Publishing Cesspool: James Edwards Writes a Book

After a four-month hiatus that many hoped would be permanent ended in June 2008,  James Edwards’ hate-fueled radio show, “The Political Cesspool,” has reestablished itself as a leading forum for neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, and white supremacists. Since launching in 2004, the show — the history of which is chronicled here — has also become an occasional forum for these radicals’ more mainstream admirers, such as “Political Cesspool” guest (and MSNBC commentator) Pat Buchanan. Edwards himself has netted several appearances on CNN.

Now, it appears, the show’s host sees himself as mainstream enough to engage in a conservative talk radio host rite of passage: the patriotic manifesto. And from a distance, Edwards’ newly self-published effort might be confused with any number of Conservative Book Club bestsellers. As with recent titles by commentators Sean Hannity and Mark Levin, the cover displays the author’s face set against a giant rippling American flag.

But such confusion is only possible at a distance, and then only briefly. Very little further examination is required to detect all the hallmarks of an amateur self-publishing effort with an assist from CreateSpace — beginning with a title devoid of wit, even by the standards set by Edwards’ radio program: Racism, Schmacism: How Liberals Use the "R" Word to Push the Obama Agenda. Then there is the cheap Photoshop job of the cover, above which is the megalomaniacal boast that its author is “the most controversial talk show host in America.”

The premise of Racism, Schmacism, to the extent that it has a coherent premise, is that liberals have defined “racist” to mean “any conservative white person.” Thus, any attempt by conservatives to shake off or avoid the racist label is bound to fail. Given this inevitability, Edwards believes, conservatives should embrace race consciousness and get aggressive. Edwards early on stresses his agreement with Rush Limbaugh in the view that John McCain could have won in 2008 if only he hadn’t run such a timid and racially sensitive campaign. Writes Edwards: “Just imagine how different the campaign would have turned out if McCain had been running TV ads focusing on Obama’s shockingly frank hatred of white people.”

As of this writing, there are eight reviews of the book on the Amazon page, all of them kind. Two of these reviewers state their intention to use the book in conversations with Tea Partiers. Writes “Stephen E. Romer”: “I am going to buy several more to take to TEA PARTY meetings!! YOU SHOULD TOO!!”

A reviewer using the handle Bookmaven wrote: “This book clearly explains what I have been trying to tell fellow Tea Partiers for the last couple of years!!”

Who is buying Racism, Schmacism? According to Amazon’s automatically generated sales bundling program, shoppers are most often throwing it in their cart alongside M. Stanton Evans’ defense of Joseph McCarthy, Blacklisted by History, a book whose fortunes have spiked following that author’s appearances on Fox News’ “Glenn Beck” show. Other titles purchased along with Edwards’ book include those by the late white nationalist Sam Francis, former Klan leader David Duke, liberal-bashing commentator Ann Coulter, and Pat Buchanan.