The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs (Paperback)
Ed Asner does not mince words. He is unapologetic about being "An Old-Time Lefty," and he's not happy with those on the right who cite the Constitution both as God-given and as the bedrock of their beliefs. Asner examines and explains not only the original fifty-five framers of the Constitution but also the Constitution itself, the Bill of Rights, and for good measure a variety of other targets. It's a lively work since Asner presents his biases front and center, and, in chapters that are both instructive and entertaining, he makes his case.— From Ann
In “an unabashedly biased, deeply researched book” (SF Gate), Ed Asner—the actor who starred as Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show—reclaims the Constitution from the right-wingers who think that they and only they know how to interpret it.
Ed Asner, a self-proclaimed dauntless Democrat from the old days, figured that if the right-wing wackos are wrong about voter fraud, Obama’s death panels, and climate change, they are probably just as wrong about what the Constitution says. There’s no way that two hundred-plus years later, the right-wing ideologues know how to interpret the Constitution. On their way home from Philadelphia the people who wrote it couldn’t agree on what it meant. What was the president’s job? Who knew? All they knew was that the president was going to be George Washington and as long as he was in charge, that was good enough. When Hamilton wanted to start a national bank, Madison told him that it was unconstitutional. Both men had been in the room when the Constitution was written. And now today there are politicians and judges who claim that they know the original meaning of the Constitution. Are you kidding?
In The Grouchy Historian, Ed Asner leads the charge for liberals to reclaim the Constitution from the right-wingers who use it as their justification for doing whatever terrible thing they want to do, which is usually to comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted. It’s about time someone gave them hell and explained that progressives can read, too.
About the Author
Ed Asner is a television legend, well known for his role as Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and subsequent spin-off Lou Grant. He is the winner of seven acting Emmy Awards, and has been nominated a total of twenty times. Asner also made a name for himself as a trade unionist and a political activist. He served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild, from 1981-1985, during which he was an outspoken critic of former SAG President Ronald Reagan, then the US president, for his Central American policy. He lives in Los Angeles.
Ed. Weinberger began his career in the early 1960s with Dick Gregory and has written for such diverse comedians as Bob Hope, Richard Pryor, and Johnny Carson (for five years on The Tonight Show). He wrote for and produced The Mary Tyler Moore Show, co-created Taxi, Dear John, and The Cosby Show. He also executive-produced and created Amen, Sparks, and Good News. He has won three Golden Globe Awards, a Peabody, and nine Emmys. In 2000, he received The Writer’s Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives in Los Angeles.
"A smart, often entertaining polemic."
— Kirkus Reviews
"An unabashedly biased, deeply researched book that refutes the right-wing argument that the framers of the U.S. Constitution favored small government, limited taxation and minimal regulation. . . . The book’s subtitle doesn’t mince words.”
— Edward Guthmann
“If Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and Teds Nugent and Cruz can call themselves Constitutional conservatives, then Asner can call them out on their so-called knowledge of America's bedrock documents. . . . Although it is, indeed, wry and witty, Asner’s 'defense' is no mere entertainer’s polemic.”