June 20th, 2011
Having recently read David Mamet's jaw-droppingly shallow The Secret Knowledge: On The Dismantling Of American Culture, I was pleased to see that Christopher Hitchens also had endured its confused mixture of false history and pamphleteering. I was also surprised. I say this because my reaction to the whole of the work upon completion was, "Well... there went 2 days worth of reading I'll never get back." Considering Mr. Hitchen's ongoing battle with cancer, I expected his review to be more withering.
Hitch writes at The New Times Review of Books:
"Propagandistic writing of this kind can be even more boring than it is irritating. For example, Mamet writes in “The Secret Knowledge” that “the Israelis would like to live in peace within their borders; the Arabs would like to kill them all.” Whatever one’s opinion of that conflict may be, this (twice-made) claim of his abolishes any need to analyze or even discuss it. It has a long way to go before it can even be called simplistic. By now, perhaps, you will not be surprised to know that Mamet regards global warming as a false alarm, and demands to be told “by what magical process” bumper stickers can “save whales, and free Tibet.” This again is not uncharacteristic of his pointlessly aggressive style: who on earth maintains that they can? If I were as prone to sloganizing as Mamet, I’d keep clear of bumper-sticker comparisons altogether."