Saturday, July 28, 2012

Publishers Weekly Gets It Right

Harold Thomas has written a book. Yawn.

For those of you who don't know Harold (which I expect is virtually everyone) he belongs to that branch of wobbly, somtimes-in, sometimes-not secessionists who live in a Ruritanian fantasy world pining for something that'll never come to be - a regulation free society of oh-so-noble libertarians who will kinda but not so kindly rule, probably with Penn Teller or some other similarly deluded asshole in charge of whatever's left. Harold is a longtime Goldwater-Nixon Repuglican, pro-Vietnam War (before Nixon broke his heart) apparatchik turned Teabagger. When he isn't enjoying his masochist relationship with secesher bigwigs like Kirkpatrick Sale, he's falling all over himself being a League of the South sycophant. Harold calls his tiny nation-of-one the Ohio Republic.

Harold's print-on-demand (read: couldn't find anyone who'd publish even a handful of copies or offer an advance) book that he titled "Governing Ourselves: How Americans Can Restore Their Freedom" got trashed reviewed by Publishers Weekly and for that Harold should be eternally grateful. PW dissed it for the poorly crafted polemic that it is and so Harold is miffed and calls the reviewer's unwillingness to lap up the libertarian flavored Kool-Aid in Harold's contentious and riddled with constitutionally nonsensensical bull to have occurred because the reviewer's own views are, in Harold's opinion, "politically tainted" :
"This reviewer clearly has little patience for reading contrary political views..."

"I have no problem with a negative review. A reviewer has the right and duty to give an honest evaluation of what they read. However, except for the complaint that my book is more opinion than research, I have to wonder what objective standards the reviewer used. Nowhere did they address the clarity of my writing, logical flow of ideas, originality, or any other characteristic of literary criticism we learned about in high school and college English classes."
No, the reviewer had a problem with a book that's short on facts or believable assumptions and that proposes a completely unlikely post-apocalyptic future where libertarian oompa-loompas like Harold provide beneficent guidance.

It isn't that the reviewer "has little patience for reading contrary political views" so much as the reviewer quite likely was incapable of the massive suspension of disbelief required to give Harold's goofy notions about the constitution, such as his fascination with fraudulent proposals like "nullification," to follow Harold down the rabbit hole. The reviewer was more likely so blinded by the idiocy being proposed by Harold that he failed to see any use in pursuing Harold's desired Henry Higgins-like examination for his useless book:
"The French don't care what they do actually, as long as they pronounce it properly."
High schools churn out mountains of well written junk that'll never see the light of day; PW's raison d'ĂȘtre isn't to hand out attaboys for spelling, punctuation, grammar and form.

Harold's book has yet to be ranked at Amazon but when it is I'm sure it'll hover somewhere in the multi-millionth percentile. Amazon, however, had this to say about Harold's book:
"The book is easy to read and requires no previous knowledge of history, politics, or economics..."
Indeed. In fact it's just such a lack of foundational knowledge that is necessary to buy into the junk that Harold's peddling, like his delusional "dismiss(al) of global climate change."

So dream on, Harold, dream on, but look on the bright side - you're not going to get remaindered, ever.

You can find the Publishers Weekly review here. If you're feeling sorry for the sad sack, you can buy a pity copy of Harold's book here.

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