Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First Chapter Review: Chasing Glenn Beck by Michael Charney

While I hadn't planned to do this, I am doing it. What is that you might ask? I am writing a First Chapter Review on a book I know I plan to review next month. Why? Well, mostly because I love politics. For the most part I stay away from it on my blogs, at Facebook and Twitter because as an author I can't afford to tick people off because of my political views. Does that make me a wimp?

This is a book I am reviewing for a Pump Up Your Book tour, but I am not the coordinator promoting this particular book. It has been calling me since it arrived and my curiosity couldn't be tamed until I at least read the opening to see what it's all about.

TITLE:Chasing Glenn Beck: A Personal Experiment in Reclaiming Our Hijacked Political Conversation

AUTHOR:Michael Charney

BLURB: Is Glenn Beck a liberal?

Perhaps not, but when Michael Charney decides to plant that idea out in the “Twitterverse,” some interesting conversations begin. People shout at him (MORON!), block him (SCUMSUCKER!), and belittle him (WAKE UP, IDIOT!). Eventually, though, some people start to listen…

Today’s political dialogue has been stolen, hijacked from us by those with the loudest voices. Until we begin to take that conversation back for ourselves, we remain at the mercy of those with the most radical agendas, the most extreme visions for our country. The risk is great: a country run by a vociferous minority that just happens to scream louder than the rest of us is NOT what democracy is supposed to be about…

With discussions about politics, schools, national security, manifestos, the Pledge of Allegiance, the Flag Code–and the Senate’s Candy Desk–Charney cuts a wide swath through the issues facing our country, a country he claims has a serious case of “Electile Dysfunction.”

COVER: While the design is something a reader might expect from a book covering modern-day politics, I don't care for it. The sullen man with his arms crossed makes me bristle. I feel like I'm five years old again getting stared down by father who is angry over something I've done wrong.

FIRST CHAPTER: In a book of this nature, I felt it important to start with the Introduction. I'm glad I did, because I'm not certain I would have understood the scope of the book without it. One thing about the Introduction caught my eye. While one of the author's rules is that he won't invent quotes and attribute them to Beck, he did say he might, "twist a few of his quotes to suit my purpose..." This is being done in the interest of fun.

The first chapter is more a lesson in Twitter than anything else. It opens with the author's experiment in its first week and having gained his first follower. Now, he doesn't know if the user has automatically set up her account to follow anyone with the #GlennBeck hash tag in their post, but since she hasn't tweeted anything in a while, he figures it's likely.

Charney goes through explaining a bit how followers work, the importance of hashtags, the 140 character limit, and things like that, and how he went about setting up his own Twitter account to perform his experiment. Again, one thing stood out in this chapter--his bio, "Preserving conservatism by exposing the hypocrisy of the conservative media."

KEEP READING: Yes, and not only because I am supposed to review this book. The first chapter, while a bit dry because of the Twitter explanation, captured me with the Twitter bio. I immediately want to know what he means, and how he sees things. That doesn't mean I'll agree. I may end thinking he's totally off base. And though I didn't learn anything new about Twitter--since I use it every day--Charney adds some humor into it, like when he discovers his one follower (a Glenn Beck fan) unfollows him after he sends her a message of thanks for following him.

Look for my full review coming on February 24th.

I received a free copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book in exchange for my honest opinions. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this first chapter review or the review that will follow.


Morgan Mandel said...

I'm confused and curious.

Morgan Mandel

Cheryl said...

LOL! Is that good or bad? Hope my full review is clearer.