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Ten years after her death, Princess Diana remains a mystery. Was she "the people's princess," who electrified the world with her beauty and humanitarian missions? Or was she a manipulative, media-savvy neurotic who nearly brought down the monarchy? Only Tina Brown, former editor-in-chief of Tatler, England's glossiest gossip magazine; Vanity Fair; and The New Yorker could possibly give us the truth. Updated with a new foreword.
What's a Wingnut? It's someone on the far-right wing or far-left wing of the political spectrum - the professional partisans and the unhinged activists, the hardcore haters and the paranoid conspiracy theorists. They're the people who always try to divide us instead of unite us. <P> Wingnuts looks at the outbreak of extremism in the opening years of the Obama administration - from the unprecedented government spending that spurred the Tea-Party protests to the onset of Obama Derangement Syndrome. John Avlon explains how hate-fueled rumors take hold (one section is called "How Obama Became Hitler, a Communist and the Antichrist"), looks at the 'hunt for heretics' that is taking place inside both parties and details the rise of hyper-partisan media. Avlon profiles preachers who are praying for the president's death, goes inside the growing "Hatriot" movement and parallels the "Birthers" and the "9/11 Truthers." The book compares current merchants of political paranoia with past fear-mongers and finds that divisive demagogues have sold this snake oil before. But the two parties' increased polarization and the echo-chamber of the internet are helping the fringe blur with the base, making the Wingnuts more powerful than ever before. <P> We are allowing paranoids, hysterics and hyper-partisans to hijack our politics - but it doesn't have to be this way. Avlon asserts that centrists need to stand up to the extremes on both sides and declare their independence. The book ends on a hopeful note - the conclusion is "How to Take America Back from the Lunatic Fringe."