Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

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9780812930993: Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

In a powerful and deeply personal memoir in the tradition of Arthur Koestler’s The God That Failed, David Brock, the original right-wing scandal reporter, chronicles his rise to the pinnacle of the conservative movement and his painful break with it.

David Brock pilloried Anita Hill in a bestseller. His reporting in The American Spectator as part of the infamous “Arkansas Project” triggered the course of events that led to the historic impeachment trial of President Clinton. Brock was at the center of the right-wing dirty tricks operation of the Gingrich era–and a true believer–until he could no longer deny that the political force he was advancing was built on little more than lies, hate, and hypocrisy.

In Blinded By the Right, Brock, who came out of the closet at the height of his conservative renown, tells his riveting story from the beginning, giving us the first insider’s view of what Hillary Rodham Clinton called “the vast right-wing conspiracy.” Whether dealing with the right-wing press, the richly endowed think tanks, Republican political operatives, or the Paula Jones case, Brock names names from Clarence Thomas on down, uncovers hidden links, and demonstrates how the Republican Right’s zeal for power created the poisonous political climate that culminated in George W. Bush’s election.

Already making national headlines, David Brock writes with stunning candor about a fascinating but deeply disturbing period of American politics. Blinded By the Right is a classic political memoir of our times.

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Review:

David Brock made his name (and big money) by trashing Anita Hill as "a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty." But it was Brock's reporting that was nutty and slutty, he confesses in the riveting memoir Blinded by the Right. He absolves Hill; claims he helped Clarence Thomas threaten another witness into backing down; portrays a ghastly right-wing Clinton-bashing conspiracy of hypocrites, zillionaires, and maniacs; and accuses himself of being "a witting cog in the Republican sleaze machine." Now Brock is sliming his former fellows--everyone from the lawyer who argued the Bush v. Gore case to gonzo pundits Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham ("the only person I knew who didn't appear to own a book or regularly read a newspaper") to Matt Drudge and Tom Wolfe. Brock excoriates the gay hypocrites of the right wing, including himself, and tells how he cleverly spun his own outing. (He calls himself "the only openly gay conservative in the country," evidently forgetting about the far more open and famous Andrew Sullivan.)

If Brock says he was a liar for much of his life, how do we know he's not lying now? Blinded by the Right is less addicted to anonymous and third-hand sources than the madcap character assassinations that made him famous, and it is infinitely more plausible. But that doesn't make it necessarily true. (Anita Hill's lawyer has acidly observed that Brock confessed his Hill-related lies after seven years, when the statute of limitations prevents suing for slander.) Dumped by the right after he wrote a non-hatchet-job book on Hillary Clinton, Brock profits by running to the arms of the center and left. But that doesn't make this book untrue. All I can tell you is you'll have to read it and decide for yourself. And I'll bet you'll admit this mea-culpa memoir has the revolting, irresistible fascination of a bad car wreck. --Tim Appelo

From the Back Cover:

“A chilling portrait . . . of a partisan attack machine.”—Washington Post

“A key document for historians seeking to understand the ethos of the incoherent ’90s.”—New York Times
“A cracking good story . . . Blinded by the Right is . . . something that is owed not only from its author but also from the political cadre he has so spectacularly served and forsaken: an apology.”—The New Yorker

“Anyone wishing to understand America in the 1990s will have to read [Brock’s] book.”—Los Angeles Times

“A fascinating look into the murky world of the politics of personal destruction.”—USA Today

“A mea culpa for an entire era.”—New York Times Magazine

“You cannot fully understand this fevered era without reading this book.”—The Nation

“If you’re looking for proof of corruption and immoral behavior among the nation’s most famous conservatives—read this book.”—Bill Press, CNN
From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Brock, David
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