It would be folly for me to respond to or even read every one-star review on Amazon. I learned long ago that many “reviewers” don’t actually read or even review the book they’re lambasting. But Amazon’s vine readers get advanced copies of the book on the assumption that they will actually read it (no one else can publish customer reviews until after pub date). So I’ve been paying attention. The first three reviews were five-star and generous (even though I have quibbles with some characterizations).
The latest, however, is a one-star review and it’s annoying. Not because it’s negative, but because it might as well have been written by someone who hadn’t read the book at all. “Kathi” writes that the book spends the first 200 pages explaining American political philosophy. That’s factually not true (but what would be so bad if it were?). She doesn’t like the fact I use the term “left-wing,” as if my use of it is proof of “partisanship.” I also use the term “right-wing”; so what? Kathi takes offense that I identify myself as a conservative, as if it would be better (or possible) if I hid that fact from the reader. She is “alarmed” that a chapter on identity politics and progressivism was about identity politics and progressivism, in part because I didn’t mention my conservative “brethren.” Never mind that I include critiques of my conservative brethren in other chapters. I just don’t understand how people who supposedly love reading can get so angry that authors didn’t write the books they wanted them to write.
I know, I know, this is probably a bad habit to get into. But I’m sitting around the campfire waiting for the shooting war to start. A little target practice never hurt anybody.