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David Mamet's body of work, from riveting plays like Glengarry Glen Ross and American Buffalo to films such as Wag the Wog, as well as essays too numerous to mention, have given sharply critical, frequently ironic, and unquestionably brilliant comments on American life and whatever is referred to as The American Dream. In The Secret Knowledge, Mamet goes for the jugular of the liberal movement and its thrall in American politics, seeing no need to leave survivors. It is at the very least provocative. No doubt it will encourage many to welcome the respected American playwright and screenwriter to the conservative fold, while bringing forth outbursts reminiscent of Mamet's colorful dialogue from the liberal side. Carole Chouinard
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By Kirk on 08-13-11
I think as we can see in the previous reviews here, which consist of criticism at the "Mamet sucks" level of intellectual inspection, this book is shaking the left to its core. Mamet's criticism (or Secret Knowledge) has the ring of authenticity. Mamet ranges fearlessly through closely held left-wing tenets such as big-government central control, wealth redistribution, the left's imagined ownership of intellectualism, the fallacy of do-goodism, the evolution of liberalism from its legitimate roots to the ugliness it has become, and many, many more.
The authenticity comes from Mamet's immersion in the heart of darkness itself, namely left-wing Hollywood. Mamet is a true Hollywood insider; however, his criticism is based on solid theory that springs from the headwaters of modern conservative theory in works by authors such as Friedrich A. Hayek. His life experience in Hollywood gives his work a fresh approach that is a delight to consider.
What is interesting is that Mamet states that much like the emperor with no clothes story, liberals know that their worldview is not exactly kosher, but part of being a liberal is not to admit to it. Any liberal who "calls out" the inconsistencies and outright lies on which liberalism is based will be "rejected from the herd," which is exactly what is happening to Mamet. Ironic.
Anyway, this book is more than worth the credit and the time - a really excellent book with a wealth of intriguing ideas. I wish I could have done it more justice here. Do yourself a favor and listen to it. It may be a life changer.
71 of 89 people found this review helpful
By John C. Oconnor on 04-18-12
A Brilliant Confession
What made the experience of listening to The Secret Knowledge the most enjoyable?
When a true believer begins to see his lifelong belief from a different perspective, it makes that person a unique witness to what he/she has been doing, thinking and preaching. When you have someone who is so brilliant and is such a master of the English language, Hollywood and Broadway, well no one could have shared his depth of understanding like David Mamet! An Awesome and meaty read!
What other book might you compare The Secret Knowledge to and why?
Nothing really- Perhaps Ameritopa, or Radical Son
If you could give The Secret Knowledge a new subtitle, what would it be?
How Talented Bright Beautiful People Let Themselves Be Sucked Into Darkness Thinking It is Light
6 of 7 people found this review helpful