Book Lists Take More Loyal Turn

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 6, 2002 | Go to article overview

Book Lists Take More Loyal Turn


Byline: Edwin Feulner, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

If there's one thing the capos of the New York publishing houses should be reading these days, it's the bottom line.

And the big news at the cash registers is this: Not a single book on the prized New York Times nonfiction best-sellers list denigrates America, past or present. Not a single book argues that we need to turn all guys into misty-eyed, politically correct wimps. Not a single book celebrates the achievements of communism, socialism, Stalinism, Leninism, Maoism, Taoism or even Clintonism. Not a single book argues that the values of the cave-dwellers are the moral equivalent of our Western values, only different. And not a single book can be described as "poignantly delicious," or by any of the other code words or fab phrases so dear to the literary high and mighty.

No, the big news is that the nonfiction best-sellers list, where "rankings reflect sales," is dominated by full-blooded conservative titles, the literary equivalent of red meat.

At the end of January, Nos. 1, 4, 7 and 9 on the Times list were featured offerings of the Conservative Book Club. The other six books of the top 10 were nonideological: biographies of John Adams and Teddy Roosevelt, the autobiography of long-time General Electric CEO Jack Welch, two September 11 photo-essay collections, and a "copiously illustrated" explanation of our universe by pop physicist Stephen Hawking.

In the age of President Bush, it seems, Norman Mailer and Susan Faludi are out, and Bill O'Reilly and Pat Buchanan are in.

Interestingly, the No. 1 book on the nonfiction list on Jan. 27 - and still No. 1 on Feb. 10 - was Bernard Goldberg's "Bias," which explains what most Americans already suspected: that network "news" is slanted.

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