A book that belongs in any QAnon subscriber’s collection.

UNMASKED

INSIDE ANTIFA'S RADICAL PLAN TO DESTROY DEMOCRACY

An overwrought exposé on the supposed lurking menace that is antifa.

The framing event for Ngo’s narrative, about which readers are frequently reminded, is a moment when, in June 2019, he was attacked and beaten at a demonstration in Portland, Oregon. “I was nearly killed by a violent mob,” he claims. “At no point did the police intervene to help.” His attackers, he concludes, must have been members of the anti-fascist, or antifa, movement—and never mind that in several well-documented events, the perpetrators of violent acts have been right-wing extremists disguising themselves as fellow travelers. Ngo is correct when he deems the organization to be “a relatively small group of committed radicals.” After muddying the waters to shift blame away from the Minneapolis police for their killing of George Floyd Jr. and dismissing the thought that the heavily armed, proudly violent boogaloo movement has anything to do with the far right, Ngo goes still farther out onto a logical limb when he urges that the progressive forces of education, health care, government, and the media are allies of the black-masked anarchists. According to the author, there are “whole networks of writers and so-called journalists who intentionally spread pro-antifa messaging.” Though he professes not to support the former president’s view that the press is the enemy of the people, he demurs, “but one can see the basis for that sentiment when looking at how transparently extreme ideologues are presented as the arbiters of truth.” Those extreme ideologues, the proceedings make plain, include anyone who questions Ngo’s account of events, which is right at home with the collected works of Dinesh D’Souza and Michelle Malkin. His conclusion seems particularly untimely given the events of Jan. 6, 2021. He argues that antifa will yield naught but “ash, blood, and feces-stained rubble,” when of course that would better describe what the mob of right-wing extremists left behind at the U.S. Capitol.

A book that belongs in any QAnon subscriber’s collection.

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5460-5958-5

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Center Street/Hachette

Review Posted Online: Feb. 23, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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A scattershot exercise in preaching to the choir.

THE WAR ON THE WEST

A British journalist fulminates against Black Lives Matter, critical race theory, and other threats to White privilege.

“There is an assault going on against everything to do with the Western world—its past, present, and future.” So writes Spectator associate editor Murray, whose previous books have sounded warnings against the presumed dangers of Islam and of non-Western immigration to the West. As the author argues, Westerners are supposed to take in refugees from Africa, Asia, and Latin America while being “expected to abolish themselves.” Murray soon arrives at a crux: “Historically the citizens of Europe and their offspring societies in the Americas and Australasia have been white,” he writes, while the present is bringing all sorts of people who aren’t White into the social contract. The author also takes on the well-worn subject of campus “wokeness,” a topic of considerable discussion by professors who question whether things have gone a bit too far; indeed, the campus is the locus for much of the anti-Western sentiment that Murray condemns. The author’s arguments against reparations for past damages inflicted by institutionalized slavery are particularly glib. “It comes down to people who look like the people to whom a wrong was done in history receiving money from people who look like the people who may have done the wrong,” he writes. “It is hard to imagine anything more likely to rip apart a society than attempting a wealth transfer based on this principle.” Murray does attempt to negotiate some divides reasonably, arguing against “exclusionary lines” and for Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s call for a more vigorous and welcoming civil culture. Too often, however, the author falters, as when he derides Gen. Mark Milley for saying, “I want to understand white rage. And I’m white”—perhaps forgetting the climacteric White rage that Milley monitored on January 6, 2021.

A scattershot exercise in preaching to the choir.

Pub Date: April 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-316202-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Broadside Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2022

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Gates offers a persuasive, 30,000-foot view of a global problem that, he insists, can be prevented given will and money.

HOW TO PREVENT THE NEXT PANDEMIC

The tech mogul recounts the health care–related dimensions of his foundation in what amounts to a long policy paper.

“Outbreaks are inevitable, but pandemics are optional.” Thus states the epidemiologist Larry Brilliant, a Gates adviser, who hits on a critically important point: Disease is a fact of nature, but a pandemic is a political creation of a kind. Therefore, there are political as well as medical solutions that can enlist governments as well as scientists to contain outbreaks and make sure they don’t explode into global disasters. One critical element, Gates writes, is to alleviate the gap between high- and low-income countries, the latter of which suffer disproportionately from outbreaks. Another is to convince governments to ramp up production of vaccines that are “universal”—i.e., applicable to an existing range of disease agents, especially respiratory pathogens such as coronaviruses and flus—to prepare the world’s populations for the inevitable. “Doing the right thing early pays huge dividends later,” writes Gates. Even though doing the right thing is often expensive, the author urges that it’s a wise investment and one that has never been attempted—e.g., developing a “global corps” of scientists and aid workers “whose job is to wake up every day thinking about diseases that could kill huge numbers of people.” To those who object that such things are easier said than done, Gates counters that the development of the current range of Covid vaccines was improbably fast, taking a third of the time that would normally have been required. At the same time, the author examines some of the social changes that came about through the pandemic, including the “new normal” of distance working and learning—both of which, he urges, stand to be improved but need not be abandoned.

Gates offers a persuasive, 30,000-foot view of a global problem that, he insists, can be prevented given will and money.

Pub Date: May 3, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-53448-9

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2022

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