Crichton – Mr. Politically Incorrect

Vir Sanghvi writes about Michael Crichton

I don’t know how many people mourned the passing of Michael Crichton at the beginning of November. For most of this century, Crichton was known for two things. One was his importance as a climate change denier (his fiction destroyed the argument for global warming, leading to protests from environmentalists who said that he had misrepresented facts). And the other was his role as the creator of Jurassic Park, the novel that Steven Spielberg turned into a massively profitable Hollywood franchise.

Both are not inconsiderable achievements. It requires guts to take issue with the climate change lobby, even if your fiction is more interesting than Al Gore’s movie-making. And the creation of a successful Hollywood franchise is not to be laughed at: Hundreds of writers try and fail to do this each year.

But neither of these achievements either impressed or particularly surprised me. Crichton always had the ability to take on the conventional wisdom and to fight politically correct lobbies. His novel Disclosure (later made into a so-so film with Demi Moore and Michael Douglas) was greeted with outrage by feminists because it attacked the prevailing politically correct notions of sexual harassment. But over a decade later, many of us would agree that nothing Crichton said was terribly shocking—or untrue.

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