Heard on the Hill

Palin Book Critiques: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Political pot-stirrer Sarah Palin's new book, “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas,” has been released just in time for the holiday shopping blitz.

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Based on the online reviews to date, the polarizing tome appears to be brimming with exactly what true believers and fervent detractors both wanted to hear.

The latest publishing effort by the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee marries the former Alaskan governor’s personal reflections about Christmas with her current campaign to shame secularists for presumably robbing this nation of its holiest of holidays. The book debuted in mid-November and briefly broke onto The New York Times best-seller list (debuting at No. 13).

A fellow Breitbart scribe (Palin pens a column for the conservative blogging network) praised Palin’s prose as a “brisk and enjoyable read.”

“Even as we learn that Todd Palin gives the Governor what she considers the coolest of Christmas gifts — such as a .30-06 rifle, hockey skates, and a 'beautiful red manual ice auger for ice fishing' — Palin packs powerful punches,” Peter Schweizer proclaimed late last week.

Critics, however, have been punching back via faux five-star (and some one-star) reviews on Amazon.

A commenter who identifies himself as Brian C. Gardner of Cleveland, Ohio, could not contain his excitement, declaring the item “the book America most needs right now” on the very day of its publication.

“Christmas is real. Not only is it real but, just as the earth was created in six literal days six thousand years ago, it is more powerful than the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Veteran's Day, Labor day, and Memorial Day combined. It is the Voltron of Holy Days, not to be confused with the liberal facade of ‘holidays,’” Gardner asserts in his tongue-in-cheek takedown.

A commenter who identifies himself as Joel Cruz of Chicago, Ill., marveled at Palin’s commanding grip on the issues of the day.

“In concise, two-syllable words and plenty of illustrations, Mrs. Palin calls us to battle, Constitution in hand, Bible in the other, and the Declaration of Independence in the other against the forces that would steal our Christmases and in doing so, return to the greater, snow-white America that we love. Mrs. Palin, I doff my tri-cornered hat to you and humbly lay my godless degrees in Bible, history, and theology at your Alaskan feet!” Cruz jeered.

A commenter who identifies herself as Barbara McCormick-Thomas lightheartedly poked holes in Palin’s thesis that atheists are eroding the religious overtones of the holiday season.

“I should warn shoppers — it was very difficult to find this book, as most retail outlets refuse to stock anything that refers to Christmas at this time of year. I finally found a copy tucked in a corner of Barnes & Noble at the mall, but only after walking past what seemed like miles and miles of atheist decorations,” McCormick Thomas counseled. “If you have small children, be advised that practically every mall has a ‘Dawkins Court’ where a man dressed up as the godless biologist will invite kids to sit on his lap and tell him their favorite example of natural selection.”

A commenter who identifies himself as Kevin lampooned the crass commercialism surrounding the book.

“This is a book necessary for this day and age, not just a cheap cash-in that can be rolled out every holiday until consistency=tradition,” he quipped. “I will share this book with my loved years [sic] every year, and keep it prominently on my shelf right next to my copy of Ayn Rand's 'It's a Wonderful Life,' where Mr. Potter is praised for his cleverness, and Clarence lets George kill himself for creating a culture of dependency.”

A commenter who identifies herself as Kealime, meanwhile, wondered why Palin focused on the negative instead of promoting something positive.

“Maybe she should have written that book on exercise and healthy eating like she said she was going to do. I don't think you can get mad about salads, lean protein and jogging,” Kealime suggested.

Not that any of their naysaying will dissuade the Palin faithful from supporting “Mama Grizzly.”