The Chicago Review Of Books Attempts To Boycott Milo Yiannopoulos – Bolsters His Rhetoric Instead


I shared my thoughts on Milo Yiannopoulos earlier this year when he was banned from Twitter. In short, I don’t much care for the man. He strikes me as more of a pantomime villain and provocateur than a thinker. He can also be incredibly nasty. I imagine he probably wouldn’t mind that assessment either. But regardless of whether I agree with him or like him, the ‘liberal’ response to his prominence has been utterly laughable and only served to increase his popularity.

Death threats, safe spaces, no platforming and Twitter bans.

One of the reasons the left and so-called liberals keep waking up to things not going their way is because at some point they decided they didn’t need to make arguments anymore. Why should they when an inflammatory label and banning someone is an easier option?

This brings me to the latest outrage over Milo Yiannopoulos. It has been reported that publisher Simon & Schuster has offered Milo a book deal worth $250, 000. I don’t know much about publishing but I do know they wouldn’t offer such a large advance did they not think Milo was sufficiently popular to return their investment. This means that like it or not, Milo has influence.

Just how does The Chicago Review of Books hope to combat the increasing popularisation of Milo’s ideas? By spitting their dummy out and ignoring them altogether it seems.

The Chicago Review Of Books claims to be “dedicated to diverse voices in literature”, yet they have publicly announced they will refuse to review any book published by Simon & Schuster in 2017 due to them publishing Milo Yiannopoulos.


Not only does this help bolster Milo’s ‘illiberal liberals’ shtick, it is also collective punishment for all the other authors published by Simon & Schuster. Authors who may despise Milo just as much as The Chicago Review Of Books appears to. How is this supporting ‘diversity in literature’ or helping to combat the ‘hate’ they find so ‘disgusting’? Author Mike Brooks make this point here:


Here we have a platform dedicated solely to reviewing books and choosing to shirk the opportunity to write a truly critical review of Milo’s ideas. If we can’t rely on those claiming to be book critics to critique books with bad ideas, who can we rely on? This is surrender, not principle.

I wrote a review of a terrible book by an appalling individual once, pointing out all the lies and poor arguments contained within. As of today, it’s been read 40,000 times and shared far and wide. I suspect it’s even been read more than the actual book itself. It’s one of the first results on Google when typing in the book title. And this is the result of one bloggers efforts.

This is a marketplace of ideas. You must either engage or get used to things not going your way each time.

Milo is laughing at the response to his book deal and relishing the prospect of saying “I told you so” next time he comes within an inch of a microphone or podium. And he’ll be right.

It’s simple: you must show that Milo is wrong and why he is wrong. Or leave the adults’ table.

Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.



  • Does anyone read books to begin with?

  • Great article – the twitter share link is over 140 characters 🙁

  • It has long been the defence of the liberal left to censor the written and spoken word, whether you agree or disagree with what Milo posits, Mr Brooks is wrong in his response that Milo would want something not publicised that he did not agree with. On the contrary, Milo is for freedom of speech and the written word, as it creates debate rather than censorship. I agree with the author of the article in as much as The Chicago Review of Books, is throwing the baby out with the bathwater by trying to blanket ban the publishers. Which will inevitably harm other author’s works due to be published in the coming year, but this is the mentality of the leftist’s ideology.

  • Excellent piece, Stephen, thank you. I will be sharing widely.

  • On the political side, Milo primarily talks about feminism, Islam, free speech and gay rights. He is not wrong. He is correct on all four counts.

    He represents a new right-wing politics that is not steeped in religiosity, war-hawkish rhetoric (peddled by Frum, McCain, Graham, Kristol, etc.). Atheists like you especially should be pleased at Milo and similar voices separating the Republican Party from religion.

    And if lefties think the right is too tough on Islam (I disagree), they merely have to take up the issue of Islam and immigration themselves to undercut Milo. But even when the American or British left address Islam, they just want to talk of its ideas with fellow elite secularists, not actually address Muslims (esp. the high birth rate), mass immigration and good solutions. If you want an Islamic reform, let’s prove it can work in the Islamic world first before bringing them all to the West. Europeans do not have an upper hand, only a rapidly declining, aging, low-fertility population.

  • It’s like that time the Hugo’s tried to burn their club to the ground instead of acknowledge conservative voices in sci-fi.

  • To answer your other tweet: No, there’s no evidence he’s a white supremacist. He’s just failed to distance himself from them so people take that as a green light to assume they agree. He’s just an opportunist who’ll use any group who happen to agree with him on any issue in order to get to the top.

    • What? Of course he has distanced himself from such people, he said he isn’t Alt-Right so many times now, what else should he do? He can’t say more than that he isn’t a member of the Alt-Right, or any Racist organization, and that he is not Racist.

  • Pingback: Labels, No Arguments and Banning – With Emma Kennedy | Godless Spellchecker's Blog

  • I’m sure that any compellingly unfavorable review of this book will be met with intellectual concession and introspection on the part of Milo’s fans, rather than a doxing and a barrage of death threats.

  • Don’t you think its ironic that people, who’s job is to review books, want to censor a publisher

  • I’m no fan of Milo, but where’s the evidence that he’s a “white nationalist”?

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