Commentary Magazine


Mamet’s New Book

American Thinker this morning carries my review of David Mamet’s provocative new book, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture, which was published yesterday. The book reflects his transformation from a liberal to a conservative over the past eight years, after he started reading Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Thomas Sowell, and Shelby Steele, and particularly Whittaker Chambers’s Witness.

Mamet’s book strikes me as a continuation and broadening of some of the themes Mamet addressed in his earlier book The Wicked Son: Anti-Semitism, Self-Hatred, and the Jews—a public letter to his fellow Jews, framed as a fictional epistle from one of the Passover seder’s Four Sons to one of the others.

His new book, in my view, is “an extended letter to his fellow citizens . . . a message not only to American Jews, who in many cases made liberalism their religion and the New York Times their Torah, but to American citizens generally, from their brother.”