I just finished reading The Tyranny of Cliches by Jonah Goldberg, and it’s excellent, blowing away the dust that can cloud both liberal and conservative arguments. If you sometimes find yourself arguing in circles with liberals, this is a great book to sharpen your debating skills – and well worth the hardback price… So I guess this is less a book review, than a book plug.
I’m still smacking myself in the head for some of the cliches I’ve fallen for in the past that he exposes in his book. They’re so obvious when you give them a moment’s thought.
For example, I knew Istanbul was Christian before it was Muslim, was once named Constantinople, and had been seized by Muslim invaders. I knew that likewise, Jerusalem existed well before the Muslim empire, and was seized by the Muslims. And yet, I somehow swallowed the bilge that the Crusades were an offensive war against Islam. The Islamic world overran massive chunks of the Christian world and the Crusaders fought back (unsuccessfully) against them. Defense. Not offense.
I hang my head in shame.
But I feel much smarter now.