The Tyranny of Cliches by Jonah Goldberg

83%

14 Critic Reviews

A double-barreled cliché is in order here: on this fundamental question of what politics is for, The Tyranny of Clichés lets conservatives eat cake and have it, too.
-The American Conservative

Synopsis

“An indispensable and enduring field guide to the arguments the left makes—and the ones it tries to avoid.”

The Claremont Review of Books



According to Jonah 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, academics, and “moderate” politicians peddle some of the most radical arguments by hiding them in homespun apho­risms. Barack Obama casts himself as a disciple of reason: He’s a pragmatist, opposed to the ideology and drama of the Right, solely concerned with “what works.” And today’s liberals follow his lead, spouting countless clichés such as:


One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter: Sure, if the other man is an idiot. Was Martin Luther King Jr. a terrorist? Was Bin Laden a freedom fighter?

Violence never solves anything: Really? It solved our problems with King George III and ended slavery.

We need complete separation of church and state: In other words, all expressions of faith should be barred from politics . . . except when they support liberal programs.

With humor and passion, Goldberg dismantles these and many other Trojan horses that liberals use to cheat in the war of ideas. He shows that the Pro­gressive tradition of denying an ideological agenda while pursuing it vigorously under the false flag of reasonableness is alive and well. And he reveals how this dangerous game may lead us further down the path of self-destruction.
 

About Jonah Goldberg

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JONAH GOLDBERG is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and contributing editor to National Review. A USA Today contributor and former columnist for the Times of London, he has also written for The New Yorker, Commentary, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. He lives in Washington, D.C.
 
Published May 1, 2012 by Sentinel. 320 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction
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Peak Rank on May 20 2012
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Critic reviews for The Tyranny of Cliches
All: 14 | Positive: 12 | Negative: 2

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Joe Klein on May 18 2012

After a while, it just becomes exhausting...Does Goldberg really believe this stuff? Or is he just being tendentious for rhetorical effect?

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Salon

Below average
Reviewed by Alex Pareene on May 10 2012

his insecurity has made him a uniquely pathetic figure in contemporary conservative thought: He aspires to be taken seriously as a public intellectual, but he is the world’s laziest thinker.

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Breitbart

Excellent
Reviewed by John Nolte on Apr 30 2012

Goldberg uses scholarly history, damning logic, pop culture, and laugh-out-loud humor to connect the dots that expose the Left as the vacuous, dishonest, State-addicted mercenaries they really are

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The Weekly Standard

Excellent
Reviewed by MARK HEMINGWAY on May 21 2012

it’s quite a feat to write a polemic about byzantine ideological disputes and political semantics and make it thoroughly enjoyable.

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American Thinker

Excellent
Reviewed by Matthew May on Sep 18 2012

Goldberg did the work. To use a timeworn journalistic cliché, Goldberg "got his hands dirty," which seems to be a lost concept in contemporary journalism. In doing so, to employ another cliché, Goldberg makes it look easy.

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The American Conservative

Excellent
Reviewed by Scott Galupo on Jun 27 2012

A double-barreled cliché is in order here: on this fundamental question of what politics is for, The Tyranny of Clichés lets conservatives eat cake and have it, too.

Read Full Review of The Tyranny of Cliches

Commentary

Excellent
Reviewed by Jonathan Neumann

Jonah Goldberg’s engaging and cant-free second book is not making an argument in itself; it is trying to facilitate argument that otherwise would be stifled by liberal cant constructed on a shaky foundation of self-satisfaction and ornamented to a fare-thee-well by intellectual conceit.

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Red State

Excellent
Reviewed by Kevin Holtsberry on May 17 2012

it is a quick, entertaining and informative book; full of useful arguments, insights and food for thought.

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Red State

Excellent
Reviewed by Moe Lane on Apr 30 2012

good information, good but not breezy presentation of said information, and it will be good ammunition for people tired of listening to the same regurgitated talking points at holiday dinners – which is, of course, a cliche all its own

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Misfit Politics

Excellent
Reviewed by Tony on Jun 14 2012

Thanks in no small part to Jonah Goldberg, your friends might have to start looking for new cliches by the time he’s finished. His new book The Tyranny of Cliches (Hereafter referred to as TOC) is little less than a dismantling of these annoying non-arguments bandied about by our friends on the other side. He also wisely reminds conservatives they can fall into the same pitfall.

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Noisy Room

Good
Reviewed by Terresa Monroe-Hamilton on May 11 2012

Jonah says it so well in his book – he takes a multitude of liberal cliches and disarms them for you. And he does it with wit and passion. It is small wonder he is so admired in the conservative blogosphere.

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BookWorm Room

Good
Reviewed by Bookworm on Jul 19 2012

I was able to enjoy and appreciate Jonah’s inquiry into the intellectual fallacies that liberals use to claim the moral high ground and shut down serious discourse.

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Conservative Wanderer

Good
Reviewed by Conservative Wanderer on May 14 2012

All in all, I am very glad I purchased this book...With Jonah’s humor dotting it, it’s far from a dry read, and it provides a wealth of information.

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The Arizona Conservative

Good
Reviewed by Jacqueline Otto on May 02 2012

While Goldberg is certainly not the first conservative pundit to point out the brevity and inadequacy of these kinds of liberal arguments, his book takes painstaking efforts to actually work through every tacky cliché. While these represent his personal pet peeves, they certainly ring true for most readers.

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Mohit Aggarwal

Mohit Aggarwal 5 Sep 2013

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