Re: I'm not sure Jonah will come out well in this exchange

1

I've also been surprised by people saying that the review is positive. I think the fact that the reviewer takes the book at all seriously makes it a more positive review than it warrants.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 6:50 PM
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Oh no. You've joined Team "Our only response is scorn."


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 6:52 PM
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Thanks for posing this, Labs. I was going to ask PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful for a link to the review in the Times.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 6:53 PM
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the reviewer is using a polite academic tone to say that the thesis of the book is false and a little crazy; however, the tone makes the review seem more positive than it is

And this is why swearing at people is admirable in some cases. Comity!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 6:55 PM
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Oh no. You've joined Team "Our only response is scorn."

Nah. But he could have been a lot more critical and still not been in snarkistan.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 6:57 PM
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Well, I'm lazy, but (1) the reviewer thinks Jonah is hilarious ("witty intelligence"?!?!?!), which is inexplicable and (2) the reviewer didn't exactly come right out and say that Jonah's thesis statement is gobbledygook and (3) "The final chapters of "Liberal Fascism" are a rant, often deliciously amusing, against America's numerous liberal-fascist elites" -- to which just ugh, since the reviewer seems to be tickled by this without regard to any factual merit.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 6:57 PM
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1: This is right, of course. The only thing I'd modify is the intensity: Treating this book as worthy of respectful critique is, by itself, extremely positive treatment.

2: What other response do you propose? If the NYT has got to review it (it doesn't), surely the book should be reviewed with an appropriate amount of ridicule.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 7:00 PM
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Yeah, 5 and 6 seem right. I wonder what the real explanation is.

I do find it hard to imagine any rant against "liberal-fascist elites" being deliciously amusing. I wonder if I can borrow a copy.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 7:02 PM
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6: I thought those were nice swipes at account for the book's probable reception among people who are inclined to feel aggrieved against liberal elites. The fact is that for a lot of people Rush Limbaughesque Coulterisms *are* amusing.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 7:04 PM
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I'm guessing that what's going on here is: the reviewer is using a polite academic tone to say that the thesis of the book is false and a little crazy

And this is why liberals have spent the last 30 years getting our lunch eaten. By all the evidence I've seen, this book is not a little crazy, and the review doesn't even come out and say it's a little crazy.

Or: 4 is right.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 7:05 PM
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Rest assured that Jonah and his pals at The Corner will, in their own assessment, trounce Holbo.

Clicking through, I see that the post is written by the former Juan Non-Volokh. I didn't know he wrote for the corner. And I also see a post by Iain "Col. Blimp" Murray! I wondered what had happened to him. Quite the collection of no-hopers they have over there.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 7:07 PM
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(a) uh, why?

Sam Tanenhaus, I gather.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 7:08 PM
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12: oh, right, I'd forgotten about him, even though he's come up a lot in the Kristol discussions.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 7:12 PM
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I read the review, and thought it likely that Oshinsky thought he was being negative-in-an-academic sort of way, although he writes reviews occasionally for the Times and I think would know better.

The other thing I know about him is his book about the state penitentiary in Mississippi, Worse Than Slavery,. I know the subject very well. The book is a big mess. It commits one of the worst failings a book can commit-- factual errors that can only have come from a book he doesn't want to cite because he'll look less original if he cites it, but errors he pretty much must have picked up from the book he won't cite.


Posted by: TomF | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 7:14 PM
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Wow, that's a long-ass subtitle.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 7:18 PM
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15: That's how you get tenure, big guy. You got to play the game to win.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 7:21 PM
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The days of long-ass subtitles are sorely missed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 7:28 PM
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Those who are yearning for a slightly less measured response will be glad to hear that The Editors's companion tome will be ready for release the very day Jonah's book appears in stores.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 7:44 PM
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Let's g-o-o-o-o, Mountaineers!

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Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 7:51 PM
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Go WVU!!!!!!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 7:57 PM
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I don't know if Fleur is lurking out there, but I'd like the Mineshaft to encourage her to post the little bit of doggerel she just composed entitled "For My Husband Who Wants to Watch Football".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 8:05 PM
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21:

Is it a picture of her wearing a cheerleader outfit? Bc BR is.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 8:07 PM
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They originally commissioned me to review it, but they didn't like my tone. It's a conspiracy.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 8:11 PM
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Is it a picture of her wearing a cheerleader outfit?

No, it's a bit of verse she composed, which I shall not record here (sanctity of off-blog-communication + spousal privilege).

Bc BR is.

Flickr, dude.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 8:15 PM
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I don't think that even I have succeeded in treating Goldberg's book as harshly as it deserves. Take these three points:

1. Calling someone a fascist is extremely insulting -- for liberals, more or less the worst insult. "Fascist" is a fighting word, at least for liberals, and that's probably why Goldberg used it.

2. Goldberg's arguments that liberals are fascists are extremely weak and dishonest, leading one to believe that he isn't serious at all about his argument and is just trying to smear and insult liberals.

3. Goldberg has been, and probably still remains, a Bush supporter, and in many respects (authoritarianism, militarism, secrecy, contempt for law, cult of personality) Bush is as fascist a leader as the U.S. has ever seen.

4. Goldberg is backed by a captive, politicized, party-line cult-of-personality media, and Goldberg's smear is a pretty example of the "big lie" technique.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 8:27 PM
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25 gets it right. It's clear to me that this book is part of the projection strategy that will make it impossible to call actual fascists fascists until it's too late.

The days of long-ass subtitles are sorely missed.

I agree, I'm sick of [Random Seemingly Meaningless Phrase Taken From A Primary Source]: [Vague Word], [Vague Word], and [What the Actual Title of the Book Should Be].


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 8:30 PM
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Heeeeeey, nice template, Ned. Tho' in philosophy we prefer [Vague Word], [Vague Word], and [Vague Word].


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 8:37 PM
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e.g. A Fairly Macabre, Disturbing Gretel-Like Figure: Women, Fashion, and Tonight's Episode of Project Runway.

Extra credit for including italics in the title, so that references to the title have to use normal text as a sort of double italics, making the title look stupid.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 8:41 PM
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26 is nice, but it captures only the scholarly nonfiction titles. The preferred format for popular nonfiction appears to be [Random Seemingly Meaningless Phrase Taken From A Primary Source]: [Commonplace Topic] and [Provocative, Bordering on Outlandish Claim for the Significance of Said Topic]


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 8:43 PM
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I Had A Whole Nother Dress: Project Runway And How Evil Conquered The World


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 8:47 PM
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25: Three, four points, who's counting. (I do this all the time in drafts where I mention three points, write six, and say there's four.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 8:47 PM
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In U.S. history, our titles must now look like this. "Event: And How it Changed America." Any topic that lacks America-changing significance is unworthy of publication.

Also, I've just wasted two hours of my life watching a documentary on Andrew Jackson that may have been titled, "Andrew Jackson: And How He Changed America." Seriously, what's a president got to do before PBS decides that he doesn't merit hagiographic threatment. Kill a bunch of Indians for fun and profit? Revel in his role as a cruel slaveholder? Turn his back on his ostensibly bedrock ideals? Apparently none of that is enough. Sorry, I'm done.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 8:56 PM
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26:Does that projection strategy include the forthcoming Democratic Racists by Bruce Bartlett?

If 2008 does not go very very well, I think I might lose my temper at these Republican types, and abandon comity.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:01 PM
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Is anyone else watching the ass-whuppin' Pat White is laying on Oklahoma right now? Yeeee-haawww!

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Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:08 PM
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32: It's not just U.S. history; you also have the thriving genre of [Commodity]: The [Category] That Changed the World.

(Not to mention Thomas Kenneally's personal specialty: How the [Ethnic Minority] Saved Civilzation.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:10 PM
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Commodity: The Category That Changed the World.

This would be a great title for a book.



Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:18 PM
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That would be a great book, too.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:20 PM
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If 2008 does not go very very well, I think I might lose my temper at these Republican types, and abandon comity.

Dibs on whatever role mcmanus currently sees himself occupying.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:23 PM
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Coal: How the Welsh Changed the Subsurface Conditions of One Part of Great Britain.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:25 PM
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Pantload: How One Man Enstupefied America


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:26 PM
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Coming to PBS on January 21, 2009: GWB: A President for His Time

It will primarily focus on his brush-clearing.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:27 PM
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Commenter: How JRoth Hijacked this Thread


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:28 PM
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C'mon, people. This is easy, but I have to go to bed.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:28 PM
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I think there is still a vacant market niche for Latex: The Polymer that Changed How the World Lives, Works and Fucks


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:31 PM
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34: Don't get cocky. OU is just three successful statue-of-liberty plays away from the lead.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:32 PM
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41 reminds me of this great prediction list for 2008:

1. Mideast Time Bomb Ticks Down ["Iran is a Hitler-like threat"]
2. Global Warming 'Consensus' Fades
7. Bush Reassessment Begins

Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:33 PM
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45: Make that *two* successful statue of liberty plays.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:36 PM
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Fine: I'm Tired and I Want to go to Bed: Tiredness, Sleepiness, and the Inevitability of Bedtime


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:38 PM
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47: Three again. The lead looks safe. I began my so-called career at OU and used to go to football games. I still can't describe the terrifying enthusiasm. And the whiteness. Except for the players, that is. Given that I'm commenting under my own name, I think I'll leave it at that.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:45 PM
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OT, but this seems to be the thread for it: Have you guys seen The LOLCat Bible?

Gen 1:1 Oh hai. In teh beginnin Ceiling Cat maded teh skiez An da Urfs, but he did not eated dem.

Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:53 PM
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Yeah, it's one of those things that's funny for about 5 verses and then you think, "They can't seriously have gone and written the whole fucking thing like this?"

Come to think of it, that's my view of the regular Bible as well.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:58 PM
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50: I like the translation of John 3:16.

So liek teh Ceiling Cat lieks teh ppl lots and he sez 'Oh hai I givez u my only kittens and ifs u beleevs in him u wont evr diez no moar, k?

Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 9:58 PM
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They can't seriously have gone and written the whole fucking thing like this?

Oh, there's plenty left to do. I'm considering tackling parts of Ezekiel.

The book of Job was cracking me up earlier.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 10:00 PM
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50: From Ecclesiastes, my favorite:

"St00pid! St00pid!" Sez teh teechurcat. "Srsly st00pid. Everythingz ghey."

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 10:01 PM
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II Kings, however, is not good.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 10:07 PM
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54: See also the 23rd Psalm:

Ceiling Cat iz mai sheprd (which is funni if u knowz teh joek about herdin catz LOL.)


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 10:08 PM
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48-28, bitchez!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 10:12 PM
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Witt, can you send me an email? I have an idea.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 10:17 PM
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Back to Holbo's utter demolition of Jonah ... why don't we rewrite Liberal Fascism in LOLspeak? It's not like it'd be any more/less intelligible, right?


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 10:27 PM
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O hai. I is fashist cuz I eatz organic hunny lol. Dachau hadz organik hunny kthanxbye.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 10:29 PM
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I can haz cheezburger from teh staitz? no i cantz? ATTACKZ teh rish peeplz. Wif tackses.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 10:32 PM
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INVIZIBUL LOGIK


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 10:33 PM
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Oh noes! They be stealin' mah cigaretts!!!1eleven! They haz edukashun degreez frum Brown n Swarthmorez!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 10:37 PM
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HALP I IZ SEEING FEMUHNISTS!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 10:41 PM
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I can no haz cheezburger? Oh noes teechur U R a fashist HALP


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 10:47 PM
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Been away, but this thread captures it. I mean,sure, a sophisticated person who reads between the lines can see through the wearily amused tone and guess that the reviewer thinks the book is a load of crap, but that's far from clear to the average reader. It's certainly not the overt message.

I guess this book wa my test case for what a conservative had to write before losing intellectual respectability. Or something. Apparently this ain't it.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 10:58 PM
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Been away, but this thread captures it. I mean,sure, a sophisticated person who reads between the lines can see through the wearily amused tone and guess that the reviewer thinks the book is a load of crap, but that's far from clear to the average reader. It's certainly not the overt message.

I guess this book was my test case for what a conservative had to write before losing intellectual respectability. Or something like that. Apparently this ain't it.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 10:59 PM
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Been away, but this thread captures it. I mean,sure, a sophisticated person who reads between the lines can see through the wearily amused tone and guess that the reviewer thinks the book is a load of crap, but that's far from clear to the average reader. It's certainly not the overt message.

I guess this book was my test case for what a conservative had to write before losing intellectual respectability. Or something like that. Apparently this ain't it.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 10:59 PM
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Been away, but this thread captures it. I mean,sure, a sophisticated person who reads between the lines can see through the wearily amused tone and guess that the reviewer thinks the book is a load of crap, but that's far from clear to the average reader. It's certainly not the overt message.

I guess this book was my test case for what a conservative had to write before losing intellectual respectability. Or something like that. Apparently this ain't it.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 11:00 PM
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26: 25 gets it right. It's clear to me that this book is part of the projection strategy that will make it impossible to call actual fascists fascists until it's too late.

Michael Bérubé captured this well in this earlier post at CT, where he suggested that LF was "[D'Souza's] The End of Racism for the post-9/11 world!"

So my proposed title is:
I Haz Fashism? DO NOT WANT!11! U Haz Fazism!!

or alternatively:
South America: Sleeping Giant on our Doorstep.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 2-08 11:38 PM
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69 to 68, obvsly.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 01- 3-08 5:17 AM
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Hitler, the Nazis, and how Hitler Hitlered the Nazis: A History Channel Special.

Or something.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 01- 3-08 5:32 AM
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Actually speaking of which, I seem to remember Esz/ter posting something on CT about an instance when her dad had more or less had his idea for a book ripped off by some journalist, and IIRC the people at Oxford University Press were genuinely surprised that the rival title "The Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed The World" was judged to be more commercially appealing than "Conversations With Retiring Hungarian-American Scientists" (obviously not exactly, but I don't think I'm far off)


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 01- 3-08 6:00 AM
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Wow, I guess I really felt strongly about my point.

The lesson here: I'm not yet ready to post from a Blackberry.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01- 3-08 9:10 AM
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"Back to Holbo's utter demolition of Jonah ... why don't we rewrite Liberal Fascism in LOLspeak? It's not like it'd be any more/less intelligible, right?"

Jon Swift's way ahead of you: http://tinyurl.com/yqg94z


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01- 3-08 10:22 AM
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