Everyone is blogging about Jonah Goldberg of the National Review. After being widely ridiculed for titling his book Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton, Goldberg cried, "My publisher made me do it!" and called a do-over. Yeah, he’s that kid on the playground. Now the book is called Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Whole Foods (but the cover image on Amazon still shows the old title).
I don’t have any deep thoughts about Whole Foods except to admit that yes, I enjoy shopping there, even though I know it’s expensive and aims to tempt you into endless consumption of essential oils, beeswax lip balms, and yoga magazines. As for Hegel, the guy lived in the early nineteenth century and actually thought he would live to see "the end of history," meaning a perfect social/political state. So the only connection I see between the supermarket chain and the philosopher is that they share an optimistic view of the fix-ability of the world. Fascist? Don’t think so.
But what really interests me is this new trend of creating a media storm around a book, and then changing its title. I noticed Linda Hirshman‘s strident (but great) Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World, became Get to Work…And Get a Life Before It’s Too Late! in paperback. The book really was a manifesto, and I liked the history that word conjured up — a call to arms. The edited title is robbed of its politics.