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

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Press: Blackstone Audio, Inc.; Unabridged LIBRARY edition (May 1, 2012)
Author Name:Goldberg, Jonah; Goldberg, Jonah;
Edition:Unabridged LIBRARY Edition


[Audiobook CD Library Edition in vinyl case.][Read by the author, Jonah Goldberg] An uncompromising look at the dark side of cliches and how liberals use them to camouflage their true beliefs. 
''We are only as free as the least free among us.'' Is that really true, or is it the kind of statement most people will nod at without actually thinking about? Bestselling conservative author Jonah Goldberg calls it a liberal cliche -- fundamentally wrong and potentially very dangerous.
According to 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 and academics and ''moderate'' politicians peddle some of the most radical arguments by hiding them in homespun aphorisms such as ''Violence never solved anything.'' Goldberg exposes the truth behind many such cliches, including ''the living constitution,'' ''social justice,'' and even simple words like ''inquisition.'' With humor and passion, he dismantles these Trojan horses to show how our thinking is profoundly shaped by deeply ideological concepts and convenient myths that most of us accept uncritically -- to our great detriment.
You'll learn the real history of dangerous liberal cliches, such as: --''It's better ten guilty men go free than one innocent man be put behind bars.'' --''One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.'' --''I don't agree with what you have to say, but I will defend your right to say it.'' --''Those who sacrifice their liberty for security deserve neither.'' --''Politics stops at the water's edge.'' From Gandhi to Marie Antoinette to Madonna, he explores the context of cliches in our culture and shows how often we rely on them at the expense of serious thinking.

About the Author

JONAH GOLDBERG's first book, Liberal Fascism, was a #1 New York Times bestseller. 
A visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, he is the founding editor of National Review Online and has twice been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
He is also a Los Angeles Times columnist, a Fox News contributor, and a member of the board of contributors at USA Today.
He lives with his family in Washington, DC.


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Comment List (Total:16)

  •     I was shopping for this as a paper book on my mobile device. The "one click" feature, inadvertently, ordered the digital/Kindle version I do not want.
  •     I just finished reading it, and it's a great analysis of the nonsense that passes for argument in a lot of our public discourse. Leftists (and sometimes rightists) frequently resort to plainly incorrect cliches as a way to end discussion, and we've become either so used to hearing the cliches or so sympathize with the noble ideas underpinning the cliches that we accept them unthinkingly. Consider just two common cliches treated in the book, that dissent is the highest for of patriotism and that violence never solved anything. Both claims are clearly, demonstrably wrong. The patriotism of dissent if a function of its content and not the mere fact of being dissent, and without violence sanctioned violence such as the use of police power, almost no social arrangements are secure and enforceable. I highly recommend the book as a way to raise your awareness of shallow discourse.
  •     Excellent read! This nonfiction book is so well-written and well-organized and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Take your time to absorb Goldberg's ideas because this is not a book you can breeze through, but it is well worth the effort. I always enjoy his writing and this is no exception.
  •     I watched a C Span interview on Youtube with Goldberg about this book and was interested. I enjoyed most of the chapters and felt he had strong arguments, but thought the...
  •     Very Funny. Must Read.
  •     Interesting read
  •     Great
  •     Still reading it...a range of interesting propositions for conservative thinkers. A bit confusing (at least when reading at night), but references are useful and analysis is...
  •     Truth in the era of globalization terror and the end of Democracy.
  •     Concerned about the poor quality of the current political debate? Confused by the inability of the major political parties to craft useful compromises? Time to broaden your current news analysis intake, with Jonah Goldberg's entertaining "The Tyranny of Cliches". Goldberg writes (well) from the right-hand side of the political spectrum, but his points have broad application. His theme is that the quality of political debate has been poisoned by the use of politicized clichés and name calling that prevent the body politic from actually getting at the facts and solving problems. Goldberg cites examples, and the reader doesn't have to agree with his every argument to appreciate his larger thesis. Recommended.
  •     Very Clean! as good as new
  •     A fast, easy read with great references across a wide swathe of history and commentators . Whether you read this right through or just dip into chapters you will find the writing...
  •     This is a good book, but not a masterpiece. It is basically a collection of separate pieces focusing upon a word or phrase commonly used by liberals in slanting political debate in their favor. Topics include diversity, dissent, separation of church and state, science, the Catholic Church, ideology, the "living Constitution," and eighteen or twenty others. (Conspicuous by its absence is a chapter on "civility," which I personally find to be a stunning and disappointing omission.)Goldberg focuses on the manner in which these words and phrases are used to support straw-man arguments, re-write history, foster black-and-white thinking, and generally mask the underpinnings of liberal thought and action. The book is well-sourced throughout, if not exhaustive in its examination of each topic (most chapters are between ten and twenty pages, with a few even shorter).Goldberg takes a few shots and launches a few mild zingers, but these are noticeably less prominent than in the writings of the acerbic Ann Coulter. Indeed, Goldberg remains generally civil and gentlemanly throughout, as is his custom, and the middle-of-the-road reader (if there are any left) is unlikely to be put-off by his style.I found the chapters on science, the Catholic Church, diversity, and dissent to be among the most valuable, and the chaper "let them eat cake" provided historical background on the origin of that phrase which was new to me.Although the book probably falls within the category of "preaching to the choir," I would encourage middle-of-the-road readers to give it a chance, as it does challenge many of the common - and false - bromides that are routinely found in our nation's newsrooms, editorial pages, and political advertisements.
  •     The Tyranny of Clichés is deep, really deep. I've been through it once, and I still need to reread it to glean all the facts and stories that Goldberg brings here.I doubt that I could argue like Goldberg when he goes on offensive in colleges and universities, but if our higher educational system is truly to be a battleground of ideas, somebody needs to. Reading TOC does an excellent job in proving that liberals are just as flawed as the conservatives they fight. But the general public never hears or thinks about it, which is truly sad.Can't imagine all the research Goldberg did to accumulate everything here but he has my respect. He's helped me to study new terms like "statolotry," and the cases he's presented.When I have time, Goldberg's Liberal Fascism is on my reading list.
  •     Many great points made here, and several of the chapters, not all, were very interesting. Books like these make it easier to deal with the self-righteous liberals who can't offer support for their stances, values & beliefs. I enjoyed reading this book and hope I can retain the factual information, or at least his general reasoning.
  •     Funny and provocative

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