D'Souza Reviews

Thanks for your emails. Victor Davis Hanson has a negative review in the New York Post today; Mark Steyn trashed the book in Macleans; and Buchanan's outfit offered a "not-so-much" review of the book. Odd silence from the Weekly Standard and National Review (not counting Andrew Stuttaford's review in the New York Sun). The right-of-center blogs have been pretty lively in condemnation. But the conservative establishment has held its fire - in part, I think, because they really are something of a politburo. Like the intellectual left of the past, the intellectual right these days is often more concerned about maintaining some semblance of orthodoxy than criticizing favorite sons (like D'Souza) if at all possible. One reader sums up the mood of many:

As a conservative, I find the book personally embarrassing. D'Souza was one of the intellectual young conservatives who spoke very articulately of his love of America - his status of an immigrant gave him a special insight. Prior to this book, we could always claim that those on the right who said 9/11 was America's fault were either borderline anti-Semites (like Buchanan) or outright nuts (like Pat Robertson). It is harder now to make that argument with D'Souza, who is neither a nut nor an anti-Semite.

Taking D'Souza seriously requires seriously addressing what has happened to American conservatism. This was a book written by a star of the conservative intellectual movement, edited by Adam Bellow, and published to great fanfare and mounds of publicity. I'm not surprised some conservatives don't want to go there.