Synopses & Reviews
When youve got Roger Ailes on your side, you do not lose.”Rush Limbaugh
Roger Ailes is the quintessential man behind the curtain. He more or less invented modern political consulting and helped Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush win their races for the White House. Then he reinvented himself as a master of cable television, first as the head of CNBC and, since 1996, as the creator and leader of Fox News, the most influential news network in the country.
To liberals, Ailes is an evil genius who helped polarize the country by breaking the mainstream medias long monopoly on what constitutes news. To conservatives, hes a champion of free speech and fair reporting whose values and view of America reflect their own. But no one doubts that Ailes has transformed journalism. Barack Obama once called him the most powerful man in America” and given that Fox News has changed the way millions understand the world, it may be true.
Yet for all that fame and infamy, very few people know the real person behind the headlines.
Journalist Zev Chafets received unprecedented access to Ailes and his family, friends, and Fox News colleagues. The result is a candid, compelling portrait of a fascinating man. We see Ailes in action at Fox News and hear him reflect on personal matters he has never before discussed publicly. And we discover the heart of his sometimes surprising political beliefs: his profane piety and his unwavering belief in the values of his small-town Ohio boyhood.
Ailes loves to fight, but he is a happy warrior who has somehow managed to charm and befriend many of the people he has defeated in political campaigns and television wars. Barbara Walters, Rachel Maddow, Jesse Jackson, the Kennedy clan all are unexpected Ailes fans.
Chafets also gives us an unprecedented look at the inner workings of Fox News and explores Ailess relationships with Bill OReilly, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, Neil Cavuto, Chris Wallace, and the other stars he has nurtured.
Ultimately, Ailes is neither villain nor hero but a man full of contradictions and surprises. As Chafets writes, What will he do next? What stokes his competitive fires and occasional rages? How to reconcile his acts of exceptional loyalty and private generosity (even to rivals) with his impulse to present himself to the world as a ruthless leg breaker? What makes Roger runand where, if anywhere, is the finish line? As Ailes himself might say: I report, you decide.”
"Rush Limbaugh is a complicated man. There is some Sunday School boy in him, over from the Centenary Methodist Church in Cape Girardeau, Missouri and a touch of Hugh Hefner's Playboy Club; some of Bo Diddley's swaggering guitar, mixed with William F. Buckley's drawing-room harpsichord. Rush is an introvert with forty guests for dinner on Thanksgiving; a cynical romantic who doesn't understand women but keeps on trying; a polite, soft-spoken listener who, on the air, aims rude, sometimes vulgar personal insults at his ideological enemies; a sophisticated political satirist whose own taste in humor runs to corny mother- in-law jokes. He is a conservative revolutionary, the inventor of the talk-back radio industry, a school-hating college drop-out who turned into a "weapon of mass instruction." There probably isn't another man on planet earth whose role models and heroes include Ronald Reagan, Muhammad Ali, James Madison, Larry "Superjock" Lujack, Justice Antonin Scalia, and Professor Irwin Corey.
"People who dismiss Rush Limbaugh as an entertainer, a pitchman or a hot-air balloon are very wrong. He is a brilliant and tenacious advocate, a major political and cultural force who can't be wished away or shouted down or sniffed into irrelevance. Smart liberals will listen to his show, even if they hate what he has to say. The easily outraged, will be. Those with a sense of humor will find themselves laughing despite themselves. But nobody will fully understand American politics and media culture until they get who Rush Limbaugh really is, what he does, and how he does it."
“A tantalizing look into the life of a man who altered the TV-news landscape.”
“Conservatives, who have struggled to connect with voters emotionally, and liberals, who instinctively revile and dismiss him, would do well to look closely at the factors that have contributed to Roger Ailess enormous success.”
—National Review Online
andquot;Chafets has seen more of the pundit's personal world than any other journalist.andquot; -The Washington Post
People tend to remember the moment they first heard The Rush Limbaugh Show on the radio. For Zev Chafets, it was in a car in Detroit. The braggadocio, the outrageous satire, the slaughtering of liberal sacred cows performed with the verve of a rock and roll DJ-it seemed fresh, funny, and completely subversive. andquot;They're never going to let this guy stay on the air,andquot; he thought.
Almost two decades later Chafets met Rush and they spent hours together talking on the record about politics, sports, music, show business, religion, and modern American history. Rush opened his home and his world, introducing Chafets to his family, his closest friends, even his psychologist.
What has emerged after months of correspondence revealing Rush Limbaugh's thoughts, fears, and ambitions, is a uniquely personal look at the man who is not only the most popular voice on the radio, but also one of the most influential figures in the conservative movement.
Do you remember your first time?
People tend to remember the moment they first heard The Rush Limbaugh Show on the radio. For Zev Chafets, it was in a car in Detroit, driving down Woodward Avenue. Limbaugh's braggadocio, the outrageous satire, the slaughtering of liberal sacred cows performed with the verve of a rock-n-roll DJ-it seemed fresh, funny and completely subversive. "They're never going to let this guy stay on the air," he thought.
Almost two decades later Chafets met Rush for the first time, at Limbaugh's rarely visited "Southern Command." They spent hours together talking on the record about politics, sports, music, show business, religion and modern American history. Rush opened his home and his world, introducing Chafets to his family, closest friends, even his psychologist. The result was an acclaimed cover-story profile of Limbaugh in The New York Times Magazine.
But there was much more to say, especially after Limbaugh became Public Enemy Number One of the Obama Administration. At first Limbaugh resisted the idea of a full-length portrait, but he eventually invited Chafets back to Florida and exchanged more than a hundred emails full of his personal history, thoughts, fears and ambitions. What has emerged is an uniquely personal look at the man who is not only the most popular voice on the radio, but the leader of the conservative movement and one of the most influential figures in the Republican Party.
While Limbaugh's public persona is instantly recognizable, his background and private life are often misunderstood. Even devoted Dittoheads will find there's a lot they don't know about the self-described "harmless little fuzzball" who has, over the years, taken on the giants of the mainstream media and the Democratic Party-from Bill and Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama-with "half his brain tied behind his back, just to make it fair." Chafets paints a compelling portrait of Limbaugh as a master entertainer, a public intellectual, a political force, and a fascinating man.
An illuminating look at the life, politics, and practices of Roger Ailes, founder and CEO of Fox News Channel Roger Ailes is the quintessential man behind the curtain. As a political consultant, he helped put Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush in the White House. As the creator of Fox News, he has revolutionized American media. Even President Obama has called him “the most powerful man in America.” Now Zev Chafets, author of Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One, offers a rich biography of the man who (with the backing of Rupert Murdoch) has given conservatives a game of their own, infuriated the establishment, changed the way millions understand the world, and had a rollicking good time doing it. Chafets draws on unprecedented access to Ailes and Fox News to offer a portrait of arguably the most influential, and controversial, media mogul alive.
Roger Ailes more or less invented modern political consulting and helped Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush win their races for the White House. Then he reinvented himself as a master of cable television, first as the head of CNBC and, since 1996, as the creator and leader of Fox News, the most influential news network in the country. Love him or hate him, no one can deny that Ailes transformed both politics and media.
Journalist Zev Chafets received unprecedented access to Ailes and his family, friends, and Fox News colleagues, including Bill OReilly and Sean Hannity. The result is a candid, compelling portrait of a fascinating man.
A tantalizing look into the life of a man who altered the TV-news landscape.” Kirkus Reviews
Conservatives, who have struggled to connect with voters emotionally, and liberals, who instinctively revile and dismiss him, would do well to look closely at the factors that have contributed to Roger Ailess enormous success.” National Review Online
The amazing story of Yechiel Eckstein, a Chicago-based orthodox rabbi who founded the worldand#8217;s largest philanthropic organization of Evangelical Christians in support of Israel.
When the Anti-Defamation League sent a young Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein to Chicago to foster interfaith relations in the late 1970and#8217;s, he was surprised to see how responsive Christian evangelicals were to the cause of supporting and defending Israel.
Eckstein founded The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews in 1983 to promote cross-cultural understanding and build broad support for Israel, Soviet Jewry, and other shared concerns. The Fellowship has grown and thrived over the last three decades, raising more than $1.1 billion, and is one of the largest 50 NGOs in America today. American Christians have become one of Israeland#8217;s most reliable sources of financial and moral support.
Few people realize that Eckstein and The Fellowship have done an unprecedented good deed in bridging an ancient cultural gap. Renowned journalist Zev Chafets explores Ecksteinand#8217;s role in this important interfaith evolution, showing how an American rabbi made major progress in promoting dialogue, cooperation, and mutual respect in the face of harsh and unrelenting opposition.
The perfect gift book for graduatesa treasury of commencement speeches by leading conservatives.
Graduates of Americas colleges and universities are usually subjected to commencement addresses by liberals, often much to their dismay and that of their parents. But now Zev Chafets has compiled the first collection of great commencement addresses by prominent conservative leaders and thinkers. Here are inspiring and eloquent messages to young men and women about faith and freedom, hard work and community, Americas role in the world, and what it takes to thrive in todays culture.
This unique volume includes speeches by President George W. Bush; Supreme Court Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas; Rush Limbaugh; Roger Ailes; Condoleezza Rice; Congressman Paul Ryan; General David Petraeus; Dr. Francis Collins; Alan Greenspan; Brit Hume; Bret Stephens; Senator Rand Paul; P.J. ORourke; Mortimer Zuckerman; Victor Davis Hanson; Juan Williams; Judge Richard Posner; Ambassador Michael Oren; Senator John McCain; and many others.
The definitive biography of Jack Kemp, and why his legacy matters to todayand#8217;s GOP.
As todayand#8217;s Republicans struggle to broaden their base and promote reform, some are reviving the legacy of Jack Kemp, one of the most important Republicans of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.
Kemp approached politics the same way he played quarterback for the Bills: with a refusal to accept defeat. Yet he was also willing to compromise to get things done, and his commitment to the working class and minorities attracted voters who usually rejected the GOP. He was instrumental in helping Ronald Reagan create an era of sustained and widespread prosperity.
Drawing on never-published papers and the Kemp oral history project, noted journalists Morton Kondracke and Fred Barnes trace Kempand#8217;s whole life, from his childhood through his pro football career to his unusually influential years as congressman and cabinet secretary. Despite many ups and downs, including failed presidential and vice presidential bids, Kemp proved that a and#147;bleeding-heart conservativeand#8221; could redefine what was possible in American politics.
The perfect gift for graduates forty commencement addresses about liberty, patriotism, tradition, and other conservative themes that are rarely heard on campus.
The college graduation speech has become another casualty of our age of political correctness. Historically, universities are supposed to be strongholds of tolerance, where any idea can be discussed--and tested rigorously to see if it has merit. Students should benefit from free expression and diversity of opinions, about current events and eternal questions alike.
But today, certain positions are considered too controversial for the fragile ears of liberal students, and for administrators who usually surrender to their demands. Its no longer unusual when a U.S. Senator like Ted Cruz, a pioneering neurosurgeon like Ben Carson, a Supreme Court Justice like Antonin Scalia, or a human rights advocate like Ayaan Hirsi Ali faces protests, disrespectful shouting, or petitions to have his or her invitation revoked.
Fortunately, Remembering Who We Are collects the commencement wisdom of a wide range of thinkers who are willing to challenge the liberal consensus on campus. Editor Zev Chafets has brought together a diverse group of speakers from many walks of life, from playwright David Mamet to Ambassador Ryan Crocker, from Governor Bobby Jindal to humorist PJ ORourke. For example, youll find in these pages:
- Do Your Best to Be Your Best” by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
- Gridlock, An American Achievement” by columnist George F. Will
- We Have Something Wonderful” by novelist Marilynne Robinson
- The Art of the Entrepreneur” by business leader Mort Zuckerman
- Restore and Remake Our Country” by historian Victor Davis Hanson
Too many students now enter the real world after being taught that patriotism is misguided, that religious faith is for the foolish, and that free enterprise is unfair. The eloquent speeches in this collection will help them grasp the truth that America is flawed but fundamentally good; that faith can have intellectual depth; that capitalism is the worlds greatest force for fighting poverty; and much more.
About the Author
has been a journalist for nearly fifty years, including service as a regular commentator for the Fox News Channel, a panelist on The McLaughlin Group
, co-host of The Beltway Boys
, executive editor of The New Republic
, columnist for The Wall Street Journal
, and executive editor for Roll Call
. His book Saving Milly
was a New York Times
FRED BARNES is co-founder and executive editor of The Weekly Standard and a regular commentator for Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News Channel. He has previously reported and edited for The New Republic and co-hosted The Beltway Boys, among many other print and television journalism positions.