Review: Conservatize Me: How I Tried to Become a Righty with the Help of Richard Nixon, Sean Hannity, Toby Keith, and Beef Jerky, by John Moe

Conservatize Me coverThis was entertaining, but it sometimes felt as though the author was trying to force himself into stereotypical or superficial situations for “The Experiment” rather than making an honest attempt to gain insight into the conservative viewpoints. For example, what do eating beef jerky or listening to Kid Rock for 30 days have to do with one’s political ideology? Why did the author choose not to explore in any detail the influence of fundamentalist Christian beliefs on politics (and vice versa)? That said, his conversation with the mayor of Rexburg, Idaho (located in the county with more than 90% of its votes going to George W. Bush in 2004), as well as his insights afterward, were more nuanced.

Also, this isn’t Moe’s fault, but the publisher’s decision to put footnotes at the end of each chapter rather than at the bottom of the page was downright annoying, especially given that most of these were jokes/asides and not really worth flipping back and forth for.

Perhaps I’m just lburned out on the “Hey, let’s do something wacky for an extended period of time and get a book deal out of it!” genre. But while Conservatize Me had its funny moments, overall I found A.J. Liebling’s The Year of Living Biblically a more thought-provoking and worthwhile read.

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