Book review contributor Jacob Heilbrunn takes in three new books attacking conservative writer and provocateur Ann Coulter. "The latest testament to Coulter's notoriety is the appearance of no less than three books devoted to bashing her. In 'Soulless,' 'Brainless' and 'I Hate Ann Coulter!,' Susan Estrich, Joe Maguire and 'Unanimous' seek to outdo one another in exposing what they see as her uniquely malign influence on American politics and culture."
Heilbrunn finds the anti-Coulter books feeble. But at least they got some publicity, even if its the bad type. By contrast, a search indicates that "Godless," Coulter's latest, has yet to receive a notice in the Times, even though her books invariably top the paper's own best seller charts. (Her 2005 book, "How to Talk to a Liberal," got a ferociously negativereview from contributor and self-described liberal Leisl Schillinger.)
The Times' book page clearly finds the liberal Heilbrunnmore in tune to its ideological tastes than Coulter, praising him in the section front.
"This year alone, we have published 10 of his reviews, on subjects like James Baker, Alberto Gonzales, the Iraq war, the Hungarian uprising of 1956 and the Yokohama earthquake of 1923. Until last year, Heilbrunn was an editorial writer for The Los Angeles Times, and before that he was at The New Republic and The National Interest. Now he is devoting much of his energy to a book on neoconservatism. 'I've been writing about conservatives for some time,' Heilbrunn said in an e-mail message, adding that he is amused to note that Wikipedia credits him with coining the term 'theocon.' But as a longtime observer of conservatives, he is distressed by the Coulter phenomenon. 'Conservatism, neo- and otherwise, is supposed to be as much about a sober temperament as it is about ideas, isn't it?' he asked. 'But many on the right were initially delighted, then apprehensive, and only latterly embarrassed by Coulter's antics.'"