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E2 Star Trek episode guide : Original Series : Season One

The Enemy Within

Episode number:
5
Airdate: October 6, 1966
Stardate: 1672.1

Writer: Richard Matheson
Director: Leo Penn
Cast:

Regulars: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Yeoman Rand
Others: Lieutenant John Farrell...Jim Goodwin
Technician Fisher...Edward Madden
Technician Wilson...Garland Thompson


Background

I have the feeling that this episode perhaps more than any of the other early episodes embodied what Gene Roddenberry had in mind for the series: a top flight science fiction author, Richard Matheson, tackling issues of philosophical weight. The issue here is the nature of good and evil, provided by an interesting twist on the Jekyll/Hyde theme. The good Kirk and the evil Kirk need one another to survive. The good Kirk is compassionate and intelligent, but indecisive and weak, and needs the strength of the violent, evil Kirk to be an able Captain.

Story (with spoilers)

During a scientific expedition on Alpha 177, Geological Technician Fisher takes a minor spill and ends up covered in some yellow magnetic ore. Kirk orders him to beam up to sick bay for treatment of his wounds and follows shortly thereafter, leaving Sulu in charge of the expedition. When Kirk beams up, he is a bit woozy, so Scotty helps him out of the room, leaving the transporter unattended. An instant later, a duplicate Captain Kirk appears on the transporter pad. Apparently the magnetic ore has had a strange affect upon the workings of the transporter.

While the first Kirk, the “good Kirk”, is in his quarters, the “evil Kirk” accosts Dr. McCoy and demands Saurian brandy. Then he heads to Yeoman Janice Rand’s quarters for more accosting. Spock drops by to visit the good Kirk asking about the incident in sick bay, but Kirk dismisses it as a prank by the good doctor. Then they visit Scotty in the transporter room. He has just beamed up an animal (a “space spaniel”, as one book describes it) gathered by the survey team and discovered the transporter’s malfunction when a violent duplicate of the spaniel appears. This means, of course, that Sulu and company are stranded on Alpha 177 until they discover the source of the problem.

Meanwhile, Rand fends off an attack from the evil Kirk with the help of Technician Fisher, who is helpfully passing by in the corridor and has saved Desilu the cost of hiring another actor. Fisher gets some more wounds, these from Kirk’s fists meeting his face. Spock and the good Kirk try to figure out what’s going on while a bloody evil Kirk roams the corridors menacingly.

The problem, once identified, becomes more complicated. The landing party is in jeopardy from impending nightfall, which will drop surface temperatures to a lethal level. The good Kirk becomes indecisive and has difficulty making decisions. The evil Kirk, knowing that he can be identified by the scratches on his face made by Yeoman Rand, covers them up with makeup and steals a phaser from Technician Wilson. The good Kirk and Spock hunt the evil Kirk down in engineering and capture him. Unfortunately, he does some nasty damage to the transporter systems before he can be subdued.

While Sulu and company are heating up rocks with their phasers for warmth, and you are wondering why they don’t just use a shuttlecraft to rescue them, the evil Kirk is dying in sick bay. All concerned realize that Kirk needs his “evil” side to remain the able commander that he is because it gives him his decisiveness and his strength. Thankfully, Spock and Scotty have found a way to fix the transporter (the same transporter that Scotty said needed a week to fix a couple of scenes ago) and fix Kirk to boot. It is tested on the spaniel and the animal is put back together successfully, but the shock was too much for it. “He’s dead Jim!”

The indecisive good Kirk wrestles with the risks of chancing the transporter, but can’t make a decision. After chatting with Sulu, who is enjoying the cool -117 degree temperature, he makes his choice. But the evil Kirk will have none of it: he beats up the good Kirk and scratches him for good measure, then heads off to the bridge and orders the ship to break orbit. But McCoy and the good Kirk are hot on his heels for the big good twin/evil twin showdown. As the crew wonders who is who, the good Kirk convinces the evil Kirk to rejoin him before they both die. The transporter puts them back together again and the survey party is quickly beamed up and treated for frostbite.

Trivia

  • This episode marks the first appearances of Spock’s Vulcan nerve pinch and McCoy’s immortal line, “He’s dead, Jim!”.

  • Kirk’s uniform insignia is missing in several shots, one of many continuity efforts which are perhaps inevitable in an episode with one actor playing two roles.

  • Somebody needs to tell me why they didn’t use the shuttlecraft.
  • I see darkness gathering around a walled town- Shadows Over Bogenhafen!
    I see the Lord of Death astride a great river- Death, on the Reik!
    I see a hooded evil behind the seat of a once mighty Lord- a Power behind the Throne!
    I see the Empire in Flames! The Horned Rat doth sit upon the Imperial throne!
    It is all written in the Book of Changes.
    Yea- Chaos' most determined enemies shall prove its greatest servants.
    The Enemy is Within!

    'The Enemy Within' was the epic first extended campaign created by Games Workshop for the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay roleplaying game during the late 1980's. While RPG campaigns are a dime a dozen, and generally come and go, The Enemy Within is notable for its popularity, complexity , and longevity. Set in the grim Old World of the Warhammer series of games, The Enemy Within focuses more on intrigue and conspiracy than on the dungeon bashing and dragon slaying more common in the world of Tolkien derivative, AD&D knock-off games. The enemy is, literally, within in each of the adventures- the players discover the taint of evil and Chaos gnawing at the roots of their world, from unassuming riverside towns to the palace of the Emperor himself.

    The intertwined plot lines contained in The Enemy Within campaign are detailed and complex, and are kept alive throughout most of the series. Seemingly insignificant events that occur in the opening moments of the first adventure touch off events that only reach fruition in the final volumes of the campaign. This continuity helps to draw in new players, and produces logical motivations for the characters (and their players) to stay interested. Not everyone need play a noble knight interested in saving the world out of the goodness of his heart, or a licentious treasure hauler for the campaign to flow naturally from episode to episode. Instead, bonds of family and friends, ambition, curiosity, and more work-a-day economic motives help move the story along. There's plenty of room for martyrdom seeking world-savers and seekers of riches, but plenty of room for less unusual archetypes as well.

    The plots themselves, and the problems they present, require players not only to hack and kill, but to reason, schmooze, observe, and plan. The authors of The Enemy Within were careful to include ways for non-traditional characters (those that are neither combat oriented nor planning on becoming Gandalf or Elminster by the end of the first session) to contribute to the game. Throughout Death on the Reik, a sailor or riverboat crewman may be the most valuable member of the party. Power Behind the Throne presents a number of situations where a character with the charisma and learning to pass through wealthy society may be of more use than a whole crateload of troll slayers and fireball wingers. Gathering obscure knowledge is praised; that extra language, piece of ancient history, or palm greasing skill that you learned instead of focusing on "Introduction to 'Me Hit, He Fall Down'" may be the difference between a successful run and an embarrassing and frustrating debacle. This attention to characters and scenarios that defy the conventions of (poor) roleplay are the hallmark of the best moments of The Enemy Within.

    The Enemy Within was first published between 1986 and 1989 by Games Workshop, and was then reprinted by Hogshead Publishing when they took over the WFRP license. It consists of a series of six books, variously bound and collected over the years, each of which contain one or more adventures, as well as background information for the people and locales that they featured. Some of the supplemental material was published in separate booklets, as in the case of Death on the Reik, or in entirely separate books, as was the case with Power Behind the Throne.

    The individual elements of The Enemy Within campaign are described below. Spoilers will be kept to a minimum.

    The Enemy Within, by Phil Gallagher, Jim Bambra, and Graeme Davis

    The first volume of the campaign consisted primarily of background information, concerning The Empire, the pseudo-Germanic Holy Roman Empire-like setting that forms the backdrop for most of the episodes of the campaign. It includes information on the political, religious, and social structure of the Empire, its history, and many more mundane details like the Imperial calendar and the coaching lines that provide travel throughout the Empire. The geography of the various Imperial provinces is included, as well as information about the Imperial armies. Another section provides brief information on Chaos cults at work in the Empire, and an appendix provides information on mutants living within the Empire. There is also a short adventure, entitled Mistaken Identity that serves as an introduction to the remainder of the campaign, introducing a few important supporting characters, and setting up the mistaken identity plot that will be picked up by subsequent adventures. While none of this sounds too thrilling, it is in fact one of the most useful books published by Games Workshop for WFRP players and GM's; the details about life in the Empire are invaluable to anyone who plans to run a campaign or design their own adventures in the Empire.

    Shadows Over Bogenhafen, by Phil Gallagher, Jim Bambra, and Graeme Davis

    One of the most acclaimed single plot lines in The Enemy Within campaign, Shadows Over Bogenhafen picks up where Mistaken Identity leaves off, and thrusts the players into the midst of a sea of intrigue and apocalyptic doom. The plot is too much fun to spoil, but it concerns a (literal) deal with the devil, the deaths of a drunken dwarf and a three-legged goblin, and a bill come due that the entire city of Bogenhafen may have to pay. Unwary adventurers will find themselves drowned in the sewers, framed for murder, and stalked by demons all before the main event- a fiery apocalypse that threatens to swallow them whole.

    SOB is much more an adventure and less a sourcebook than The Enemy Within, but the information provided about the city of Bogenhafen makes it a useful setting for future adventures- if the players manage not to let it be destroyed- and an excellent template for designing other towns and cities otherwise. There are several generic city/town encounters that can be applied anywhere, as well as some useful profiles for 'stock' characters (merchants, pickpockets, yokels, the town watch, etc.). The rules, maps, and information dealing with sewers is of particular use- it often seems no RPG can go more than a few days without a trip into an underground drainage system of some sort.

    Death on The Reik, by Phil Gallagher, Jim Bambra, and Graeme Davis

    The third installment of The Enemy Within sees Our Heroes journeying down the river Reik, the mighty waterway that serves as the major thoroughfare of the heartland of the Empire. DOTR develops further several of the story elements introduced in SOB and TEW; rumors and events described in the first two installments are developed and refined, and some familiar characters make return appearances. Great detail has been put into linking the adventure together, and providing player characters with logical, meaningful opportunities for advancement (tutors and mentors and the like, as opposed to the 'you leveled up!' approach more often seen). The main adventure contained in Death on the Reik concerns the declining fortunes of a once great Imperial family, a hunt for a rogue wizard, and a meandering search for a missing magical meteor.

    As a sourcebook, DOTR includes a variety of valuable information. Descriptions of the environs, inhabitants, and character of several towns that lie along the waterways of The Empire are provided, as well as more general information on most of the towns, cities, and villages of the Reikland (some of it a repeat of material contained in TEW). A supplemental appendix, originally published as a separate booklet, details life on the river, including detailed rules for operating a boat, stock encounters that can be inserted into the campaign anywhere for variety, and rules for conducting trade and carrying cargo- a good way to provide segues into other adventures.

    Power Behind the Throne, by Carl Sargent, with additional material by Phil Gallagher

    The fourth chapter in the campaign takes the adventurers to Middenheim, the city of the White Wolf. Among the temples of the god Ulric and the delvings of ancient dwarfs, the adventurers find evil and intrigue as they pass among the ranks of nobles, their hangers on, and their less-than-wholesome pastimes. Threads that have been developing since the first episodes of TEW are again picked up, as the adventurers seek the missing scion of an ancient household among the courts of Middenheim's upper class. As the name would imply, the corruption in PBT goes all the way to the top- and the players may find themselves in possession of some secrets so valuable that the crowned heads of the Empire would kill to make sure they stay secret.

    So much background information was developed for the city of Middenheim that it was published as a separate book- called variously Warhammer City, City of the White Wolf, and (most recently) Middenheim: City of Chaos. Besides detailing many of the important movers and shakers of the city of Middeheim (crime lords, nobles, cultists, high priests and generals), the Middenheim supplement includes details of the various city environs, rules for dealing with the city watch and harsh Imperial justice, and examples of businesses, buildings, encounters, and characters that can be placed throughout the city at will. In addition to making Power Behind the Throne a much more enjoyable and colorful experience for players and GM alike, the background information found in this book (whatever its name) is invaluable for anyone desiring to set adventures in the city of Middenheim, and is equally applicable to any other major city of the Old World. Unfortunately, the notorious GW sense of humor got a bit out of control in this volume; names like 'Salladh-bar' and 'Edam Gouda' abound, which either enhance or ruin the atmosphere, depending on your point of view.

    Something Rotten in Kislev, by Ken Rolston and Graeme Davis

    The fifth book of The Enemy Within is where many feel things began to go a bit awry. SRIK contains a number of interesting ideas, as well as a number of rather outlandish ones that don't seem to fit with the overall flavor of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Unlike the earlier episodes of The Enemy Within, SRIK fails to pick up on any of the plot lines developed in earlier installments (this is partially due to the fact that many of them were resolved in PBT). Furthermore, it is episode is also the only portion of The Enemy Within campaign that doesn't take place in the Empire; instead, it is set in (get ready) Kislev, the Old World equivalent of Tzarist Russia. Three adventures are included in SRIK: The Beast Child, Death Takes a Holiday, and The Champions of Death: A Choice of Evils in Bolgasgrad. The latter two adventures in particular are endlessly discussed, debated, complained about, and defended by their various supporters and detractors among folks who play WFRP (and who have nothing more pressing to do with their time). Both adventures center around the undead, and there are indeed some novel and interesting ideas presented in each installment. Unfortunately, neither adventure seems to jive with the overall flavor of the Warhammer world, and the last adventure (as the title implies) presents the players with a lose-lose situation, an enemy that they cannot defeat, and a situation where playing true to character may result in an unjust (and pointless) demise.

    While the background information provided on Kislev is useful for anyone desiring to set an adventure there, it is not really adequate for an extended campaign. There's not a great deal of information provided (about 10 pages), and it generally lacks much detail (there's nothing about any of the major cities in the country, for instance). There are fewer useful player handouts and maps than the other Enemy Within books, and less of the information presented in SRIK can be applied to other adventures or the larger campaign. The information on zombies might be interesting to someone whose campaign encountered a lot of the undead (Ravenloft, anyone?). Information on nature spirits, and the (very) brief section on 'Ancient Ruins in The Northern Old World' could come in handy, but the latter is really little more than an excuse for a dungeon crawl. The segment on Chaos Plants (I kid you not) would be of little use to anyone except a particularly diabolical gardener. Generally considered the weakest installment of The Enemy Within.

    Empire in Flames, by Carl Sargent

    While perhaps not as disliked as SRIK, Empire in Flames has long had its detractors as well. Many readers have felt that the greatest weakness of the final installment of The Enemy Within campaign was simply that it was not epic enough to cap off what was (with the possible exception of Something Rotten in Kislev) a brilliant and intelligent campaign. Certainly the elements for a big finish are there: the death of an Emperor, allegations of impurities in the Imperial lineage, and a quest to retrieve the legendary Hammer of Sigmar Heldenhammer, the patron deity and apotheosized founder of the Empire. Hogshead Publications, after it licensed WFRP from GW, was planning to produce a new version of Empire in Flames (to be called Empire in Chaos) that would include an entirely new, hopefully more fitting, ending to the series. Sadly, with the departure of Hogshead from the RPG business in November of 2002, Empire in Chaos is now consigned to the murky shadow realm where promised but undelivered WFRP supplements go to await rebirth- a place from which only Realms of Sorcery has returned (their number just keeps growing and growing …)

    As mentioned above, the various installments of The Enemy Within were variously bound and packaged. SOB and TEW were packaged bound into a single hardbound volume called Warhammer Campaign; DOTR made an initial appearance as a boxed set, as did a joint PBT and Warhammer City/City of the White Wolf/City of Chaos. The first three books were published bound together under the name Warhammer Adventure. Hogshead also published softbound editions of each of the books listed above during their run as the WFRP publisher (except for Empire in Flames/Chaos, which was awaiting a rewrite by Hogshead head honcho James Wallis at the time the company closed its doors). The Enemy Within and Shadows Over Bogenhafen were bound together, and the other volumes were all issued seperatley. Almost as importantly, Hogshead sorted out all of the page number cross-references that had been slowly suffering bit rot due to the number of rebindings and reprints since the first publication- doing away with the blank 'see page xx' references that had popped up from time to time.

    The Enemy Within has been in constant circulation and near-constant publication since 1986. In the world of roleplaying games, that's damn near an eon. While other entire games have appeared and disappeared, The Enemy Within has just kept going, supported by a worldwide fan base that seems to love it despite some of its obvious flaws. The campaign (particularly the early episodes) prove that a fantasy adventure game can be more than hack 'n' slash- in the hands of skilled and creative writers and players, it can be fun, exciting, complex, mysterious, and rewarding. The Enemy Within was voted the best RPG campaign of all time by Cassus Belli magazine, and several of its plots (particularly Power Behind the Throne and the creepy and intriguing Shadows Over Bogenhafen) have been recognized as rare gems in a genre dominated by the hack 'n' slash element.

    I am close friends with a neoconservative who is almost constantly promoting the ideals of the Bush administration. My political perspective is a mix of things; I agree with some pieces of the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and the Democratic Party, so I can't really say I'm bound to one specific ideology. Thus, unsurprisingly, my friend sees me as a "political work in progress," and that it is his job to "convert" me to neoconservativism.

    Case in point: as a birthday gift, my dear friend gave me a copy of The Enemy Within, the latest book from ultra-conservative wonk Michael Savage, knowing full well that I would read it, as I will read pretty much any book to try to understand different perspectives. One look at the cover gave me a good idea of what would be inside; it said, in bold print, Saving America from the Liberal Assault on our Schools, Faith, and Military.

    Oh boy.

    The Enemy Within
    Michael Savage

    ISBN: 0785261028
    Published In: 2004

    This is a book that is very challenging to review because Savage is so pointed with his arguments; they become the driving force of the book and thus your opinions on the book are somewhat bent around these pointed arguments. There's very little grey area in this book; Savage's central theme is that liberalism is killing the United States, and he sticks to this theme doggedly throughout. Given that, he does touch on some issues that would make for some great debate, and on occasion, he rises up to state a good conservative case for that argument.

    Savage does a solid job of setting up his argument and following through with it using the overall theme of liberalism as an octopus, with its eight tentacles strangling the courts, health care, the military, the media, religion, morality, public education, and universities. Most of the book is taken up with a section focusing on each "tentacle."

    The Courts: Most of this chapter is spent discussing the liberal beliefs and past activities of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Vader Ginsburg. By highlighting specific passages out of documents written by her early in her career, Savage clearly paints that she is a liberal, but whiffs when trying to explain why the issues she raises are wrong; he seems to be content with "shock value" when mentioning her earlier advocacy of lowering the sexual consent age to as low as 13 without debating the question at all.

    He particularly enjoys discussing repeated instances where laws passed as ballot initiatives were later overturned by judges, stating that the judges are ignoring the will of the people by overturning laws created by popular vote. To a degree, I agree with Savage on this particular issue, but the problem is much greater than this. It comes down to an issue of defining ourselves as a representative democracy (in essence, a republic, where we elect representatives to make laws) or a popular democracy (where laws are created by popular vote). Having it one way some of the time and the other way the rest of the time makes for some very sticky legal situations, particularly for judges: do they need to treat popular laws different than those created by the representative structure?

    Health Care: This chapter mostly represents a libertarian perspective on health care, stating that it is not the job of the government to provide health care for the citizenry. He doesn't seem as harsh on treatments for involuntary ailments, but he spends most of the chapter discussing how the government should not spend money on medical treatments that are the result of personal choices of the patients (i.e., AIDS, gender reassignment, etc.).

    Savage is particularly tough on spending for fighting HIV, as he sees HIV as largely the result of a promiscuous lifestyle and thus preventative measures shouldn't come out of the pocketbooks of the citizenry. His primary complaint is that the spending for HIV research is very out of whack compared to spending per victim of breast cancer. I can't argue too much about that; I feel that research spending should basically match the expected per person rate of lethal cases in the next five years.

    Military: This section accuses liberals of hamstringing the military and preventing them from doing their job. He's not in any way saying that there is no support for the troops on the ground; Savage is instead referring to the repeated undermining of the overall war effort by liberal forces in the media.

    This is probably the most politically sensitive chapter in the book, as he assumes that the war in Iraq is completely justified because the United States toppled a brutal dictator, and thus those who opposed the war must then have supported Saddam. That's completely bogus; the issue that most liberals are raising is the question of insufficient international support and the general concept of imperialism, which is what it appears in most ways that the United States is doing.

    Media: Savage follows his worst-supported section with his most sensible section, in which he criticizes the media. Savage particularly focuses on the fact that ill-informed celebrities are given many pulpits from which to express their views without fear of retribution or open debate. He gives dozens of examples of this throughout the book.

    The one part where he somewhat overextends his argument is where he accuses Hollywood of having something of a "red list," in which you must be a liberal or else be blacklisted. He claims that this is due to the power of a number of homosexual left-wingers in charge of major studios in Hollywood, who influence the presented material with a liberal spin. The overall argument is something of a stretch, as it seems to me that production companies will generally do whatever it takes to maximize advertising dollars, liberal spin or not.

    Faith: Savage's thesis here is that the vestiges of America's Judeo-Christian heritage are being squeezed out through anti-Christianity, which is unquestionably a trend in the mainstream today. His general argument is that it is not freedom of religion or separation of church and state if religion is used as a litmus test for various things; if the United States truly had freedom of religion, it would be a complete moot point.

    A judge is required to interpret laws, for example. This interpretation means that he or she must use his or her personal beliefs in conjunction with already established precedents to decide whether laws are valid. Thus, judges are bound to have different perspectives on the same issue, and are likely to rule differently as well. It is up to the people (or the legislature) to determine if a judge can make sound decisions that reflect the political beliefs of the people, and religion is a poor litmus test for that. Why? Take me for example. I am a Christian. I would describe myself as being quite far away from the neoconservative perspective, however; I'm pretty strongly libertarian with a healthy dose of environmentalism. If religion is used as a litmus test, I would immediately be branded a "conservative," which is completely false.

    Morality: Here, Savage argues that modern America is going through a morality crisis. Much like with the section on the military, Savage has something of a hard time making his case because the case is somewhat misdirected. He tries too hard to tie "morality" with "Christianity," which simply isn't a fact. Sure, Christianity provides some sensible moral guidelines, but that does not mean that the concept of morality is interchangeable with Christianity.

    Even though the basis of the argument is flawed, he carries the argument forward to criticize Islam. Radical Islam deserves criticism; when your religion encourages you to hurt and debase others, then something has gone wrong. But that's not the criticism here; he criticize Islam as a whole because it produces such radicals, ignoring the fact that there are plenty of Christian radicals that have existed over the years; Savage really needs to read up on Jonestown, for example. Any belief structure is going to create radicalism; should we condemn all belief structures, then? Savage says we should condemn only some according to an arbitrary standard.

    Schools: Savage's primary problem with schools is the use of public funding for sex education, which he says promotes incorrect values. Mostly, his concerns are directed about educating schoolchildren about homosexuality and acceptance of it as a normal lifestyle.

    Savage here falls into the same trap that both liberals and conservatives fall into, in my eyes. Savage says that promotion of non-heterosexual lifestyles is detrimental to the youth of the United States, whereas the liberal counterbalance is that safe practice of all lifestyles should be promoted. What both sides ignore is that it isn't who you're involved with that is important, but whether or not the relationship is based on positives for both people. Homosexual, heterosexual, it doesn't matter. Does it improve the lives of both people involved? Savage criticizes the provided education, but for the wrong reasons; the educational materials he cites don't focus on what makes a relationship work for both people involved.

    Universities: Savage's last "tentacle" is wrapped around universities, which he criticizes for focusing on only the liberal perspective and not actually on presenting a truly free-thinking environment. While I do agree that I have had liberal professors who were not exactly tolerant of a conservative perspective during my college years, I also had more than a few rather conservative professors as well. Savage's criticism here mostly addresses institutions that are known for being rather liberal, such as Berkeley. By doing this, he misses out on the education that many receive in the United States.

    Universities are bound to swing towards liberal, as students are encouraged to express themselves freely, many of them for the first time in their lives. They get to try new things and hear new ideas and that naturally is going to cause questioning of many things, which is what progressive attitudes are at their core. Universities should shoot for a balanced perspective, and many achieve this; Savage is concerned that some universities are failing in this regard, and to a degree I agree with him.

    The book concludes with a lengthy discussion of his infamous stint on the television airwaves at MSNBC, where he was fired after three months for telling a caller to "get AIDS and die." Obviously, this discussion is from Savage's perspective in which he feels as though he was unfairly fired. The comment was clearly inappropriate, but if you listen to satellite feeds of a lot of shows, worse stuff is said and edited before it makes it to the air on live television; here, someone didn't use the seven second live delay to clean up Savage's speech. I realize it is inappropriate to say such things, but more than just Savage was at fault with his firing.

    Overall, the book is pretty entertaining, and Savage does a good job of outlining the conservative perspective in the guise of a critique of liberalism. He brings up a lot of issues that deserve to be discussed in a wider arena.

    However, this book has a major problem. The problem is that Michael Savage writes like a juvenile, making petty, pointless, and somewhat bigoted jokes throughout the book. Savage has a lot of good arguments, but continually referring to liberals as "red diaper doper babies" does not help the argument in any way, shape, or form.

    This book is recommended for the fact that Savage does a solid job of outlining the overall conservative philosophy while paralleling it with the liberal philosophy in the United States. However, the book is loaded with less-than-stimulating attempts at "humor" or "sarcasm" that drive down the quality of the reading. If you can get past this, Savage does have some things worth reading.

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