After winning an Oscar for Bowling for Columbine last year, Michael Moore delivered a rant of a speech about the fictional nature of George W. Bush's presidency. Now, with his latest book, Dude, Where's My Country?, Moore claims his attempt was to violate the Patriot Act on every page. For all that Moore has done to bring concerns of the left into the popular sphere, this book serves as an example of how his use of questionable evidence, paired with his antagonistic bent, does more to widen the gap between liberals and conservatives than to spark sympathy for his cause.
Didactic prose style aside, Moore's writing is at its most convincing when asking important questions about the nature of the administration's acts since 9/11. In the book's early chapters, the author offers persuasive primers to explain the liberal thinking surrounding the current political climate. Yet if Moore's agenda is to persuade, it's difficult to understand why he insists on baiting conservatives with a snide and condescending tone.
Until Chapter 9, that is. In this chapter, "A Liberal Paradise," Moore reveals his hand. He writes that "the cold bitter truth--and the best kept political secret of our time--is that Americans are more liberal than ever." He doesn't believe he's just preaching to the choir, as critics claim. Instead, the media activist believes he is galvanizing a choir of liberals that makes up a majority of the nation's populace. This group has the ability to change the political makeup of government, he argues. Here Moore makes a good, if self-righteous, case. What remains to be seen is whether history will prove him right.
by Michael Moore
(Warner Books, 320 pages, $24.95)