In a powerful and deeply personal memoir in the tradition of Arthur Koestler's The God That Failed, David Brock, the original right-wing scandal reporter, chronicles his rise to the pinnacle of the conservative movement and his painful break with it.
When Brock (The Real Anita Hill; The Seduction of Hillary Rodham) was a freshman at the University of California at Berkeley in 1981, his political idol was Bobby Kennedy. Four years later, he was a committed conservative who idolized Oliver North and Robert Bork. In this book, Brock chronicles the political round trip back to his more liberal roots. Along the way, he earned the adoration of the extreme right, even after he acknowledged that he was gay, because he worked feverishly as a writer for conservative publications such as the Washington Times and American Spectator, promoting and validating conservative causes. An American Spectator article in early 1994 broke the "Troopergate" scandal and laid the groundwork for the Paula Jones suits against President Clinton, but Brock says he was troubled by the relentless investigations of the Clintons and came to regret his part in them. Eventually, the shallowness of his relationship with the conservatives forced him to make a final break in 1997. Although readers may doubt the sincerity of Brock's latest conversion, the book offers a revealing inside look at the conservative media and provides a careful chronicling of the investigations of the Clintons. Recommended for media studies and political science collections and for larger public libraries. Jill Ortner, SUNY at Buffalo Libs. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
August 27, 2002
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Blinded by the Right by David Brock
This is a terrible book. It is about lies told and reputations ruined. It is about what the conservative movement did, and what I did, as we plotted in the shadows, disregarded the law, and abused power to win even greater power.
My story is about those familiar corrupting influences of ambition, greed, and ego. It is about how human weakness, lack of confidence, and emotional discomposure can lead to a susceptibility to manipulation for bad ends. It is also about the dangers of zeal and extremism in a political cause, and about how one can be blinded to the ethics of one's own actions.
I came to Washington in 1986 as a conservative rebel from Berkeley, California, and from that moment through the latter part of the 1990s, as the leading right-wing scandal reporter, I was a witness to, and a participant in, all of the scandals that gripped the capital city -- Iran-Contra, the failed nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court, the Thomas-Hill hearings, Troopergate, Paula Jones, Whitewater, and the secret scheming that led to the impeachment of President Clinton. The conservative culture I thrived in was characterized by corrosive partisanship, visceral hatreds, and unfathomable hypocrisy. I worked for leading institutions of the conservative movement -- the Washington Times, the Heritage Foundation, and the American Spectator -- where I fought on the wrong side of an ideological and cultural war that divided our country and poisoned our politics.
The process of breaking ranks from a tight-knit political movement has been slow and torturous. The break came not in one decisive moment, but in a series of revelations great and small, about the character and actions of those who were my friends, about my own character and actions, and ultimately about the fanatical cause behind it all. There were times when I was not sure I would live through it to tell this story.
In the 1940s and 1950s, ex-Communist intellectuals created a literary genre documenting their break with Communism. In the 1970s and 1980s, so many liberals became conservatives that a new movement -- neoconservatism -- was born. Few have traveled in my direction, from conservatism to liberalism, at least publicly. It is the nature of an ideological defection such as mine to be a lone voice, met by denials or silence from my ex-comrades. Only they and I really know what we did and why we did it.