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Book Review: Rebel Media’s ‘The Destroyers’


Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 3.20.52 PMIntroduction:

The Destroyers: Rachel Notley and the NDP’s War on Alberta is the story of how the provincial NDP Government is destroying Alberta through socialism and anti-establishment malice. It is written by Rebel.com Media Alberta bureau chief Sheila Gunn Reid , is 60 pages long and was released in January 2016.

Note: I will not refute any of the content in this work as it is strictly opinion. I will not get in a ‘what is true, what is false’ argument with someone so staunchly partisan. It doesn’t do anyone any good.

Also, I’m taking the tone of the book and using it to my advantage. Namely, a frank title for each chapter as to not confuse the reader about what content it to follow.

Opening Statement:

Reid

Reid in a Rebel Media Youtube video still.

Having Ezra Levant write the prologue to a book that he basically published is like having your mother tell you how pretty you are. On top of that, Levant’s forward basically covers every topic in the book leaving very little reason to read on.

This paragraph from Levant’s forward sums it up entirely: “Any open-minded reader can come to only one conclusion: Rachel Notley hasn’t changed. She’s still the same radical activist she always was, who hates oil and gas, farming and ranching, and free enterprise. She’s not here to govern those things. She’s here to destroy them.”

Criticism:

With chapters like “Rachel Notley”, “Bill 6” and “Conclusion: The Wave of Destruction”, The Destroyers is straightforward. Each portion is singularly focused, using media links and opinion columns to support the content. There really isn’t much depth to the writing as it just does what it says. Not that this is a bad thing, but it does make the reading wholly banal. There also isn’t any direction to the book. It covers a series of haphazard topics and then ends like a hammer used to tear something down, rather than make something better.

It is more of an essay than a book, as it is devoid of both plot and climax. It is like calling a chair a bicycle, but only because you want to up the value of the chair. If this were a high school book review,  I would say that the conflict in this work is Man VS. Himself as it seems to struggle within the confines of its content. It does nothing to expand on its bias and is vacuous in its sardonicism.

As well, we don’t get to know much about the author. Where does all this hatred spawn from? Reid ‘grew up on the family farm’, but what does that mean to her? For someone who uses words like ‘us’ and ‘our’, I really don’t feel a connection with the writer. It leaves me feeling like I just tried to take a drink of water from a firehose.  There is no personable depth of emotion within the book which makes it one dimensional and lacking any real humanity.

Layout:

Simple, pragmatic and sometimes resembling an afterthought. Like this, for example, authorThe ‘About Rebel Media’ Epilogue:

“TheRebel.media is Canada’s only independent source of news, opinion and activism. Launched by Ezra Levant and Brian Lilley after the Sun News Network shut down, The Rebel has become essential for anyone looking for “the other side of the story”.” I can only assume that this is the side that is proud of its polished instigative bias.

Conclusion:

In all the book offered very little contribution to my understanding of the topic. By being so obviously one sided, it undermined its viability as an intellectual text. It is more of a propagandist’s burn book.

I wish this were something more. I would love to understand better where this seething hatred comes from, but this work does nothing to invite me in on the conversation. Yes, the Alberta NDP is far from perfect. Yes, they were voted in because Albertans wanted a change. But there was nary a suggestion as to how the provincial NDP could govern better. Aside from a #kudatah, they are here for the next four years. Like it or not.

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