In This Review

Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America
Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America
By Ann Coulter
Crown Forum, 2011, 368 pp

Coulter’s latest book, a fiery and often ad hominem polemic against all things liberal, provides important clues about what the “Fox nation” is thinking and feeling as the political season heats up. For Coulter, modern American liberalism is directly descended from the violent mob rule of the atheistic French Revolution; in the antiwar group CodePink, she sees echoes of the crowds heckling Marie Antoinette on the way to the guillotine. By way of contrast, Coulter’s conservatives are perfect cavaliers whose scrupulous respect for private property, small government, and the rule of law reflects the God-fearing tradition of the Founding Fathers. The depiction of the American left as a howling Jacobin mob is part of a venerable tradition in American politics; Coulter reproduces core arguments that Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists made against the Jeffersonian Republicans in the 1790s. This is reassuring, since it suggests that the partisanship and bitterness of the present day is no more threatening to the country than many past episodes of polarization.