Probably most Takimag readers have heard of Steve (and his blog). Most, I’d guess, have read a couple of his pieces. Who is the guy? How did he come to write a book about Obama? Will citizenism catch on?
To speak first of the book: It is a convention of the book business that if you have once blurbed a book (that is, been quoted on the book’s cover offering words of praise), it is ill-mannered to then do a full-dress review. What follows is therefore not a review of America’s Half-Blood Prince. I am only going to use some of Steve’s observations in the book, and elsewhere, as starting points for commentary on the topics in my title up there above.
To formally review America’s Half-Blood Prince would in any case be an odd sort of exercise, since the book is itself a sort of very extended book review. When, late in 2006, it first seemed probable that Barack Obama was going to run for president, Steve did a careful reading of Obama’s introspective 1995 autobiography Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. In his subsequent writing about the presidential campaign, Steve drew extensively from Obama’s book, quoting the candidate’s own written words and parsing them in the context of external facts about Obama’s life and career. America’s Half-Blood Prince, which I am absolutely not reviewing here, is an organized compilation of Steve’s observations. Obama’s book is quoted on almost every page. So to review Steve’s book—which I am not going to do—would be to review an extraordinarily long and deep review of Obama’s book—a review of a review.
[Sailer-ism By John Derbyshire, March 10, 2009]
Read the whole thing, always remembering that it's not a book review.