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Books by and about 2020 presidential candidates
Crippled America,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
by Cory Booker (2016)
The Truths We Hold,
by Kamala Harris (2019)
Smart on Crime,
by Kamala Harris (2010)
Guide to Political Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2017)
Where We Go From Here,
by Bernie Sanders (2018)
Promise Me, Dad ,
by Joe Biden (2017)
Conscience of a Conservative,
by Jeff Flake (2017)
Two Paths,
by Gov. John Kasich (2017)
Every Other Monday,
by Rep. John Kasich (2010)
Courage is Contagious,
by John Kasich (1998)
Shortest Way Home,
by Pete Buttigieg (2019)
The Book of Joe ,
by Jeff Wilser (2019; biography of Joe Biden)
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Our Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2016)
This Fight Is Our Fight,
by Elizabeth Warren (2017)
Higher Loyalty,
by James Comey (2018)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2017)
Books by and about the 2016 presidential election
What Happened ,
by Hillary Clinton (2017)
Higher Loyalty ,
by James Comey (2018)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Hard Choices,
by Hillary Clinton (2014)
Becoming ,
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

The Most Dangerous Man in America
Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason

by John K. Wilson

(Click for Amazon book review)

Click here for 28 full quotes from Rush Limbaugh in the book The Most Dangerous Man in America, by John K. Wilson.
OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

This book starts out as a reasonable analysis of Rush Limbaugh's political influence, including how he created the industry of political talk radio. But it degrades into Rush-bashing, and hence loses its effectiveness as a good biographical source. The author, John K. Wilson, has published six other political books, including one we have reviewed, The Improbable Quest, about Barack Obama. The Obama biography was clearly from the perspective of a supporter, but was a solid biography without too much bias. This Rush Limbaugh biography fails the test of unreasonable bias.

By the middle of the book, the author has fully degraded into name-calling: "Limbaugh's bizarre suggestion [blaming 2006-2008 high gas prices on Democratic policy] falls somewhere into that shady area between insanity and stupidity," emotes the author on p. 128. First, that suggestion is not "bizarre" -- it's a restatement of a standard Republican call for more domestic oil drilling. Sure, most liberals would certainly disagree, but it is not "bizarre", which implies that no one else would think anything like that, whereas in fact many conservatives do think that. And it is not "insane" or "stupid" even if one disagrees -- that's just name-calling. Which makes this book lose its place as a serious biography.

Once the author establishes himself as a biased source, the reader is forced to ignore the overly-opinionated parts of the book as nothing more than Rush-bashing. What's left is some solid fact-checking. The author carefully cites evidence refuting some of Rush's oft-repeated claims, and cites Rush continuing to stick to his original line even after the counter-evidence was presented. He does that on everything from Rush's misstatements on "net neutrality" (p. 112) to Rush's miscounting of US forest acreage (p. 138) to Rush's misinterpretation of the Bible's recommendation on taxation (p. 147).

If the author had stuck to fact-checking, and presenting case after case of Rush's slim facts in the face of overwhelming counter-evidence, this would have been a fine book. But the solid fact-checking is interspersed with the name-calling, and the reader is left to wade through the nasty Rush-bashing swamp to get to the book's otherwise solid ground. Reading our excerpts, where we focus on the fact-checking parts and omit the Rush-bashing, accomplishes what the author should have done himself. In other words, we recommend skipping the book and reading our excerpts instead, while awaiting a better Rush Limbaugh biography in the future.

Readers might wonder, "Who is this book written for?" Clearly not Rush fans, because it's too anti-Rush. So the target must be Rush Limbaugh's detractors -- but who exactly are they? Liberals who oppose Rush's conservatism and just disagree with him on everything? No, they simply don't listen to Rush's radio show. So is the target conservatives who think the Republican Party is hurt by Rush's partisanship? Maybe, but that group, while they might disagree with Rush's methods, certainly appreciate Rush's major contribution of the concept of political radio talk shows, which have so immensely benefitted the rest of the Republican Party.

Conclusion: The target is really political pundits like me. Pundits are interested in "fact-checking," which is what this book is good at. It's just too vicious in its language and its personal attacks to be useful for anything else. Pundits are a very small audience, and while we're anxious to read more about Rush, there are better books than this one about Rush, such as Al Franken's book, Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot. Admittedly, Franken's book is just as vicious, but when Franken attacks, the reader laughs -- when Wilson attacks, the reader gets annoyed at Wilson.

Certainly, a serious biography of Rush Limbaugh is needed. Wilson wrote this book because, as Rush himself states, "People take me seriously because I am effective." (p.147). Wilson details Rush's effectiveness, both on particular issues and in particular elections. And anyone who acknowledges Rush's listenership -- millions upon millions of dittoheads -- must shed any doubt about Rush's importance. We at OnTheIssues cover Rush Limbaugh because he represents the important class of radio pundit -- we can only weakly cover his competitors (such as Howard Stern, Anne Coulter, and Arianna Huffington) because they just don't have as much material available. A serious Rush Limbaugh biography is warranted -- but this book ain't it.

We're happy to see that this book's Amazon ratings are low compared to Franken's book. Wilson's book's Amazon ranking is #1,581,919 in February 2013. Franken's book is #716,797, and is 12 years older (i.e. it far beats the newer book in the rankings, despite having fallen from "in print" status for over a decade. Franken is much more open about name-calling (such as in his title), but works in as much serious criticism as does Wilson. A serious book about Rush would be a welcome addition. But for an anti-Rush screed, Franken's book is much funnier, and more fun to read than forcing oneself through Wilson's anger.

-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@OnTheIssues.org, Feb. 2013
 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
    Feminists are pro-choice as an avenue of power over men.
Budget & Economy
    At Obama's inauguration: "I hope he fails".
    FactCheck: No, 5.7% decline in '09 was before stimulus began.
Civil Rights
    Call NBA teams "gangs"; fans go to watch Crips vs. Bloods.
    Feminism gives unattractive women access to mainstream.
    1995: AIDS is the only federally-protected virus.
    Laws against selling drugs and using drugs are good laws.
    OpEd: Discourages education; schools screw up children.
Energy & Oil
    Cap-and-trade is a conspiracy to benefit Wall Street.
    OpEd: Country's leading denier of global climate change.
    Global warming is a religion; only God can destroy earth.
    FactCheck: No, forest acreage is not higher than ever.
Families & Children
    Feminazis say all sex is rape, even the sex in marriage.
Free Trade
    NAFTA lets unskilled Mexicans do our unskilled labor.
Health Care
    FactCheck: No, ObamaCare has no effect on capital in economy.
    FactCheck: No, end-of life counseling isn't a "death panel".
    2005: Mexican illegal immigrants are an invasive species.
    Public union vote is like Tony Soprano's lead pipe beating.
    FactCheck: No, 2010 mine deaths not related to union status.
Principles & Values
    Operation Chaos: Republicans vote for Hillary in primary.
Tax Reform
    FactCheck: No, Bush tax cuts did not lead to more revenue.
    FactCheck: No, Gen.41 is not about wisdom of cutting taxes.
    OpEd: Never fired from any radio show due to conservatism.
    Responsible for idea that Obama requires a teleprompter.
    First to combine entertainment and political opinion.
    FactCheck: No, net neutrality unrelated to search engines.
    "Drive-by media" means the state controls what is broadcast.
War & Peace
    Claimed WMDs in Iraq even after Bush admitted no WMDs.

The above quotations are from The Most Dangerous Man in America
Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason

by John K. Wilson

All material copyright 1999-2022
by Jesse Gordon and OnTheIssues.org
Reprinting by permission only.

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Page last edited: Dec 17, 2018