David Mamet has been a controversial, defining force in nearly every creative endeavor-now he turns his attention to politics.
In recent years, David Mamet realized that the so-called mainstream media outlets he relied on were irredeemably biased, peddling a hypocritical and deeply flawed worldview.
In 2008 Mamet wrote a hugely controversial op-ed for the Village Voice, "Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain-Dead Liberal'", in which he methodically attacked liberal beliefs, eviscerating them as efficiently as he did Method acting in his bestselling book True and False.
Now Mamet employs his trademark intellectual force and vigor to take on all the key political issues of our times, from religion to political correctness to global warming. The legendary playwright, author, director, and filmmaker pulls no punches in his art or in his politics. And as a former liberal who woke up, Mamet will win over an entirely new audience of others who have grown irate over America's current direction.
American playwright and filmmaker Mamet is a wide-ranging author (including children's stories, a volume of verse, and even a graphic novel), but he excels at the coolly acerbic essay, which best shows off his contrarian streak. This set of short, informal essays elaborate on his recent political awakening from "brain-dead" liberalism, a foray into what used to be called the culture wars. It feels a couple of decades tardy and, despite its author's characteristically terse yet pensive prose, too at-the-knee of the usual neoconservative icons, including Hayek. The title refers to the privileged patterns of initiation into the worldview of the "Liberal Left" Mamet ridicules, often by analogy to adolescent na vet . But he replaces one set of talking points with another: the familiar argot about free markets, inveighing against any opposition to Israel as anti-Semitism, and the "liberal" attempt to bankrupt us all. Mamet still wields the colorful anecdote and unexpected analogy, and his narrative holds most interest when straying back to his turf on movie sets and theater stages. But as an avenging apostate of liberalism, Mamet offers nothing new.
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A Conservative and a Vocabularist
David Mamet has written an important and profound book -- nay, manifesto. In it, he delves into the motivations of both Liberals and Conservatives with a master playwright's incisiveness and deep understanding of human -- and governmental nature.
My only criticism is that he employs an elevated and intellectual vocabulary that is the antithesis of a Mamet character. Indeed, if his characters spoke like this, his plays would doubtless remained unproduced and unpublished.
I can understand his wanting to be taken seriously by academics, but he has taken this to an extreme. It's almost as if he is trying not only to impress exalted political thinkers, but the very ghost of William F. Buckley himself. I have a fair understanding of words and their meanings, but I was sent scurrying to the dictionary dozens of times for definitions that contained better words than the ones he used. His editor may have a Ph.D in philology, but neither I nor the average reader do not.
Nevertheless, I would recommend this book highly -- as long as the reader is forewarned that this could be a hard slog through a sesquipedalian swamp.
One of the worst books I've ever read.
Don't waste your money
Mamet trades one set of biases for another
Opinion should be influenced by those who have the smartest and soundest point of view. This is why I don't vote for whoever is Democrat, I vote for who makes the most sense.
I went into this book with that paradigm, hoping to be challenged by thoughtful discourse of the shortcomings of Liberal thinking. Though Mamet has some compelling critiques generally speaking, when he lays out his defense, the book falls to pieces. His footnotes are laughable, attempting to back strong points on conversations with one person or citing one scientist, or just an anecdote. Sometimes the footnote doesn't even relate to the aforementioned argument!
David Mamet you said you were blinded by liberalism but instead of seeing the light, you just put on different colored blinders...