Cover image for The art of political war : and other radical pursuits
The art of political war : and other radical pursuits
Horowitz, David, 1939-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Dallas, Tex. : Spence, [2000]

Physical Description:
xv, 203 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
JC573.2.U6 H667 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Politics is war, but in America, one side is doing all the shooting -- the liberals. Shell-shocked conservatives blame their failures on the media or unscrupulous opponents, but they refuse to name the real culprit: themselves. In a book that shattered the complacency of establishment conservatives -- and helped put George W. Bush in the White House -- David Horowitz lays out the strategy to fight back.
-- What are the six principles of politics that liberals understand but conservatives don't?
-- How can conservatives win the "sound bite war"?
-- What are the five agendas that can make the Republicans the majority party?

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

L.A. radio talk show host Elder is not just another black conservative. More libertarian than conservative, he argues empirically, from facts and trends, rather than morally. He does like to be provocative, though. Witness the first of his 10 unsayable things: "Blacks Are More Racist Than Whites." Outrageous! But then he states his case--that black leaders behave as if no criticism of any black person or social policy, such as affirmative action, that black leaders endorse could be anything but bigoted. His presentation on the next unsayable thing, "White Condescension Is as Bad as Black Racism," is really a plain-language restatement of one of Shelby Steele's major contentions in A Dream Deferred (1998), which Elder cites. Writing as colloquially as he probably speaks, Elder also presents the libertarian cases against the war on drugs, the welfare state, the health-care crisis, gun control, and four other issues. All are arguments with which conservatives generally concur. When asked to appear on a liberal platform, reformed sixties leftist Horowitz insisted that Elder be his backup. Good move, for Horowitz was defending his book Hating Whitey (1999), which jibes with Elder's first unsayable thing. Horowitz, however, prefers arguments that are moral as well as empirical. Accordingly, he disagrees with Elder's opinion that there is "maybe a dime's worth of difference" between Democrats and Republicans. His old radical associates have taken over the Democrats, he says, and are transforming U.S. politics into gang warfare, which they, totally unscrupulous, are better equipped to win. Trying to wake Republicans up is a motive of many of the essays in this book, but Horowitz's fundamental motivation is his moral discovery of intrinsic and ineradicable human limitation. The left believes that human perfection can be achieved, provided the left is in power; hence, all who oppose the left are evil and must be destroyed. Regardless whether that analysis is correct, no one advocates it more forcefully than Horowitz. --Ray Olson

Publisher's Weekly Review

The first half of this manifesto is a blunt, savvy, Machiavellian manual on the art of political campaigning that Republicans and Democrats alike may ignore at their own risk. Horowitz (Radical Son, etc.), former 1960s leftist turned prominent conservative, urges Republicans to go on the offensive, to take back issues that Clinton Democrats have co-opted, to reach out to working people and minorities, and to master images, symbols and sound bites as the Democrats have done. The book's incendiary second half, gathering articles of which many originally appeared in the Internet magazine Salon, reveals Horowitz as an independent, rigorous, outspoken political analyst who nevertheless can sound as dogmatic as a conservative as as he did when he was as a leftist. Horowitz calls Noam Chomsky an "America-loathing crank," advocates an end to "racial preferences" (affirmative action), argues that left-wing activists make up the core of the Democratic party, and castigates teachers' unions as the chief opponents to school reform. Ridiculing the NAACP's class-action lawsuits against gun manufacturers and educational testing firms, he contends that leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have betrayed the civil rights movement by promoting a blacks-as-victims mentality and by blaming whites for problems endemic to the black communityÄan attitude that he says has been exacerbated by a patronizing liberal establishment. Taking aim at motley supporters of censorshipÄIrving Kristol, Andrea Dworkin, Tipper Gore, Catharine MacKinnonÄlibertarian Horowitz opposes it in virtually all forms, including the v-chip parents can use to block offending television shows. In one scathing essay he accuses Edward Said, Betty Friedan and Nobel laureate and Guatemalan activist Rigoberta Menchu of falsifying details of their lives to serve their political agendas. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Written by a self-described former Sixties radical whose previous books (Radical Son, Hating Whitey, and The Politics of Bad Faith) explain his transformation to a libertarian conservative, this anthology of essays is an odd mixture of polemic against the Democratic Party, earnest but simple-minded advice to his new-found Republican Party, and heated airing of his strong, often controversial opinions on flashpoint social and political issues. Horowitz advises his fellow Republicans, whom he describes as "managers who want to fix government," to confront their Democratic adversaries, pejoratively called "missionaries who want to fix the world." He sharply criticizes what he believes is the media's bias against Republicans, federal and state education bureaucrats who siphon off federal funds intended for local use, and supposed Democratic Party softness on crime and national defense. Horowitz gets a lot off his politically incorrect chest, but his intended audienceDmainly Republicans and independentsDmight be put off by his libertarian position on censorship or his pugnacious prose. For medium and large public libraries.DJack Forman, San Diego Mesa Coll. Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.