I’ve been a fan of Vincent Bugliosi’s since the Helter Skelter days. The Manson bunch were held in the Inyo County Courthouse right up the street from where my grandmother lived, and F’zer and I were in Independence while they were filming the TV miniseries based on the book and we got to see Bugliosi’s alter ego walking across the street being filmed.
I’ve read most of Bugliosi’s books since then. Went to see him give a talk on his Supreme Court book just a few days before 9/11, as a matter of fact, and was very impressed by how he handled the standing-room-only crowd, including a few people who obviously went from talk to talk just to heckle.
In recent books, though, I think he’s gotten a bit too shrill. It isn’t enough to lay out the evidence, he has to hit you over the head with it again and again. Now, granted, there are plenty enough dullards out there nowadays that I’m sure he feels the approach is necessary, but since when did any of them ever read a book?
I just finished The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, and unfortunately it’s more of the same. Bugliosi makes the case, sure enough, but he obviously feels so strongly about the Bushwhackers that he pounds home every single point with all the facts and fury he can muster. Heck, I agree with him and I got tired of the assault long before I reached the halfway point in the book.
I know it’s infuriating to see so many people in the USA who are so utterly clueless about everything they see or hear on the news (if they pay attention to the news at all). I know it’s infuriating to see so many people so utterly incapable of thinking for themselves. (Which is why I wrote my series on taking a stand against ignorance to wind up last year.) It’s understandable for a man as intelligent and articulate as Bugliosi to take on the challenge of “telling it like it is” with regard to the Bushwhackers and their immoral and unnecessary war. But to write a book as though one is presenting a case to a jury full of dummies… well, unfortunately, it wears out its welcome before its time.
I’d like to see him write a companion book that isn’t quite so strident. There’s a case to be made. But this approach isn’t going to reach the people who ought to get it.
Perhaps for his next book Mr. Bugliosi could lay out the case (reasonably, not shrilly) for all the anti-gay-marriage statutes amounting to the establishment of a state religion, and therefore being unconstitutional? I for one would buy that book the day it hit the shelves.Hope you'll recommend my posts via your favorite social media. Just don't copy the material as your own.