Book: The Death of the Grown-Up: How America’s Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization
Author: Diane West (not linking to her – if I created a link to her and her web stats increased even by one as a result, the terrorists have won)
Type of Book: Non-fiction, sociology, politics, utter pants
Why Did I Read This Book: This would be better entitled, “Why Did I Buy This Book” for reasons that will be clear below. I bought it knowing nothing about it because it was selling cheap, remaindered, at a local bookstore. I like a good political or sociological screed, even if I know I may disagree with it, so I got it.
Availability: You want to read this mess, you find a copy yourself. Not even the lure of being an Amazon Affiliate will make me be directly responsible for putting a dime in this author’s pocket.
Comments: I said in another review a few months ago that in the last decade, I have only encountered one book so bad that I had to stop reading it. I jinxed myself, because I then found The Death of the Grown-Up and encountered so many logical fallacies and uncited assertions that by page 20 I could not go on. The horror is, despite the fact that I knew I was going to disagree with the book’s main premise – that multiculturalism is destroying America – I still wanted to read this book after purchasing it. I like reading ideas contrary to mine. But I disagreed with the premise even more when I later understood that the author uses the term “multiculturalism” to mean “cultural relativism.” I think the technical term for all the problems in this book is “hot mess.”
I read in good faith so it may seem like dirty pool that I am reviewing a book I could not finish. So be it. I’ll take my lumps, if any come. But since I read in good faith, I expect people to write in good faith. When they don’t write in good faith, creating a book to bolster their pre-existing arguments instead of researching, thinking, and at least doing the most minimal due diligence to create a coherent thought, I get to take off my gloves as a polite reviewer. This is not going to be a polite review. My spouse refers to this form of writing as “killing gnats with a machine gun.” He may be right but I’m loading my critical gun right now.
This is not a book written in good faith or even using common sense. It makes illogical assertions, exists almost solely in the realm of post hoc ergo propter hoc, and West shows a complete inability to see that the world she grew up in is not the world I grew up in, or the world you grew up in, universalizing her experiences into a bizarre mish mash of fallacies wherein everything she experienced was good and any other perception of childhood and modern culture is bad.