Part of the pleasure I take in being a librarian, a cataloger, is that I get to handle almost every new book that comes into the library. Today, I cataloged The enemy at home: the cultural left and its responsibility for 9/11 by Dinesh D'Souza. D'Souza has been on many political talk shows, promoting his book, for the last week or two; Book TV gave him 3 hours last Sunday (which I missed) to discuss his ideas. (Ok, Bill O'Reilly, let's hear how the liberal media suppress conservatives.)
My practice, when I catalog a book, is to give it a thorough scan. I want patrons to find the book easily, and I'm liberal (ahem) about adding subject headings to the catalog if I think patrons need more access than the Library of Congress allots.
Although (actually, since) I think that the central idea of this book is preposterous, I gave it a lot of attention. I'll skip the political and cultural absurdities, such as his contention that "the right of mothers to have careers" is a product of "the liberal assault against family values in traditional cultures." If I argued every one of these points -- well, let's just say that I'm damn sick of arguing these points.
However... I can't let this one go:
"Pressured by Philistines, ignorant prosecutors brought obscenity charges against works like James Joyce's Ulysses, Flaubert's Madame Bovary, and D. H Lawrence's Lady Chatterly's Lover. These are not works of equivalent value: Lawrence, for example, is markedly inferior to Joyce and Flaubert, and literary culture would not suffer greatly if any of his books had been suppressed."
Ok. Discuss. And congratulate me - I managed to keep myself from making up a subject heading that would assist patrons like myself if they were searching the catalog, although "Delusional punditry" almost was too good to pass up. I'll have to wait for the Library of Congress for that one.