x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Ripping yarns

Filmmaker Michael Moore's memoir begins with a chapter on the backlash following his Academy Awards acceptance speech in 2003, in which he condemned George W Bush for "sending us to war for fictitious reasons".

Here Comes Trouble
Michael Moore
Allen Lane
Dh65

Filmmaker Michael Moore's memoir begins with a chapter on the backlash following his Academy Awards acceptance speech in 2003, in which he condemned George W Bush for "sending us to war for fictitious reasons".

His rewards, he says, included having his Oscar statuette vandalised by customs officials, having manure dumped on his front lawn and being spat at, attacked and abused whenever he showed his face in public. While this provides fascinating insight into life at the centre of a media storm, unfortunately, the rest of his book is much less engaging and consists of a series of chapters detailing scrapes from his younger years.

These stories include some fantastic claims: such as how he ended racial segregation in the Elks Lodges by denouncing the social club during a school speech competition, and that his self-run newspaper forced US Congress into passing laws forbidding police from interfering in journalists' investigations.

Moore's desire to support the little man and swim against the tide is laudable. But his self-aggrandising tendencies give his conservative opponents plenty of ammunition with which to attack him all over again.