Publishers Weekly Review: The Art of Political War: And Other Radical Pursuits David Horowitz, Author
Spence Publishing Company $24.95 (224p)
The first half of this manifesto is a blunt, savvy, Machiavellian manual on the art of political campaigning that Republicans and Democrats alike may ignore at their own risk. Horowitz (Radical Son, etc.), former 1960s leftist turned prominent conservative, urges Republicans to go on the offensive, to take back issues that Clinton Democrats have co-opted, to reach out to working people and minorities, and to master images, symbols and sound bites as the Democrats have done.
The book’s incendiary second half, gathering articles of which many originally appeared in the Internet magazine Salon, reveals Horowitz as an independent, rigorous, outspoken political analyst who nevertheless can sound as dogmatic as a conservative as as he did when he was as a leftist. Horowitz calls Noam Chomsky an “America-loathing crank,” advocates an end to “racial preferences” (affirmative action), argues that left-wing activists make up the core of the Democratic party, and castigates teachers’ unions as the chief opponents to school reform. Ridiculing the NAACP’s class-action lawsuits against gun manufacturers and educational testing firms, he contends that leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have betrayed the civil rights movement by promoting a blacks-as-victims mentality and by blaming whites for problems endemic to the black community–an attitude that he says has been exacerbated by a patronizing liberal establishment.
Taking aim at motley supporters of censorship–Irving Kristol, Andrea Dworkin, Tipper Gore, Catharine MacKinnon–libertarian Horowitz opposes it in virtually all forms, including the v-chip parents can use to block offending television shows. In one scathing essay he accuses Edward Said, Betty Friedan and Nobel laureate and Guatemalan activist Rigoberta Menchu of falsifying details of their lives to serve their political agendas. (Sept.)