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The #1 Book on Amazon.com:
Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope. The #2 Book on Amazon.com: Barack Obama, Dreams From My Father. The hard cover versions of these books and a collection of his speeches also make an appearance in the Amazon Top 20.
David Larsomn (mail):
Wow. William Ayers must be so proud.....
11.6.2008 7:23pm
titus32:
No wonder he ran for president.
11.6.2008 7:32pm
Nathan_M (mail):
I always suspected this election was just an elaborate book tour.

I hope William Ayers buys something nice with his royalties.
11.6.2008 7:39pm
Nunzio:
Obama will be happy to clock all these royalties before he raises his own taxes next year. (Although his proposal to add Social Security taxes back in after $250,000 doesn't affect income from royalties.

Maybe we should all keep buying his books so he has second, third, and fourth thoughts about raising taxes.

If nothing else, no one has done better in the last 8 years than Obama.
11.6.2008 7:42pm
DiversityHire:
Die fröhlicher Wissenschaft has rocketed-up to #50,945 since Hoosier mentioned it earlier.
11.6.2008 7:43pm
luxurytwist:
For many people the process seems to be: 1) Vote to make him one of the most powerful men in human history. 2) Maybe try to learn something about the guy.
11.6.2008 7:47pm
astrangerwithcandy (mail):
i wonder, if i touched his hand....would mine turn to gold?

good lord, the soon-to-be president is surely on quite a roll.
11.6.2008 7:57pm
smitty1e:
Liberal Fascism is doing well too, and may have more predictive power if the centrist campaign rhetoric fades...
11.6.2008 8:13pm
therut (mail):
They need to put up on intrade a bet on how many biographies will be written about him before he leaves office. I find it terribly arrogant he has already written 2. He must really feel audacious.
11.6.2008 8:15pm
LN (mail):
therut, Obama has written one autobiography.
11.6.2008 8:24pm
LN (mail):
Also, I'm a little scared that the Ayers comments in this thread aren't jokes.
11.6.2008 8:25pm
LN (mail):
Furthermore, instead of finding an Obama book "arrogant," you should realize that the books reveal something about his experiences and mode of thinking. He lays out his plan to impose sharia law and socialism in great detail and with great care, so you don't have to rely on your own ignorant speculation to figure out what he's going to do.
11.6.2008 8:28pm
astrangerwithcandy (mail):

Also, I'm a little scared that the Ayers comments in this thread aren't jokes.


it is slightly scary, but probably just the inevitable ricochet of having seen 7 years of deranged bush bumper stickers.
11.6.2008 8:29pm
Visitor Again:
Just for momentary relief from the bitter whinings of alienated malcontents who should be girding for the eight years of wailing and weeping they have ahead of them, I'm pleased to see Obama's books on the bestseller lists.

Appointments Shortlist (posts not requiring Senate confirmation should also be considered):

Bobby Seale
Ward Churchill
Kathy Boudin
David Gilbert***
Bill Ayers
Bernardine Dohrn
Al Sharpton
Jesse Jackson
Rev. Jeremiah Wright
Rev. Louis Farrakhan
Angela Davis
Noam Chomsky
Leonard Peltier***

*** Will have to be pardoned first


Find and Destroy List:

1. BHO foreign birth records.
2. BHO Muslim affiliation records.
3. Bill Ayers-Bernardine Dohrn love-in photos showing BHO and MLO attendance.
4. BHO Communist Party membership records.
5. Bill Ayers handwritten drafts of BHO books.
6. MLO Black Liberation Army membership records.
7. Hugo Chavez campaign contribution records.
8. Fidel Castro campaign contribution records.
9. Barry Bonds campaign contribution records.
10. Harvard Law School affirmative action requests.
11.6.2008 8:58pm
Norman Bates (mail):
My guess is that most people who buy these books will only read a page or two before putting them on the coffee table or in the garage. Obama's prose is mind-numbingly turgid. This has been an advantage for him because, from what I've read and heard, he doesn't come across in these books as the kind of person most Americans would want as their president. To be honest I completed neither book because I found the writing impossibly bad. To be fair to myself and add substance to the previous sentence, I'm an inveterate and omnivorous reader who completes one or more fairly weighty/serious books and ten or so more trashy books a month.
11.6.2008 9:11pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Actually, since royalty checks are commonly written twice a year (months after the accounting period) he and/or William Ayres will get dinged if he raises taxes.
11.6.2008 9:15pm
Hoosier:
DiversityHire:
Die fröhlicher Wissenschaft has rocketed-up to #50,945 since Hoosier mentioned it earlier.

Damn! And I just sold the rights to Michael Jackson!
11.6.2008 9:16pm
Hoosier:
4. BHO Communist Party membership records.

Ha! We've got him there!
Destroying them will do no good: I have copies of those in my pumkin. There's no way out now.
11.6.2008 9:19pm
DiversityHire:
Obama's prose is mind-numbingly turgid.

Oh, so what, so was Immaneul Kant's and he was a great president. I remember the kids back then lining up to shout "Question not what we are requested to join in thought to the given concept, but what we actually think together with and in it!"
11.6.2008 9:36pm
MCM (mail):
Obama's prose is mind-numbingly turgid.


So Cormac McCarthy '12? I mean, really? Who cares?
11.6.2008 9:55pm
JB:
In fairness, if McCain had written two books and then handily won the election, they would be pretty high up on the best-seller lists.

Also, in fairness, are there any autobiographies that are not mind-numbingly dull?
11.6.2008 10:01pm
DiversityHire:
are there any autobiographies that are not mind-numbingly dull

NPR just had a story on Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words where minor celebrities read other minor celebrities' autobiographies. The Motley Crue excerpt read by Will Forte is pretty funny.
11.6.2008 10:07pm
DiversityHire:
pardon, me: Mötley Crüe.
11.6.2008 10:08pm
Hoosier:
I remember the kids back then lining up to shout "Question not what we are requested to join in thought to the given concept, but what we actually think together with and in it!"

Yep. And then Ted Sorenson rips it totally off for JFK's inaugural address: "Ask not what we are requested to join in thought to the given concept. Ask what the given concept can do for our country." Or something like that--I'm doing this from memory.
11.6.2008 10:21pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"Obama's prose is mind-numbingly turgid. This has been an advantage for him because, from what I've read and heard, he doesn't come across in these books as the kind of person most Americans would want as their president. To be honest I completed neither book because I found the writing impossibly bad."


I found his writing quite remarkable. The style is highly distinct, and he displays an amazing insight into cultural America.

You seem to ignore the context -- that these were autobiographies aimed at a wide audience. They're meant to be straightforward. What were you expecting, William Faulkner?
11.6.2008 10:27pm
DiversityHire:
Well, Axelrod and Plouffe ripped him off too, I remember the chants of "That's not synthesis! It's mere didactic restatement of the relationship between thesis and anti-thesis!" lighting-up auditoriums across the country. Those are the good ol' days when the youth were fare wiser than their elders, back when "change" wasn't just a synonym for "can't remember Jimmy Carter". Of course he wasn't a perfect president, he chose that brain-dead wanna-be-foreign-policy expert Hagel as his VP.
11.6.2008 10:46pm
DiversityHire:
I would pay seriously huge sums of money to read William Faulkner's biography of Barack Obama. Especially if it was an Oprah Book Club selection.
11.6.2008 10:47pm
Hoosier:
Mahan:

No no no. That won't do at all.

Repeat after me: "What're ya expectin'? William Effin' Faulkner?
11.6.2008 10:48pm
Hoosier:
Why is Obama's sales rank so impressive? It's not because of the quality of his books, but the position he has attained.

Much more impressive: My book on the Schmalkaldic War has broken Amazon's top 50.
11.6.2008 10:55pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Steve Sailer managed to slog through Obama's book and write his own book presenting a detailed analyis of both the man and his book. You can download a free copy here. Sailer is actually somewhat fond of Obama and regards him as highly intelligent. Nevertheless he tries to decode this enigmatic politician along with his opaque history. For example Obama will not permit Columbia to release a copy of this thesis, Soviet Nuclear Disarmament. I think it would be informative to see how the young Obama thought about big issues and to see his grasp of a complex topic. Obama claims he can't remember what he wrote.

I tried to read Obama's books but only manged to read various sections because the prose is somewhat dense and I'm somewhat put off by the narcissistic tone. My hat's off to Sailer for his perseverance.
11.6.2008 10:58pm
Thales (mail) (www):
Good lord, are you people going to let up on the man for one minute? There is no realistic doubt that he wrote the books, and the first one at least is quite well written and moving. You don't have to agree with his covert Sharia law domestic terrorist pinko wealth spreading black nationalist agenda to think so either.
11.6.2008 11:01pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"Steve Sailer managed to slog through Obama's book and write his own book presenting a detailed analyis of both the man and his book. You can download a free copy here."


"America's Half-Blood Prince"? Gosh, how generous of him to allow us free copies...

"Sailer is actually somewhat fond of Obama..."


Yes, if by "fond" you mean "dripping with contempt and anger".

"Nevertheless he tries to decode this enigmatic politician along with his opaque history."


Yes, if by "opaque" you mean "having written two highly intimate and revealing autobiographies".
11.6.2008 11:07pm
Hoosier:
Thales

Get a grip, man! It's not always about the transformation of the properties of various objects together with the retention of their substance.

Just give it rest, OK?
11.6.2008 11:09pm
Hoosier:
"having written two highly intimate and revealing autobiographies".

Are there pictures?
11.6.2008 11:10pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"Are there pictures?"


The man admitted to using cocaine. That's not exactly being "opaque".

Any such admission forthcoming from our current President?
11.6.2008 11:15pm
PC:
It's not always about the transformation of the properties of various objects together with the retention of their substance.

Spoken like a true historian.
11.6.2008 11:21pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
This is pretty funny - while the above poster describes Obama's prose as "turgid", Sailer describes it as "serpentine". Because as well all know, serpents are extremely turgid.

Here's an example of a sentence from Obama's book that Sailer identifies as "serpentine":

"At some point, then, in spite of a stubborn desire to protect myself from scrutiny, in spite of the periodic impulse to abandon the entire project, what has found its way onto these pages is a record of a personal, interior journey—a boy’s search for his father, and through that search a workable meaning for his life as a black American."


Wow, what a serpentine, opaque sentence... in fact, it's almost turgid.
11.6.2008 11:33pm
Alexia:


Yes, if by "opaque" you mean "having written two highly intimate and revealing autobiographies".


Especially remarkable, in that he really hadn't much of a career to reflect back upon yet.

I agree - he's a terrible writer.
11.6.2008 11:38pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"Especially remarkable, in that he really hadn't much of a career to reflect back upon yet."


Because nobody is worthy of a biography until they become President.
11.6.2008 11:44pm
Constantin:
Good lord, are you people going to let up on the man for one minute?

Not for at least four years and change.

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.
11.7.2008 1:04am
astrangerwithcandy (mail):
so in the world of mahan atma, not only is obama a legal genius he is a literary genius as well. i think i understand your obsession with the man now.
11.7.2008 1:10am
astrangerwithcandy (mail):

This is pretty funny - while the above poster describes Obama's prose as "turgid", Sailer describes it as "serpentine". Because as well all know, serpents are extremely turgid.


oooh, i see what you did there. pretty clever. you take the opinions of two different people, put them together and suddenly, it sounds ridiculous! great stuff mahan atma, keep it coming.
11.7.2008 1:13am
Mahan Atma (mail):
"so in the world of mahan atma, not only is obama a legal genius he is a literary genius as well."


??

Where did I ever say Obama was a "legal genius"?!?
11.7.2008 1:16am
Mahan Atma (mail):
For that matter, where did I say he is a "literary genius"? I think his writing style is remarkable, distinct, and that he's quite talented, but I never said "literary genius".

When it comes to politics however -- yes, I'd say he's a
"political genius".
11.7.2008 1:25am
A. Zarkov (mail):
Mahan Atma:

Yes, if by "fond" you mean "dripping with contempt and anger"

That's your spin. For example Sailer writes
A self-consciously gifted writer, Obama’s most impressive
effort, Dreams from My Father, is a work of considerable
sophistication and thus deserves a more sophisticated reading than it has so far received.
Does this early Sailer paragraph sound angry or contemptuous? Now we can play a little game here with each of us cherry picking sections. Best the readers download load and see for themselves.


"Yes, if by "opaque" you mean "having written two highly intimate and revealing autobiographies"


Nevertheless Obama remains enigmatic. He holds back as much as he reveals. What he does reveal is carefully crafted not to reveal too much. From the NYT in Oct. 2007
Barack Obama does not say much about his years in New York City. The time he spent as an undergraduate at Columbia College and then working in Manhattan in the early 1980s surfaces only fleetingly in his memoir.

It seems to me that a man who wants the trust of the American people should at least allow access to his writings such as his senior thesis. If he had subsequently produced a body of professional work, we would'nt need it. But outside of his memoirs (his books are not autobiographies), we have virtually nothing go on except political speeches.
11.7.2008 2:39am
astrangerwithcandy (mail):
<blockquote>

Where did I ever say Obama was a "legal genius"?!?
</blockquote>


[mostly, i am just trolling you back after your performance the last 3 months or however long it has been with regards to your obama infatuation.]

i am pretty sure it was you, though i could be wrong, that was not pleased when someone said that obama was "very smart." it had to be more. i am pretty sure the phrase required was some kind of genius.
11.7.2008 2:40am
davidddf (mail):
My rule is simple:
Never buy a book whose author is photographed on the cover.
11.7.2008 4:56am
Anderson (mail):
For many people the process seems to be: 1) Vote to make him one of the most powerful men in human history. 2) Maybe try to learn something about the guy.

I picked up Dreams the day after the election, having put it off b/c if Obama lost, I figured having identified with him via his memoir would make the defeat more painful.

As for "turgid," the commenter doesn't know the meaning of the word, just that it's pejorative.

He discusses in the introduction how he came to be writing a memoir at such a young age in the first place.
11.7.2008 8:54am
Hoosier:
davidddf
My rule is simple:
Never buy a book whose author is photographed on the cover.


That never occured to me. But, wow, what a good rule. I can't think of any exceptions, except when a book is reissued, and the publisher adds the author's picture. Books by, say, Freud would be in this category.

But I can't think of a dust-jacketed book with the author's picture on the cover that I've kept.
11.7.2008 10:05am
Mahan Atma (mail):
"i am pretty sure it was you, though i could be wrong"


Yes, you are wrong.
11.7.2008 10:15am
Mahan Atma (mail):
"Does this early Sailer paragraph sound angry or contemptuous? Now we can play a little game here with each of us cherry picking sections."


I don't have to cherry pick anything. You most certainly did, and you are being intentionally misleading.

You know very well what the tone of the review is; I've never read a book review so filled with contempt and derision.
11.7.2008 10:20am
Mahan Atma (mail):
"Never buy a book whose author is photographed on the cover."


So you literally judge a book by its cover. How very open-minded of you.
11.7.2008 10:22am
mporcius (mail):
are there any autobiographies that are not mind-numbingly dull

Haven't read any Casanova (trans by Trask), have you?
11.7.2008 10:42am
Mahan Atma (mail):
"Never buy a book whose author is photographed on the cover."


BTW, I guess this means you read very few autobiographies. If you simply go to Amazon and type in "autobiography", you'll see that it's very common for the publisher to put the author's photo on the cover.

And looking only at the top 15, it also shows that by your rule, you'd automatically rule out the autobiographies of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Sidney Poitier, and Miss Jane Pittman, among others.
11.7.2008 10:50am
Thales (mail) (www):
"Not for at least four years and change.

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."

Well, agreed. But then dissent from his policies, don't dissent from reality with all this superstitious nonsense a la "who *is* Barack Obama?" He's the president-elect and a very impressive person who successfully exercised his own dissent about how the country was being run. You don't have to agree with him, but please, everyone, stop the character assassination. It's really beneath us as a people.
11.7.2008 10:51am
The General:
1. vote for Obama. 2. Figure out who Obama is. 3. Realize you F*cked up.
11.7.2008 11:26am
MarkField (mail):

Much more impressive: My book on the Schmalkaldic War has broken Amazon's top 50.


If you, or indeed if anyone, wrote such a book, I'd read it.
11.7.2008 11:28am
MarkField (mail):

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.


Yeah, I remember all the conservatives here encouraging me with that thought over the last few years.
11.7.2008 11:30am
JosephSlater (mail):
i am pretty sure it was you, though i could be wrong, that was not pleased when someone said that obama was "very smart." it had to be more. i am pretty sure the phrase required was some kind of genius.

Jukeboxgrad! Hoosier! OCELOTS!!! Oops, I mean OCELOT!!!

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

Elections have consequences! Man, this IS going to be fun!
11.7.2008 11:40am
flyerhawk:
Some of you people are downright hilarious.

So some of you find his books unreadable. Some of you think that people were fools because they should have read his books before voting for him, a particularly odd argument. And some of you claim he didn't even write the books.

Simply bizarre.
11.7.2008 11:43am
A. Zarkov (mail):
Mahan Atma:

"You know very well what the tone of the review is; I've never read a book review so filled with contempt and derision."

That's your opinion, or perhaps you haven't read very many book reviews. I also notice you don't give us instances of where Sailer makes false statements about Obama. Surely if Sailer has the animus you assert, his book should be riddled in inaccuracies.

BTW I opened Sailers book and scrolled to a random paragraph at the beginning, and if you read me carefully, I never accused you of cherry picking. But you level that charge against me. So far all you have done is insult Sailer and insult me instead of providing facts.
11.7.2008 11:45am
Mahan Atma (mail):
I'd tell people to read the review for themselves, but that'd simply be more advertising for a man who doesn't deserve it.

Here's some context. Steve Sailer writes for the admitted "white nationalist" website VDARE.com. He once wrote:

"The brutal truth: Obama is a 'wigger'. He's a remarkably exotic variety of the faux African-American, but a wigger nonetheless."


Wigger:

"Wigger (alternatively spelled wigga, whigger or whigga) is a pejorative slang term for a white person who allophilically emulates mannerisms, slang, and fashions stereotypically associated with urban African Americans and urban Black British and Caribbean culture, especially in relation to hip hop culture and British Grime/Garage scene.

The term most likely stems from a portmanteau of the word white and the derogatory term nigger. The word is considered offensive by some because of its similarity to nigger in addition to reflecting stereotypical notions about urban blacks. Because of this in many communities the term for a white person that emulates urban African-Americans is "whamma", which is a play on the word "bama" which means a thuggish or rude African-American"


Here's some more poison from the racist Sailer. Writing about Hurricane Katrina, he said:

"What you won’t hear, except from me, is that 'Let the good times roll' is an especially risky message for African-Americans. The plain fact is that they tend to possess poorer native judgment than members of better-educated groups. Thus they need stricter moral guidance from society."


No wonder his book review is so hate-filled. The idea of a black President is obviously very disturbing to him.
11.7.2008 11:59am
Bob from Ohio (mail):

Well, agreed. But then dissent from his policies, don't dissent from reality with all this superstitious nonsense a la "who *is* Barack Obama?" He's the president-elect and a very impressive person who successfully exercised his own dissent about how the country was being run. You don't have to agree with him, but please, everyone, stop the character assassination. It's really beneath us as a people.


I intend to act just like your side did for the last 8 years.

Don't like it, tough. Should have thought ahead.
11.7.2008 12:12pm
flyerhawk:
A. Zarkov,

So you haven't read either book yourself but you find Mr. Sailer's 252 page "review" of the books positive?

When he refers to the Obamamaniacs that is a term of endearment? When he compares Obama to Sarah Palin he is doing so as a means to analyze the books, right?

Sailer may have praised the book early on but he goes on to say

The would‐be President has written a long, luxuriant, and almost incomprehensible book, so I have penned a (relatively) short and brusque book that explains who Obama thinks he is.


Apparently 450 pages is a long incomprehensible book to Mr. Sailer.

Mr. Sailer shows he is not above literary hackery...

Second, I enjoy Obama’s writing style. As a professional writer, I envy the sonorous flow of his prose and his eye for novelistic details. I can’t write that mellifluously.


uhhh, ok.

And lest we confuse him for a professional...

I justify borrowing thousands of words of Obama’s copyrighted prose under the legal doctrine of “fair use.” If he doesn’t like it, he can sue me.


It's a poorly written political hatchet piece. That's all it is.
11.7.2008 12:19pm
Anderson (mail):
Miss Jane Pittman

That's a novel, actually.
11.7.2008 12:27pm
Anderson (mail):
Oh, and why is anyone discussing Steve Sailer?

Doesn't David Duke have any literary criticism we could look at?
11.7.2008 12:28pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Mahan Atma:

Well finally we get the race card. When all else fails attack the messenger and stay away from factual information. Funny how it's not ok to quote the Rev. Wright out of context, but it is for Sailer.
11.7.2008 1:03pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
flyerhawk:

I never said Sailer's review of Obama's book was positive. I said, "Sailer is actually somewhat fond of Obama and regards him as highly intelligent." The word "somewhat fond" does not prelude criticism.

So far no one has provided proof of that Sailer's book is on the whole, inaccurate.
11.7.2008 1:11pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"Well finally we get the race card. When all else fails attack the messenger and stay away from factual information. Funny how it's not ok to quote the Rev. Wright out of context, but it is for Sailer."


It isn't "playing the race card" when the man is in fact racist.

And I never defended a damned thing Wright said, in or out of context, so I have no clue what you're talking about.

But hey, if you think Sailer's quotes were taken out of context and you wish to defend them, go right ahead.
11.7.2008 1:16pm
flyerhawk:
His "book" is a polemic. I can no more prove it wrong than I can prove it right. He offers a bunch of opinions.

You claim that it would be informative to read Obama's views on Soviet nuclear disarmament even though the Soviet Union no longer exists and he wrote the paper nearly 20 years ago.

You offer a polemic as a "review" when it was nothing of the sort.
11.7.2008 1:27pm
flyerhawk:
When Norman Podhoretz calls conservative a racist perhaps he may not be the best guy to talk racial issues.
11.7.2008 1:29pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
I'm still waiting for that long list of inaccuracies in the book. When I find a book is full of errors I cite them; I don't just insult the author.

In any case, we are dealing with a book review and a book. We should stick to the books in question, and not argue about the author.
11.7.2008 1:34pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
flyerhawk:

"You claim that it would be informative to read Obama's views on Soviet nuclear disarmament even though the Soviet Union no longer exists and he wrote the paper nearly 20 years ago."


If we had more recent work, that would be better, but we don't. Why won't Obama let Columbia release the thesis. We have his wife's senior thesis.
11.7.2008 1:39pm
flyerhawk:
Zarkov,

You are using standard political attack methods. Offer a book without offering much in the way of explaining why it is worthwhile and simply criticize the criticisms. And you are going with the whole "If he has nothing to hide why is he hiding this" argument.

I have no idea why he won't release his undergrad papers. Maybe because he, like most adults, is embarrassed by his naivety and sees no value publishing papers that have no bearing on his current views? Maybe he should publish his high school book report on 1984 as well?
11.7.2008 1:43pm
Constantin:
Well, agreed. But then dissent from his policies, don't dissent from reality with all this superstitious nonsense a la "who *is* Barack Obama?" He's the president-elect and a very impressive person who successfully exercised his own dissent about how the country was being run. You don't have to agree with him, but please, everyone, stop the character assassination. It's really beneath us as a people.

No dice. His entire campaign was a cult of personality. If it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me.
11.7.2008 2:14pm
Anderson (mail):
That was J-Pod, Flyerhawk, not Norman. But here's the quote, for the click-averse:

[Sailer:] "What you won’t hear, except from me, is that 'Let the good times roll' is an especially risky message for African-Americans. The plain fact is that they tend to possess poorer native judgment than members of better-educated groups. Thus they need stricter moral guidance from society."

[JPod:] Nobody with the unspeakable gall and tastelessness to write such sentences should be suggesting that any other person on earth requires "stricter moral guidance."


If whites are supposed to possess better judgment "as a group," then what is Sailer's excuse for deviating well below the norm?

Sailer is a racist jerk, and people who think he's so great are casting aspersions on themselves. Hell, if you're going to praise Wagner, don't quote Hitler's good opinion, right?
11.7.2008 3:05pm
pete (mail) (www):

are there any autobiographies that are not mind-numbingly dull


Ben Franklin's was pretty good, although he never bothered to finish it.
11.7.2008 3:26pm
Anderson (mail):
are there any autobiographies that are not mind-numbingly dull

Cellini's is okay, if you like that sort of thing.

Cf. Hume: "It is difficult for a man to speak long of himself without vanity; therefore, I shall be short." Six pages, in my edition.
11.7.2008 3:33pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
flyerhawk:

"Maybe because he, like most adults, is embarrassed by his naivety and sees no value publishing papers that have no bearing on his current views?"

I don't think most adults are embarrassed by their senior college thesis. A high school paper, yes. If the young Obama is such an interesting topic as to merit two books, then we should be able to read this senior thesis. Obama is not afraid to admit he used cocaine, which is a far greater transgression than simply writing a naive thesis. Moreover if you're right about people being embarrassed about their college work, then he takes no chance in releasing it.

"You are using standard political attack methods."


I could say that you're using Saul Alinsky's Rule 12
Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)
11.7.2008 4:19pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
It isn't an ad hominem to highlight Sailer's racism because we're dealing with a review of a book (by a black Presidential candidate I might add) that explicitly centers on the topic of racial identity.

His racism is therefore relevant to his motives and his inability to judge the book objectively or fairly. And it shows.

But hey, since you don't think he's a racist, and that his statements are taken out of context, why don't you explain how the context changes his statements?

Let's start with the "wigger" remark:

""The brutal truth: Obama is a 'wigger'. He's a remarkably exotic variety of the faux African-American, but a wigger nonetheless."


On its face, Wigger obviously means "white nigger", and it's clearly a racial epithet. Please show us the context that explains that away.

Also, let's talk about his calling Obama a "remarkably exotic variety of the faux African-American". Sounds to me like he's referring a species of animal. What is your defense of that?
11.7.2008 4:43pm
Hoosier:
Mahan Atma

"It isn't an ad hominem to highlight Sailer's racism because we're dealing with a review of a book (by a black Presidential candidate[ ) ] . . . His racism is therefore relevant to his motives and his inability to judge the book objectively or fairly. And it shows."

I frequently see this. People confuse argumentum ad hominem with impeachment of a source. There are grey areas, of course. Now, I had never heard of Sailer of VDare. But if your descriptions and quotes are accurate--and I have never seen you BS--then he couldn't possibly be trusted on a matter related to race.

An ad hominem argument would be, say, if he wrote a review trashing abook about Mickey Mantle, and someone said: "He must be wrong because he's a racist." True, perhaps. But irrelevant.

Further opining: "Wigger" makes no sense when applied to Obama. The term covers white people who mimic black underclass ways of talking and dressing. Obama is part black, and doesn't mimic the urban underclass.

But, other than that, yeah, total wigger.

Side note: I know a guy named Wigger. I've seen some amazing faces when I've mentioned his work at conferences. ("And then there's Wigger."--"Gasp!")

JosephSlater:

NOW you have it. One ocelot. And only one.

Plus the homos are trying to remove Kurt Cobain from Mount Rushmore.

As my wife has said, my head is a very strange place.
11.7.2008 11:00pm
Hoosier:
flyerhawk:
"The would‐be President has written a long, luxuriant, and almost incomprehensible book, so I have penned a (relatively) short and brusque book that explains who Obama thinks he is."--


"Apparently 450 pages is a long incomprehensible book to Mr. Sailer."

Long--apparently.
Ergo incomprehensible? Non sequitur.
11.7.2008 11:02pm