Lame Publishing, Inc.?: Regnery Press

Thursday, September 26, 2002
Posted in category Uncategorized

Lame Publishing, Inc.?: Regnery Press used to be an intellectual powerhouse of sorts, back when its founder, Old Rightist Henry Regnery, was publishing books like:
* The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot by Russell Kirk
* Witness by Whittaker Chambers
* In Defense of Freedom by Frank Meyer
* God and Man at Yale by William F. Buckley Jr.
* Economics of the Free Society by Wilhelm Roepke
* Leftism Revisited: From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Pol Pot by Eric von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

The Washington Post recently noted the faddish conservative twist in Regnery’s publishing clientele. Regnery is not only Republican-conservative these days, but it eerily specializes in these ultra-lame, Republican bestsellers that are void of any intellectual content. Typically, they are tell-all screeds ranting on Bill, Hillary, or Reno, exposes of the latest Poster Child for Evil, or they are conservative defenses of truth-telling Republicans as vs. the Big Bad Evil Democrats. That there is any distinct difference between the two parties is laughable.

Some Regnery releases fitting into this category are: David Limbaugh’s Absolute Power: The Legacy of Corruption in the Clinton-Reno Justice Department; Breakdown: How America’s Intelligence Failures Led to September 1, by Bill Gertz; Dinesh D’Souza’s What’s So Great About America; The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House, by Barbara Olson; Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton, also by Barbara Olson; On the Make: The Rise of Bill Clinton, by Meredith L. Oakley; Gary Aldrich’s Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House; Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores, by Michelle Malkin; Red Horizons, by Ion Mehai Pacepa; Boy Clinton: The Political Biography, by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.; and the horrible High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton, by Ann Coulter.

No doubt these are all the kind of books that one sits down and writes in 4-8 weeks. And the masses soak them up. Therefore, they make loads of money for the Publisher. I like the Todd Gitlin quote in the story. Gitlin is a Lefty, but wrote the very interesting The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage. He likens this conservative publishing rage to “pandering to crude taste satisfies true believers and dampens the possibility for intelligent, grown-up discussion and disputation. Many of these books are shoddy.”

Indeed. Perhaps the only good thing about this vacuous storytelling is that reading these books may cause some fence-sitters on the margins to move a little rightward. However, statism on the Right is barely distinguishable from Left statism these days.

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