My new book, American Taliban: How War, Sex, Sin and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right is officially released on Wednesday (though Amazon and others have been selling it for several weeks). I wrote a synopsis of the book here. The early reaction:
1.) Judging the book by its cover
It used to be that people read books before opining about them. Apparently, that's too much effort for some people.
2.) Weenie liberals
You know the kind, the type of people that get the vapors when any progressive gets aggressive.
Moulitsas ... is primarily concerned with building a movement. And he may be right to suggest that the right’s rhetoric is sometimes so intemperate that mockery and reason are insufficient to fight it. Fine. If the Democrats run the country for the next 50 years because Moulitsas has taught them to fight fire with fire, then I guess I won’t complain. I just wish reading American Taliban didn’t make me feel like a member of the Conservative Book Club.
I'll be happy to stipulate -- if you don't believe fighting fire with fire is acceptable in our modern political world, as we face off against the Palins, Becks, Limbaughs and O'Reillys of the conservative world, then this book isn't for you. Nor this site, for that matter.
On the other hand, it's nice to see the anti-weenie liberals emerge.
3.) Attack the blurbers!
This frankly bizarre piece in the libertarian Reason goes after two blurbers for the book -- Roger Ebert and Rachel Maddow -- because they don't like Sarah Palin and the crazed rhetoric from the Right. Therefore, they are hypocritical because Right-wing lies are exactly the same as pointing out that Islamic fundamentalists and the crazy Right both hate gays. And then there's a bunch of stuff about Nazis.
Okay, this stuff isn't as fun as the hysterical reactions to the name or the presence of a fighting liberal. But all the same, can't ignore it:
Amid much crowing about the GOP’s 2008 implosion, he was more prescient than many on the left about how the far right would react to the reality of a black man in the White House who wasn’t a butler or a cook. But in American Taliban, even Moul itsas sounds shocked by the degree to which the virulent attacks on President Obama and his agenda echo the ideas—on war, power, sex, culture, and gay and women’s rights—of the terrormongers who brought us 9/11 ... His brilliance lies both in his ability to discern patterns that others miss and in his talent for not mincing words. Like Moulitsas’s previous two books, this one promises to be a conversation changer for those who can stomach reading the whole thing. Too bad that what’s left of the mainstream media will dismiss its insights as mere ideological bile.
We'll see far more reaction as the book officially hits the shelves on Wednesday, but I expect much of the same. Conservatives will hate it, for obvious reasons. Weenie liberals will hate it, for obvious reasons. A bunch of "serious people" will tsk tsk the lack of civility in our discourse -- now that a liberal is throwing the punches. And some people will appreciate that I'm throwing those punches.
Because look, this book, ultimately, is a big "fuck you" to every conservative who has ever accused us of wanting the terrorists to win. Why would we? The reasons I hate the crazy Right is the same reason I hate Jihadists -- their fetishization of violence, their theocratic tendencies, their disrespect for women, their hatred of gays, their fear of the "other", their defiance of scientific progress and education, and their attempts to hijack popular culture.
It's a good book, and it's paperback, so it's cheap. Pick up a copy at your favorite online retailer or bookstore, and come up with your own opinion on the matter.