Battling the Big Lie by Stopping Book Bans
A portion of the proceeds of every preorder of Battling the Big Lie will be donated to the Texas Library Association's effort to stop book bans
Book bans are sweeping the country. According to the American Library Association, 2021 saw the most attempts to ban books in the 20 years that the ALA has tracked the issue. There are more than 700 specific book bans covering more than 1500 different titles. You will be surprised to learn that the vast majority of those books were by and about the Black and LGBTQ+ communities. In 2020, the Republicans became even more aggressive in trying to control children’s education. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is banning math textbooks for being “too woke” and Texas Governor Greg Abbot is contemplating a legal challenge to universal access to public education. A Tennessee State Senator recently expressed openness to burning books.
A major political party is talking about burning books in 2022! It’s truly surreal. A through-the-looking-glass moment in American politics.
It is worth noting that these book bans are incredibly unpopular. A Data for Progress poll found that 71 percent of voters and 64 percent of Republicans oppose efforts to ban books.
The Republicans are currently on a glide path to control Congress, yet they are spending time, energy, and political capital on these unpopular initiatives. Are they dumb? Have their brains been pickled by the MAGA media? Do they want to lose because they subconsciously know what horrible people they are?
Unfortunately, it’s none of the above. These book bans are a part of the decades-long effort to build up that Right Wing media machine documented in my forthcoming book, Battling the Big Lie. It’s all a piece of a greater whole. Just as Fox News and Breitbart spread conspiracy theories and Ben Shapiro gaslights and demagogues, denying kids accurate information about marginalized people is part of a long-term strategy to dictate the corners of the political conversation. The Republicans have a conservative, overwhelmingly White political party in a country that is getting more progressive and diverse. Preventing kids from learning about the uncomfortable parts of American history and the impacts of structural racism is of tremendous benefit. By rewriting history, the GOP is able to elide the immense contradictions in the party.
Right-Wing indoctrination through forced ignorance is a deeply dangerous phenomenon. We cannot allow it to stand. We must fight back on every front with every available tool. This is a small contribution to the cause, but I am going to donate a portion of the proceeds for every preorder to the Texas Library Association’s Whitten Intellectual Freedom Fund which is fighting efforts to ban books. Texas is ground zero in this fight and they need all the help we can give them.
Twelve Publishing has generously offered to match my donation for the next 1000 preorders. If you already pre-ordered the book (thank you!), I will donate from your purchase as well. If you would like a signed bookplate, you can upload your proof of purchase HERE.
BATTLING THE BIG LIE is about how the Right Wing built up their massive media advantage, how it works, and what Democrats can do about it. Ultimately, it’s a story about powerful interests pushing an unpopular and discredited political agenda and trying to control what people hear and think. “Flooding the zone with shit” as MAGA grifter Steve Bannon once famously described the Right’s media strategy. I believe the book will put what’s happening in Texas and elsewhere in context.
This effort is powered by ethno-nationalist cable networks, Facebook troll farms, and countless digital outlets pushing out conspiracy theories. However, over the last year, the Republicans returned to basics and are trying to control the information flow at the outset by banning books and legislating what teachers can and can’t say in the classroom.
Contributing a portion of the proceeds of book sales makes the arduous, uncomfortable, and often awkward act of selling one’s books to be slightly less soul-destroying. With my previous two books, I was able to raise a nice chunk of change for Swing Left and Fair Fight. I would love to exceed those totals with BATTLING THE BIG LIE.
As I have mentioned previously, pre-orders are essential for progressive books. Booksellers and media outlets presume that conservative books will sell and have doubts about the viability of progressive books. Robust preorders mean larger orders, better placement, and more media opportunities – the essential ingredients of a successful book.
Thank you for your patience with my increasingly desperate efforts to get people to read my book.