Rush Limbaugh: An Army Of One (book review)

I remember the first time I heard Rush Limbaugh’s baritone voice coming over the airwaves of WXYZ in Detroit. I was just coming back to my office from lunch, and I was compelled to stay in my car in the parking lot to listen to this man with the unusual name, and even more unusual delivery of ideas. Rush Limbaugh: An Army Of One by Zev Chafets is just as compelling as the radio personality he chronicles.

Like him or hate him, you cannot ignore him. Rush Limbaugh has single-handedly changed talk radio. He already holds places in the National Broadcasting Hall of Fame because his radio audience is larger than any other in history. For three hours every afternoon, Rush broadcasts from behind “the golden EIB microphone” to listeners anxious to hear his irreverent and convincing confrontation and refutation of liberal ideology.

Maybe, like me, you’ve wondered what made Rush the broadcaster that he is. Or maybe you wondered what Rush is like during the other 21 hours of the day. Zav Chafets book is a no-holds-barred, full-access, behind-the-scenes look at this conservative icon.

If you are a fan, this book will give you a greater appreciation of the genius of his delivery. If you’re a hater, well, this book won’t do anything to change your mind. Zav is clearly not a “Dittohead,” but he is clearly impressed by this radio giant.

As Zav states in his closing words:

Even after more than twenty years there are still many people who refuse to accept that Limbaugh is more than an entertainer, a pitchman, or a hot-air balloon. These are the same people who mistook [Ronald] Reagan for an amiable dunce. Two decades should have been enough to convince even the most obtuse that Rush Limbaugh is someone you underestimate or ignore at your own peril. He can’t be wished away or shouted down or sniffed into irrelevance. Smart liberals will listen to him, even if they hate what he has to say. The easily outraged, will be. Those with a sense of humor will find themselves laughing despite themselves. Presidents and politicians come and go, but Rush Limbaugh, equipped now with a clean bill of health and accompanied by a lovely new wife (and, who knows, maybe a future Rush Hudson Limbaugh IV), and in undisputed control of the conservative movement, is ready for the next act. He has often said that he doesn’t intend to quit until he has convinced every liberal in the country. He’s not in a hurry, either. His grandfather, the original Rush Hudson Limbaugh, didn’t retire until he was 103 years old.

A very informative, enjoyable read.

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