Friday, February 08, 2013

WaPo reviews Unhitched

Well, give me credit for foresight at least.  Having heard that the Washington Post was about to review Unhitched, I told my audience on Wednesday "this will be hatchet job, especially if the paper has anything to do with DC, which was Hitchens's spiritual home".  Nonetheless, as I also said, one doesn't balk.  This is the first time a major newspaper in the US has even bothered to look at one of my books, and the sales will soar irrespective of what the review says.

So, let's see:

The author — a Marxist writer and activist born in Northern Ireland and living in London — has done his research, apparently having read almost everything his subject ever wrote, but in the service of the narrow goals of the over-zealous prosecutor.

Ah.  A Marxist.  Over-zealous.  Here we go.

But, as frequently occurs in this book, Seymour insists on advancing his argument from solid ground onto very thin ice. Hitchens’s reversal on Bosnia — from arguing that the outside world should do nothing about ethnic cleansing and the barbaric siege of Sarajevo to forcefully arguing for intervention against “Serbian and Croat fascists acting in collusion” — is cast as an immoral capitulation to American imperialism. So, too, is his call for humanitarian intervention to prevent the massacre of Kurdish refugees at the end of the 1991 Gulf War, another stance one would think that a leftist animated against right-wing tyranny would applaud.  

Well, there you are.  The Strident Marxist Who Went Too Far.  I'm sure there's a Stieg Larsson-style book series in this.  Let's see.  The Strident Marxist Who Didn't Go Too Far Enough.  The Strident Marxist Who Went Too Far Enough, Took Pictures, Came Back and Mailed Them To Your Mama.  This is starting to turn into something.  I might email Verso about this idea.  Anyway, all this finger-wagging would be easier to take without giggling if it wasn't so obvious that the reviewer begrudgingly liked the book but just couldn't bring himself to say so.

Anyway, far from complaining about this, I'm grateful.  Thank you, glorious imperial masters, for your belated attention to my work.