Monday, May 28, 2007

Mark Steyn's America Alone, I

I've been reading Mark Steyn's America Alone. I thought I should comment on what I read, what strikes me, what I'm thinking as a result. . . .

So, let me begin.
  1. I found him amazingly engaging right from the start. However,
  2. It bugged me, in Part I, that he seemed to lack a decent editor. He repeated certain statistics in a way that made me think, either, a) he didn't realize he'd already mentioned them; b) he thinks we, his readers, are stupid; or, c) he thinks that only by repetition will we get his message. Personally, I hope it was (a) [though, then, I hold Regnery Publishing at fault for failing to provide better editorial oversight]. My opinion: He didn't need the repetition of the same statistics because he provided so many that all trended in the same direction. [NOTE: I did not find the same faults after Part I.]
  3. I think the dust cover quotes [John O'Sullivan: "Mark Steyn is the funniest writer now living." Hugh Hewitt: "America Alone is . . . funny." Jed Babbin: ". . . Steyn's acerbic wit . . . "] are misleading. At least for Part I. Somewhere later, I know, he begins to become . . . I believe the correct word is . . . sarcastic. So Babbin's reference to acerbic wit would fit. . . . But I missed any humor anywhere in Part I. Instead, I found his presentation alarming and frightening in its clear-eyed and relentless presentation of statistics I had never heard before. . . .

I think I'll stop there for now! Those are (and were) my first impressions as I began reading the book a few weeks ago.

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