I always found Rush Limbaugh to be intelligent, thoughtful and, most important to me, I respected his beliefs because he held them so strongly. All this and yet I rarely agree with him about anything. He accomplished a great deal with humor, making me laugh even when it hurt. He takes pleasure in often being cruel, which I don’t respect, but Limbaugh is not always the picture that his political opponents paint.

So I was intrigued to read Zev Chafets’ new quasi-biography, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One. It’s an unusual approach, a sometimes first-person account in which the author takes us along on his own journey of discovery. And it’s unique because of the direct access Limbaugh gave Chafets via face-to-face interviews, show transcriptions and email.

Love Limbaugh or hate him, there’s a lot of valuable insight in this book. I read it just after Jonathan Alter’s new history, The Promise: Barack Obama, Year One, and a middle of the roader like me couldn’t ask for a better balance.

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