Conservative Bestsellers Galore

It's a conservative takeover -- of the bestseller list. The onslaught intensified last week with two new entrants.

Michelle Malkin's "Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies" debuted at No. 2 on The Washington Post Bestseller list, while "Saving Freedom: We Can Stop America's Slide into Socialism" by Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) showed up in its first week at No. 9.

Still holding its longtime spot is Mark R. Levin's "Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto," which came in at No. 5.

Dick Morris's "Catastrophe - How Obama, Congress and the Special Interests Are Transforming a Slump Into a Crash, Freedom Into Socialism, and a Disaster Into a Catastrophe ... and How to Fight Back" slipped below the top 10, but not far. "Catastrophe" came in last week at No. 11.

The authors and their allied commentators will tell you that the phenomenal rise of these titles is no thanks to the established media which tends not to review them and typically dismisses them as nothing more than conservative tracts.

Here at Book World, we do things differently. Allow me to introduce Voices of the Right --in their own words conservatives critique their hot books.

"Culture of Corruption"

Michelle Oddis on humanevents.com, which bills itself as headquarters of the conservative underground, says: "If the Obama Administration's historic over-spending, taxing and expansion of government in the past six months already have your blood boiling, take two aspirin and read Michelle Malkin's 'Culture of Corruption.' Could things be any worse for America than they are now? Malkin's extensive research tells us that 'Yes, they can.'"

"Saving Freedom"

The American Family News Network, a Christian news service that operates onenewsnow.com, says: "As in 1776, DeMint believes Americans must choose between freedom and oppression. His book outlines what people can do to help preserve individual liberty and personal responsibility."

"Liberty and Tyranny"

CNSNews.com, a unit of the Media Research Center, which is dedicated to fighting a liberal news bias, says: "Levin, a constitutional lawyer who served as chief of staff to Attorney General Ed Meese in the Reagan Justice Department, wrote a book that exhibits an expertise in history, economics, and philosophy while explaining contemporary public policy issues."

"Catastrophe"

Christopher Ruddy, founder of the conservative Website newsmax.com, says: "One of the reasons I like Dick Morris is that he has an uncanny ability to predict the future." Ruddy outlines how right he believes Morris has already been on the stimulus plan, mortgage rates and the purchase of toxic assets.

If Dick Morris is so good at prediction, I wonder if he can tell us how conservatives will portray liberals six months from now, a year from now, 20 years from now? What about their future view of the mainstream media? This, I'll venture, is a case where prediction is written in history.

By Steven E. Levingston |  August 10, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
Previous: Lower-Priced Sony E-Book Creates Early Buzz | Next: Judy Woodruff's Late-Summer Reading List

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



Why won't the WaPo review this book? Was it so repulsive that you had to come up with the gimmick of Voices of the Right. I guess WaPo already represents the Voices of the Left? Huh?

Posted by: d1carter | August 10, 2009 11:59 AM

"The onslaught intensified..."

Better not to engage or dignify the great unwashed "mobs" by dirtying your own hands to actually review these best sellers, right?

Posted by: Fredd1 | August 10, 2009 12:15 PM

what's the matter, Steven, are you afraid that your head would explode if you actually read one to see what all the fuss is about? why not a counter balance from a "voice on the left"?

Posted by: cruiszn | August 10, 2009 12:22 PM

With the domination of the best seller list by conservative books, one wonders why there are no "liberal" books around. Is it that they exist but are not being read or are there simply no such books as the left is unable to deal in discussion of facts and ideology. How many books could one sell simply bashing Bush, Cheney, Rove and Palin or spouting mindless slogans (I've seen parrots that can say "Halliburton" with as much credence as most leftists.)?

The conservative books, which are selling, deal with facts, ideas and engagement of thought. It might be refreshing to see a true dialogue between the opposing views. But the left can't be forthcoming - they simply can't win a debate on the issues. They only try to win with demagoguery and sloganeering.

Posted by: truly2 | August 10, 2009 12:27 PM

truly2: "The conservative books, which are selling, deal with facts, ideas and engagement of thought."

This is just false. Read The Republican War on Science by Chris Mooney. Lots of facts in there. (I would have preferred a book on the liberal and conservative misuse of science though.) As for ideas and engagement of thought: Do the titles "Catastrophe", "Culture of Corruption", "Liberty or Tyranny" represent engagement or judgement?

But to be fair, let me critique the other side. Steven Livingston says:

"Here at Book World, we do things differently. Allow me to introduce Voices of the Right --in their own words conservatives critique their hot books."

And then Mr. Livingston must add the last word:

"If Dick Morris is so good at prediction, I wonder if he can tell us how conservatives will portray liberals six months from now, a year from now, 20 years from now? What about their future view of the mainstream media? This, I'll venture, is a case where prediction is written in history."

How are you doing things differently Mr. Livingston? How will you portray conservatives six months from now? a year from now? 20 years from now? How many of these conservative tracts will your "Independent" paper refuse to review, i.e., dismiss? Compared to how many Bush-bashing anti-conservative tracts your paper reviewed last year.

A blog post like this, just makes all the moderates, like myself, who read this aware of how much you are like Dick Morris, not unlike him. You don't do (expletive) differently at the Post.

Posted by: prokaryote | August 10, 2009 1:26 PM

I applaud Truly2, you hit it on the head, there are no other readable books or debateable and logical views and opinions from the left that merit a decent book. Do we remember when Nacy Pelosi tried her writing skills?? Did she even pass the 5,000 books sold. Nothing more be said. I believe after reading these books listed that the facts and information are supportable when you have the ability to look and see for yourself. Of course in cases they are listed but the information is there for review. What is spoken, written and debated by our elected officials is open for public review and scrutiny and they still deny that those thoughts or words came from their lips. It pays to be educated and aware, so as mentioned Mr. Livingston, why not read and review, is that not your job???

Posted by: Kulcuda70 | August 10, 2009 1:37 PM

Kudos to you also Prokaryote, great comment and post.

Posted by: Kulcuda70 | August 10, 2009 1:40 PM

Disgraceful that the Washington Post refuses to review these books. So much for the claim that it's a balanced, fair, objective newspaper.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | August 10, 2009 2:59 PM

Michelle Malkin: Snarking at conservative books
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/08/10/snarking-at-conservative-books/

Posted by: StewartIII | August 10, 2009 5:49 PM

Thanks StewartIII for posting that link. In there, WaPo’s Steven Levingston e-mails: “I posted these reviews as a way to allow others views to have a voice on the blog. If conservative commentators speaking on conservative books counts as snarking, then I guess it’s snarking. I did not intend it that way. I believe all voices should be heard and that is what I have done with this posting.”

Mr. Livingston's excuse that all he did was post conservative voices is just a flat out lie. It's sad that Mr. Livingston cannot even recognize what he wrote. Perhaps he should reread how he ended the blog post: The snarkiness is in the "If Dick Morris is so good at prediction..." line.

Posted by: prokaryote | August 11, 2009 11:55 AM

I haven’t been prompted to post here by anyone; I read this post yesterday. But it was bothering me last night, and I wanted to come in here and add a comment.

What’s up with three posts about conservative books in the past week or so from the same “Short Stack” contributor? Is this his “beat”? First there was “The Final Word – Right at the Beginning,” which claimed that the “political book wars” were on. Then “Conservative Pundits and the Liberal Manifesto.” Now this post.

So conservative books are suddenly selling again, after five or six years in the wilderness. It’s a legitimate book-business story for one post, maybe two, but three so close together? Are we going to get a fourth and fifth post on the same subject before the week’s out?

Liberal books have sold in droves for many years, driven by Bush rage. Now there’s a little Obama rage. But remember that post-election Obama books burned up the sales charts for several weeks not too long ago.

It’s a generally healthy sign that both sides are selling books to their fans. It’s good for the book business and for political discourse.

My hunch is that this supposed phenomenon of conservative book sales is a surprise only to those who counted conservatism as dead in the water just a few short months ago. And now, look, there’s life in that “corpse”! It’s not really surprise. Talk radio hasn’t surged in the ratings with the Obama administration the way it did when Bill Clinton took office (it may yet). Instead, conservatives are flocking to the printed word. Again, not a surprise to anyone but those who think conservatives can’t read.

Posted by: Discman | August 11, 2009 3:15 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2010 The Washington Post Company