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End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun)
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End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  349 ratings  ·  71 reviews
They want to shut you up. But don’t let this be theEnd of Discussion.

In this fresh and provocative new book, Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson, dynamic Fox News and Townhall Media duo, expose how the Left exploits fake outrage to silence their political opponents—in public, on social media, at work, and even in their own homes. You’ve felt it and“End of Discussion” can
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 9th 2015 by Crown Forum
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Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thinkers-i-adore
This book is a wonderful read and an important one. There were many parts that got me extremely frustrated – those were the parts that were truly eye-opening. The authors are intelligent and have a great deal of common sense, which is quite refreshing in today’s world. As with anyone, I didn’t agree with them on every single issue and they don’t expect you to. We’re never going to agree with anyone on every single issue, although it would be nice if we did! Their chapter on rape culture was ...more
Jeff Raymond
I mean, this one's obvious, right?

If you've spent any time on the internet lately, you know the types. They shut down discussion before it starts, they're trying to keep things from being discussed at all, and it's getting to the point where college policies, government rules, and so on are being dictated by a sort of heckler's veto. End of Discussion is a book that sort of charts that recent rise and provides some examples along the way.

The book is far from perfect, but it is necessary. The
Corinne Wasilewski
Jan 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Disclosure: I had absolutely no interest in the 2016 American election until the results were announced. It wasn’t Trump’s victory that piqued my interest, although, that was certainly intriguing. No, it was the reaction of the left to his victory; the way the left demonized Trump supporters by labeling them “racists”, “rednecks”, etc; the way the left tried to shut out the voice of Trump supporters via ridicule and the maligning of character rather than through the debate of actual ideas; the ...more
Brandon Henke
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
That the modern Left avoids the toils of genuine discussion by employing expedient and hyperbolic verbal embroidery is a surprise to nobody. Those who find themselves beyond the ballooning sphere of progressive demagoguery and its psychological resentment are aware of the manufactured hysteria that has come to dominate our cultural milieu. And while the frequent and frantic appeals to racism, sexism, etc. are often attempts at peremptory delegitimisation, it's difficult for most to pinpoint how ...more
Sep 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
Freud taught the defense mechanism of projection, in which people defend themselves against their own bad qualities by putting them on other people instead. I think that’s what this book is about. Is it possible that conservatives are so disgusted by themselves that they have to take their own worst qualities and pretend that's what liberals are like? The subtitle of this book perfectly describes the right.

This book actually does what it accuses liberals of doing. It completely shuts down any
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Five stars. The two authors are people I immediately want to hang out with. Why? Simple: they would let me talk, and even when we disagree they would still listen.

This book is laugh-out-loud hilarious, wonderfully written, significant, astute, and I could go on. My takeaway is pretty to the point: the civic discourse in America has become too fraught with divisiveness, rancor, and political correctness to the point that people are no longer speaking to each other. Even on social media the
Scott Rhee
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jordan Peterson, a Canadian clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, frequently gives lectures to packed houses. A conservative and a strong critic of political correctness in general, Peterson also has issues with “gender identity”, especially in regards to transgender people and their preferred pronouns. He seems to feel that, for example, a woman who identifies as a man shouldn’t “force” him to refer to her as a “he” or “him”. He believes that it is a ...more
Mama K
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
confirmed exactly what I've thought all along--everyone in this country whether democrat, republican, independent, or whatever, needs to grow up and put their big boy/big girl pants on and (as the authors succinctly said) "chill the hell out." we've given power to the offended in this country, so this country is now replete with people FINDING things to be offended by. What's happening is that our freedom of speech is being overtly eroded by all the hoopla over every PERCEIVED (emphasis on ...more
"With Ham and Benson’s help, readers can cut through the noise and find their voices again, fighting back against the rampant self-censorship and hair-trigger apologies that always make things worse, not better."

I took that to mean that the book was going to instruct its readers how to respond to the opposition's charges.

"The correct approach entails striking an appropriate balance, wherein the Right declines to cede the playing field altogether without needlessly escalating the outrage wars,
Jim Brown
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: political

This is a great read if you are a political Independent, Conservative or Republican. It is also a great read if you are a Liberal or Democrat with an open mind. It really does tell it like it is and regardless of your political affiliation you are probably not going to like what you read about. I happen to believe it is the truth. The book clearly demonstrates how political debate in America is being diminished by people (the Left primarily) who call people who think and
Doichin Cholakov
Feb 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
The ways social media changes the quality of the political debate is a fascinating topic. A partisan perspective could be quite refreshing as it potentially does neither need to establish highbrow credentials nor to drown in political correctness disclaimers. Much like the marketing tell-it-all opus Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator.
But there could also be a temptation to use an already popular topic as a vehicle for partisan attacks and in this case – also as a catalogue
Apr 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didnt-finish
I'll start this review saying I'm on the left politically, so this book was not written to me, necessarily. That said, I agree with the message to a certain extent. I do think that many people shut down discussion too quickly because they take offense. And I do agree that behavior leads to self-censorship.

However, this book was not written as an analytical discussion of this behavior. It was written in a propagandist style, like a talk show speaking to the choir. I wish it had been a more
Veselin Nikolov
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's a book about American politics and how some activists, mostly left, use manipulative and unfair tactics to end the discussion instead of win it. It covers multiple examples of personal attacks by outraged activists that ended with people being fired or forced to surrender their beliefs.

The book helped me understand some of the clashes in the US society that don't exist in my country. There is no pro-life or pro-choice debate in Bulgaria. Nobody cares about firearms or about twitter flash
May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
End of Discussion is an excellent chronicle of the Outrage Industry which has worked well to try to shut down anybody that disagrees with their viewpoints. Though they come from the Left and have often been ones to embrace people of diverse backgrounds who may not have had an opportunity to have their chance to have a voice it seems the ones who are on the Left now, probably the far left are using it as their excuse to why they are the only ones that deserve to be heard and not anyone else. I ...more
May 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Since goodreads provide no parameters for this box, I'd thought I'd offer a personal reflection rather than an actual review, albeit a reflection related to one of this book's themes, that developed in Chapter Five--on policing speech at college campuses.

There, the two authors, blogress pundit Mary Katharine Ham and the fetching Guy Benson address the issue of "Triggers," "Words, phrases, or topics that may offend an observer's sensibilities". Unbeknownst to the two, the included some anecdotes
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am uncomfortable reviewing this book. I was uncomfortable reading this book. But the authors are too self-aware, too smart, and too obsessed with statistics to ignore. Their assessment of the Left's "outrage industry" eerily mirrors my own conclusions after listening to my parents live through the recent NODAPL protests and contrasting it with the mainstream news' coverage of the same.

I have this longstanding confusion after listening to NPR and reading NYT or WIRED: their stories all fit
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Many thanks to Crown Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC!

I don't generally enjoy reading about modern partisan politics, and this would have been regular a three-star read if not for the fabulous turns of phrase appearing throughout: describing a political figure who hung up during an interview as "having run out of intellectual runway"; describing Beyoncé as "a tour de force of preternatural pipes and stems, a stunning combination of bodacious body and businesswoman"; recalling when Robertson
Lauren Adams
Sep 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, politics
I know, I know, this is a conservative pundit book about free speech. But I know MKH's late husband, Jake Brewer, so I've spent some time with her as well. She seems lovely and reasonable so I was dying of curiosity and had to read this book. In a sentence, this book is about why free speech is important and how America has let that principle slide lately. Of course I didn't agree with all the ideas or examples cited. Of course those examples are hilariously biased. But this book is funny, ...more
Derek Neighbors
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I ran across Mary Katharine Ham watching an episode of Politically Incorrect (Don't ask). I really like her style and her humor. I put the book on my list. A friend read it and mentioned it was good so I moved it up to the top. It was well worth the wait. I listened to the audiobook and it felt more like a podcast between the two authors than book. I was sad when it came to an end. The content is SO relevant to the world we live in and coming election cycle. We seem unable to actually have ...more
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Informative and fun read.
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sociology, politics
Preaching … Not Only to the Choir …

This book was reviewed as part of Amazon's Vine program which included a free copy of the book.

While I reached a degree of “political burnout” years ago, I’m still temped to dip my toe in the political book pool from time-to-time when lured by the promise of intriguing (salacious) scandals or reasonable (non-sycophantic) debate. Authors Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson may be labeled as “conservatives” or even “right-wingers”, but they present a rather
Catherine Scott
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have so many pages ear marked in this book; great read (and one of the author's is a conservative gay man). It's a really well written with tons of real-life examples where the outrage industry shuts down debate and illegitimatizes anyone who doesn't agree with them. In some instances it even has those who started the outrage apologize after the fact (usually after they ruined someone's life) saying they regret what they did and that it was based on emotion (basically they should have not set ...more
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
"The central argument of End of Discussion is obvious from the subtitle—it's about how modern liberalism would rather shut down opposition than engage it. The authors suggest that a tendency on the left has been "not to declare our words or actions offensive, which would be preposterous enough... but to slowly and steadily declare our very existence offensive." (pg 6) Rather than have an argument about—to use an example mostly from the 90s that doesn't turn up much in the book—the merits and ...more
Brett Thomasson
End of Discussion was published in roughtly the same time frame as Kirsten Powers' book on the deliberate drying up of political discourse, Silenced. Powers contended that instead of defending positions and winning debates in the marketplace of ideas, too many folks were interested in simply shutting up their opposition. Although she self-identified as a liberal person politically, Powers didn't hesitate to call out people who shared her positions but who lacked her commitment to robust debate.

Anya Weber
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Instead of engaging in the rich American tradition of a loud, raucous, messy free speech free-for-all, we have begun to spend a disturbing amount of our speech just flagging the speech of others," write Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson. Their wonderful book examines what they term the "Outrage Circus": the seething hordes of self-righteous "woke" (mostly white, mostly left-wing) people who spend their energy blocking dissenting voices from the public square.

Ham and Benson look at everything
Naomi Young
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Open-minded people of every stripe; people who like snark
Shelves: aclib, 2015
Despite the title, Ham and her coauthor Gary Benson actually DO talk about conservative puffing and spitting and threatening as well; they simply contend (I think correctly) that liberals are more likely to ask that a dissenting point of view be shut down outright, rather than engaged on a level of argument or logic.

All the hot topics of the day are taken up, from gender identity and "safe space" on campuses, to racism and personal attacks on the president. The book is stuffed with transcripts
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is perhaps the most frustrating book I have read in recent years. In it, the authors document the extensive lies that politicians and their allies in the liberal "news" media have told (and presumably will continue to tell) about their conservative enemies. I almost came to a complete stop when I read what the Democrats did to Paul Ryan in their "throwing Grandma off a cliff" analysis of his proposals for reforming Social Security and Medicare. One would be hard pressed to understand that ...more
Wayne McCoy
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
'End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free {and Fun)' by Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson has a title that's sure to provoke, but it makes a good case for getting us back to a place where we can hold differing opinions and have civil discourse.

We live in a time when some people with opposing views can't seem to hold a conversation without either side digging in a refusing to listen. It starts at the top and goes right
Adam Yoshida
Strong Concept, a little too weighed down by contemporary politics

The authors begin with an important point and issue: the modern tendency to attempt to silence speakers and writers one disagrees with rather than to engage them. However, I found the book to be a little heavy, especially in later chapters, on relating recent news stories over examining the long-term trend.

This is especially true insofar as the later portion of the book is organized on an ideological issue-by-issue basis. What
Charlene Dean
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
I agree that civility has become lost in the current climate of anger. It's a shame that people can only accuse someone of a "phobia" or "ism" instead of sharing a discussion. When did it become necessary for us all to think alike on all subjects? If we don't share the opinions deemed acceptable, we are deplorable individuals, somehow less than what's expected. My opinions are mine, developed over a lifetime of experiences. I don't require others to share them. Is it too much to expect a bit of ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #47 End of Discussion 1 3 Sep 14, 2017 08:09PM  

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