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The Smallest Minority


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About the Author

Kevin D. Williamson is a reporter and columnist for the New York Post and National Review. His work has appeared everywhere from the Washington Post to Academic Questions to Playboy. He began his journalism career at the Bombay-based Indian Express Newspaper Group. He has served as the theater critic for The New Criterion and taught at The King's College, New York. He is also the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism.


"He's not one of the most talented conservative writers in America. He's one of the most talented writers in America.
--Jeffrey Goldberg, editor in chief, The Atlantic
"If anyone picks up this book under the mistaken impression that it will flatter him or his political allies, he will be quickly disabused of that notion. In that sense, The Smallest Minority is the perfect antidote to our heedless age of populist politics. It is a book unafraid to tell the people that they're awful. The Smallest Minority is ostensibly a book about politics in the age of social media, but it is at root a timeless exploration of group dynamics and mass psychology. Williamson provides an intellectual road map to navigate the social-media landscape -- a thoughtless morass of pessimism, of vitriol, and of cynicism masquerading as wisdom. And he does so with plenty of wit and off-color commentary. Williamson does not disappoint for those who are attracted to this work to get the inside scoop on his own brush with the censorious mob that ejected him from a brief tenure at The Atlantic over a ginned-up, intellectually dishonest contretemps. The occasionally juicy anecdotes involving the swarm of Millennial cultural revolutionaries who convinced their elders to serve him up in sacrifice to the hivemind are absorbing, but they are relegated to the prologue. And for good reason. They simply reinforce the veracity of the narrative Williamson weaves throughout the book."--National Review book review
"'Procedural democracy is a convenience, ' writes Kevin D. Williamson in his new book, The Smallest Minority 'It pacifies the chimps in the electorate and gives us an alternative to ritual combat for the chimps in office.' To say that Williamson has little faith in the American political system, however, would be a mischaracterization. His real gripe is with the distortion and inversion that occurs when the ethos of 'majority rule'--which, he argues, should be confined to our governing institutions--instead determines society's beliefs and morality at large. Witness the sociopolitical climate, current year. To please the masses has always been to wield power, but instead of the panem et circenses of Roman times, the mob now clamors for a new sort of alimentation: outrage. Shallow pretenses of classical liberalism soon give way to outright barbarism and enforced ideological conformity. The end result: 'ochlocracy, ' or mob rule, a phenomenon that Williamson teases out in its many social, psychological, and ethical dimensions. Williamson is blistering and irreverent, stepping without doubt on more than a few toes--but, then again, that's kind of the point."--The New Criterion book review
The Smallest Minority is "stylish, unrestrained, and straight from the mind of a pissed-off genius. That stylistic choice, on top of all the actual FUs, is part of his overall 'screw off' being delivered to the gatekeeping that he's come up against. And, gates unkept, the result is remarkable and madly readable... So has Williamson written a manifesto? A tell-all? A work of philosophy? No, it's a dare. I dare you to handle it, Williamson is saying. I dare you to ignore the language and style and personality and engage the ideas. I dare you to get over yourself and over all the pointless social rules that constrict discourse today. I dare you to think. When you read a writer who isn't even trying to play the Have Virtuous Opinions and Show Status game, it's a stark reminder of just how much everyone else is playing that particular game. This is the tradeoff for sometimes saying unfortunate stuff about hangings, the tradeoff the Atlantic decided wasn't worth it. Reading this book shows just how worth it it is, though."--The Washington Free Beacon book review

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