Mark Steyn is too conservative for me. Or, is it that I’m too liberal for Mark Steyn?
I’m reading his new book, After America: Get Ready for Armageddon, and although he mocks and critiques many things that I think are crucial, I’m enjoying the experience of having views to which I don’t subscribe spelled out in a cogent and articulate way. Steyn is an uncommon combination of erudite and cheeky, and I find myself smirking, even when I disagree with him.
When I picked up the book and saw that its back cover has a glowing endorsement from Ann Coulter (insert gagging noise here) I was sure that I should just put the book down and move on. But the amateur philosopher in me knows that in order to understand my own views, I need to understand others’ views, too. I need to listen to the people who differ from me, in order to gain a better and more nuanced understanding of the views that I do hold.
So, dear reader, I encourage you to select a book whose author you don’t like, appreciate or understand. Challenge yourself to read both sides of a debate.
We’ve got books about all the contentious stuff: politics, religion, sex, war, and so on. Ask our librarians for a recommendation!