Told You So
Oh, the liberal scorn I received just over a year ago. I was cynical, nihilistic, unrealistic, a Republican operative, a Naderite dead-ender, possibly even racist. Readings were cancelled. Several liberal reviewers backed out, refusing to engage me or my book. As Publishers Weekly put it, my book was "a combination of self-righteousness and puerility." Michael Bérubé, speaking on behalf of the entire planet, added, "[N]othing’s gonna be good enough for ol’ Dennis . . . 135 percent of the rest of the world is really, really looking forward to seeing the U.S. elect a President Obama. Billions and billions of the world’s people . . . and all of 'em unable to pierce the veil of illusion and see through the machinations of the corporate duopoly. It’s a shame, really."
So true. How dare I piss on billions of beautiful hopes and dreams!
That's okay. I hold no grudges. This is America, after all. Now that liblog threads are filled with critiques you can find in my book, I feel somewhat vindicated, but remain saddened. More death is on the way, more tax dollars down the corpse-clogged drain. Acknowledgement is only the first step. We have countless miles to go.
If you missed out on "Savage Mules" the first time, or wish to send a copy to that Dem-in-denial on your holiday shopping list, there's no better time to buy. If you dislike Amazon, there are other places to order "Mules." I get a minor kickback from Amazon, but I'm willing to sacrifice that for the good of our glorious nation.
To be fair, I did receive a few nice notices.
"'Savage Mules' is a cracking read . . . it might make sense to buy two copies, as I rather suspect that this book would make a perfect present for any stroppy or rebellious teenagers of your acquaintance, given that it’s full of the sort of fascinating and embarrassing facts about the political history of the USA over the last hundred years that would be more or less guaranteed to light a firework in any high school civics class."
Daniel Davies, Crooked Timber
"Dennis Perrin’s 'Savage Mules' [is] a slashing attack on the Democratic Party so badly needed in a time when so many false hopes are now invested in the party of 'peace' and 'progress'. 'Savage Mules' is a pithy, sharp and funny survey of Democratic presidencies (and failed bids) going back to Woodrow Wilson that takes no prisoners."
"'Savage Mules', Perrin’s 2008 catalogue of Democratic party misdeeds, fuck-ups and rank hypocrisy, deserves a broad audience . . . so long as Perrin continues roasting sacred animals, and literally kicking high-rolling apparatchiks’ asses, he should count himself, and we also should count him, among our treasures. A rare thing in these times, truth. And a rarer thing is one who will tell it, as he sees it, and challenge those who disbelieve to prove him wrong."
Steve Marlowe, Chapati Mystery
"As far as I'm concerned, Dennis Perrin has contributed the masterwork in the scholarship on the Democrats' strange relationship with militarism. 'Savage Mules: Democrats and Endless War' tackles the historic dichotomy: a hawkish left that occasionally tries to brand itself as spiritually opposed to war. 'Savage Mules' is a brilliant rant, really -- it traffics in hypocrisy and rides the wave of Perrin's evident anger and stylish writing. If somebody's pissed off about this, I'm glad it's Dennis, a gifted weaver of the tale."
"As an antidote to US election fever, this sourly funny little bomb of a book kicks over the ashes of past Democratic warmongering and corruption . . . Perrin is a pummellingly energetic phrasemaker, and his evocation of the immanent odour of smugness at the liberal-bloggers' convention YearlyKos is deliciously horrible."
Steven Poole, The Guardian (London)
"[A] few weeks ago I had the pleasure of reading 'Savage Mules'. It is quite unlike anything else I've read on the Democrats. To take one example, LBJ is described as a 'blood-caked jackass' who 'made Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, and John Wayne Gacy look in comparison like the provincial amateurs they were'. I like this. Every liberal luminary is thoroughly trashed in a similar way, and one gradually gets the impression that the Democratic party is more of an extended crime dynasty than a party of progress."
Richard Seymour, Lenin's Tomb