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Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,633 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
In a powerful and deeply personal memoir in the tradition of Arthur Koestler’s The God That Failed, David Brock, the original right-wing scandal reporter, chronicles his rise to the pinnacle of the conservative movement and his painful break with it.

David Brock pilloried Anita Hill in a bestseller. His reporting in The American Spectator as part of the infamous “Arkansas P
Paperback, 400 pages
Published February 25th 2003 by Broadway Books (first published 2002)
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Nathan Albright
Jan 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
It should be noted that there are at least three things about the title of this book that are seriously mistaken, and those mistakes set the tone for the book as a whole. For one, the author was not blinded by the right, he was self-deceived by his own lack of sincerity and depth. For another, the author of this book does not show a great deal of conscience. To be sure, he states that he was remorseful for the hatchet job he did on Anita Hill by smearing her after her allegations of sexual haras ...more
Stephanie Sun
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
This book is the Rosencranz and Guildenstern are Dead of 1980s and 1990s Washington D.C. It's a story of U.S. politics during the George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations told from the view of a man who wrote influential Anita Hill takedowns and the article that launched Troopergate, in addition to a lot of other, similar material.

This man is David Brock, an adopted, gay U.C. Berkeley grad who admired RFK as a young adult but became turned off by what he perceived as censorial self-rig
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, politics
Granted, this book is a decade old, but Brock's book is a veritable "Who's Who" of the Republican right and an expose of the right-wing disinformation machine the Republicans built in the 90s. There are so many reviews of the book, I hesitated to write one. But here are some points many of the other reviews leave out.

Brock clearly shows that the worst thing that ever happened to the GOP was the collapse of communism. Without the communists to hate and deride, Republicans were left in a vacuum. T
May 06, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politik, biography

Eh. Brock's still more or less a self-flagellating opportunist. It's worth reading if you enjoy (as I do) getting the dirt on some of the shadier characters in the right wing. I loved hearing that Grover Norquist has a giant portrait of Lenin (!) in his living room, and that Newt Gingrich is pretty much as awful as you would imagine he is, and reading of Laura Ingraham crawling around on all fours, drunk, at a gay club while whacked out of her mind on cat tranquilizers just brings a small glimme
Jul 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: nonfiction
I'm a few years late reading this book; I think at the time, I was a little disgruntled with the single-minded university politics around me and reviews that contained words and phrases like "tell-all!" "sensational!" and "insider's view on the right-wing conspiracy!" led me to believe that it was a politically motivated, sensationalist account.
I was so wrong. I think that I've had a hard time connecting to politics because coming of age as a political being in the time of Bush is just so surrea
Karen Ashmore
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
I thought this was going to be an analysis of the conservative movement but instead it was more a journal of the author's activities as a right wing leader who was also a closeted gay. He did admit what we always knew- the conservative right wing is racist, sexist, homophobic and employs no fact checkers.
Jun 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
I totally loved this book, it stuck with me long after I read it. A riveting portrait of the conservative movement in the 1980s and 1990s, and a moving memoir about a man who changed his political allegiances at great personal cost.
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I became aware of David Brock through a recent documentary called" The brainwashing of my Dad" in which he is one of those that are interviewed in the film. I found his insight and commentary into politics of the right verses left very interesting and thought provoking. This book show how David rebelled against liberalism in college and grew into a right wing conservative writer. He wrote a provocative and controversial bestselling book on Anita Hill, "The real Anita Hill", and also wrote about ...more
Gayle Gordon
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
David Brock went from left to right to center and his journey makes a fascinating read. It's enlightening to hear what really goes on at the "other side." I came away from this book realizing that the hell the right puts Obama through isn't really new after all. I guess, even though I lived through it, I didn't realize how much of what went on with the Clintons was a real old-fashioned witch hunt. If the right spent as much time and energy and money trying to make things better for the average p ...more
Lin Ennis
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
David Brock explains the politics of the Republican party as only an insider with good notes could. He eagerly became the talking puppet of the party for a decade, deluding himself he was an objective journalist with an obscene salary.

He reveals the why and how of Troopergate, the Arkansas Project, President and Hillary Clinton's persistent ethics scandals, and why the party has devolved into always being against, and not for anything. Against communism. Against the Clintons. And finally against
Mar 28, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who care more about demonising the right than they do eloquent writing
I wanted to like this--a closeted gay (and pretty cute) Republican biting the hand that fed him and revealing the truth that we all knew anyway, that Republicans are devious, soulless liars who will do and say ANYTHING to win? Sounds great. Too bad he's a terrible writer--the entire fact that he was a journalist is much more shocking than any of the revelations of decidedly questionable stories he disseminated.
May 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
TO read this book 12 years after it was published, you realize that Brock, contrary to what he said or believed when he wrote it, changed one team for another. He is now a left-wing politico whereas for one decade he was a right-wing politico. In reality, Brock was never a conservative, just an opportunist. There are many like him in DC.
Wes Young
Jan 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely interesting inside look at the politics of the Christian Right as told by the former member. Oh yeah, and he was (still is) a gay man. Some very interesting stuff about the push to impeach Clinton and Brock's own personal justifications representing a lie.
Jun 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
author outs self as liar in his work for the GOP. comical gossipy details about rightwing figures involved with the clinton scandals, including ann coulter and other assholes.
Ken Deshaies
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading "Blinded By the Right, the Conscience of an Ex-Conservative", by David Brock and highly recommend it. Brock was, for about 12 years, a leading conservative journalist/pundit in the 80s and early 90s. He wrote "The Real Anita Hill" in which he totally trashed Hill, and was the instigator on the Troopergate scandal against Bill Clinton. However, his conscience eventually got the better of him, and he realized that all he was doing was spreading GOP lies. He became an Indepe ...more
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A disturbing look at a right wing operative during the Bush 1 and Clinton years. Brock wrote a hit job on Anita Hill, broke the Troopergate story, and so on. All throughout he makes clear that he and his ilk only cared about "owning the libs", revenge, personal advancement and proximity to power. They never discussed or cared about policy, and had no alternatives to Clinton's agenda.

All the more strange that Brock is a gay man. Somehow he separated the homophobia of his buddies from his own lif
Sep 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Took me a long time to read this book; I kept feeling bogged down by Brock's repeated denial/stupidity/blindness. At times the explanations seemed too detailed, too complicated to follow. And of course what's truly disturbing is that many of the right-wing villains he writes about are still out there spreading lies. I see some of them on Fox News when I'm at the gym.

(2017 edit: I wonder how the book would strike me now, 14 years later....)
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is excellent and I find it quite credible, unlike those who think "once a liar, always a liar," and don't credit anyone who has been a "right-wing hatchet man" with the capacity for change.
I have a lot more to say but no time right now. But everyone who wants to really understand the roots which made Trump's election possible needs to read this. Now.
Casey Fegley
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow, really eye opening!
Jul 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I picked the book up because it was on the shelf at the house and I needed something to read. A hundred pages in and I can't take it anymore. I have trouble comprehending extremists of the far right and the far left. The world just isn't that black and white.

**Another title and angle for David Brock's book could have been 'Ignorant Intelligence' where his blind investigation tactics covered both the extreme left as well as the extreme right. I still wouldn't have finished it.
Ryan Mishap
Read both of these in a two week period, so I’ll talk about both. The first, Blinded….is a memoir of a conservative “hitman” as Brock details his rise to neo-conservative “journalist” and subsequent disillusionment. He never gives, in my opinion, a satisfactory answer as to why a former liberal, gay man would devote his career to fronting propaganda for rich, bigoted, power-mad conservatives. His explanation starts at UC Berkeley where he finds himself upset that leftist students are shrill when ...more
Philip Girvan
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Brock's memoir demonstrates that there was considerable truth to Hillary Clinton's reference of a "vast right-wing conspiracy" to discredit and eventually impeach her husband. Indeed, Brock was one of its foot soldiers.

Brock went to Berkeley, wrote for the student run newspaper, and considered himself a progressive. Dismayed by protesters interrupting and ultimately shutting down a speech by Jeanne Kirkpatrick, ardent anticommunist later appointed as ambassador to the UN by Ronald Reagan, and a
When Brock (The Real Anita Hill; The Seduction of Hillary Rodham) was a freshman at the University of California at Berkeley in 1981, his political idol was Bobby Kennedy. Four years later, he was a committed conservative who idolized Oliver North and Robert Bork. In this book, Brock chronicles the political round trip back to his more liberal roots. Along the way, he earned the adoration of the extreme right, even after he acknowledged that he was gay, because he worked feverishly as a writer f ...more
Sep 18, 2011 rated it did not like it
I often like to grab a book that will challenge me and offer a point of view that I do not necessary hold. This was one of those books for me. However, it was extremely disappointing in offering nothing that was challenging.

The book is basically the memoir of a person who obviously have lead a tortured life and has taken it out on others in various ways. At first he was a conservative hit man writer and attacked liberals viciously while later he turned an became a leading liberal who now attack
Christopher Staley
Oct 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who want to know why everyone into politics is such a douchebag
I liked this book a lot better than any of the other gazillion anti-Bush/anti-Right books that I've read, because of the way it gives you an understanding of the mentality of the people that get into Coulter, O'Reilly, Rush, etc. The political snipes at the side that Brock used to represent, I could give a capital F about - what's great is the revelation that, like Brock, most ultra-conservatives are simply weird hyperbolic parodies of a conservative father whose love they were never able to win ...more
Crabby McGrouchpants
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's too late, but we still live here. Remember the Reverend Sun Myung Moon? He was able to operate the Washington Times at a $100 million loss a year, just to influence Washington politics by filtering in specious stories that, eventually, they hoped, could be picked up by the mainstream media and tilt political weathervanes.

But you knew that ...

And (almost) everything about the Clintons? Funded by Richard Mellon Scaife, a billionaire who paid folks by the metric ton to shovel shit, and then m
Apr 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
An incredibly compelling depiction of the politics, ethics and structure of the right wing in contemporary politics. It brought together all the different characters that are in the news and links them idiologically, and politically. My only complaint w/the book was the lack of an index. If you ever wondered who Grover Norquist, Lee Atwater, or Midge Dechter are or what the Hoover, Heritage, Manhattan Institutes are, this will bring them all into perspective.

(Not really sure what year I read th
Jan 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 14, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
I recommend this book to many of my "moderate" friends. I don't think there is any such thing as a "moderate" politics in this day and age. And once you read this book you'll realize why the left is a better place to be.

Brock is a great writer, has lots of great research and personal examples to support his case.

Solid book. I would rate it higher but many claim (perhaps correctly) that he is just angry. That anger may cloud his message. So while his means are at times a little aggressive, his en
Mar 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
Don't know how much of this book I believe, but it's certainly juicy, and an interesting look behind the scenes of the right-wing Clinton-bashing of the 90's. It catches a few of the key players with their pants down, as well. Since reading this book, my opinion of Brock has declined precipitously, due to his hysteria-tinged website, which tends to be engaged in a perpetual witch hunt against various and sundry rightists, usually talk-show hosts, for expressing opinions deemed politically incorr ...more
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David Brock is a journalist currently living in Washington, DC. He started out in professional journalism with a piece in "The Wall Street Journal", that caught the attention of John Podhoretz, who was assigned with starting a magazine for the conservative daily newspaper, "The Washington Times".

He worked as a news reporter for

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“Hillary has described her yes vote as a 'mistake.' But the mistake was simply that she, like many other Democratic senators who couldn't imagine that a president would actually lie us into a war, gave George W. Bush the benefit of the doubt.” 1 likes
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