section is called “How Obama Became Hitler, a Communist and the Antichrist”), looks at the ‘hunt for heretics’ that is taking place inside both parties and details the rise of hyper-partisan media. Avlon profiles preachers who are praying for the president’s death, goes inside the growing “Hatriot” movement and parallels the “Birthers” and the “9/11 Truthers.” The book compares current merchants of political paranoia with past fear-mongers and finds that divisive demagogues have sold this snake oil before. But the two parties’ increased polarization and the echo-chamber of the internet are helping the fringe blur with the base, making the Wingnuts more powerful than ever before.

We are allowing paranoids, hysterics and hyper-partisans to hijack our politics – but it doesn’t have to be this way. Avlon asserts that centrists need to stand up to the extremes on both sides and declare their independence. The book ends on a hopeful note – the conclusion is “How to Take America Back from the Lunatic Fringe.”

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."

 

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780984295111
Publisher:
Beast Books
Publication date:
02/23/2010
Pages:
284
Product dimensions:
5.02(w) x 7.76(h) x 0.86(d)
Age Range:
16 - 18 Years

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What People are Saying About This

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."

 

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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Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
RRCutler More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
HappyLittlePony More than 1 year ago
...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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Would one qualify as a wingnut by sitting in Rev. Wrights church for twenty years?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
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