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Listen, Liberal : Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?
by Thomas Frank


Overview -

From the bestselling author of "What's the Matter With Kansas," a scathing look at the standard-bearers of liberal politics -- a book that asks: what's the matter with Democrats?

It is a widespread belief among liberals that if only Democrats can continue to dominate national elections, if only those awful Republicans are beaten into submission, the country will be on the right course.  Read more...


 
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More About Listen, Liberal by Thomas Frank
 
 
 
Overview

From the bestselling author of "What's the Matter With Kansas," a scathing look at the standard-bearers of liberal politics -- a book that asks: what's the matter with Democrats?

It is a widespread belief among liberals that if only Democrats can continue to dominate national elections, if only those awful Republicans are beaten into submission, the country will be on the right course.

But this is to fundamentally misunderstand the modern Democratic Party. Drawing on years of research and first-hand reporting, Frank points out that the Democrats have done little to advance traditional liberal goals: expanding opportunity, fighting for social justice, and ensuring that workers get a fair deal. Indeed, they have scarcely dented the free-market consensus at all. This is not for lack of opportunity: Democrats have occupied the White House for sixteen of the last twenty-four years, and yet the decline of the middle class has only accelerated. Wall Street gets its bailouts, wages keep falling, and the free-trade deals keep coming.

With his trademark sardonic wit and lacerating logic, Frank's "Listen, Liberal" lays bare the essence of the Democratic Party's philosophy and how it has changed over the years. A form of corporate and cultural elitism has largely eclipsed the party's old working-class commitment, he finds. For certain favored groups, this has meant prosperity. But for the nation as a whole, it is a one-way ticket into the abyss of inequality. In this critical election year, Frank recalls the Democrats to their historic goals-the only way to reverse the ever-deepening rift between the rich and the poor in America.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781627795395
  • ISBN-10: 1627795391
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Books
  • Publish Date: March 2016
  • Page Count: 320


Related Categories

Books > Political Science > Political Process - Political Parties
Books > Political Science > Political Ideologies - Conservatism & Liberalism
Books > Political Science > American Government - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-03-14
  • Reviewer: Staff

In an astute dissection of contemporary Democratic politics, Frank (Pity the Billionaire) asserts that stagnant wages and the decline of the American middle class were neither unavoidable nor wholly the work of a plutocratic Republican party. He skewers Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and lesser liberal lights such as former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick with the savage clarity of a man who never bought what they were selling. He tracks three grim decades of the party's abrogation of the working class that once filled its rank-and-file membership, replaced by harmful fealty and obsequious reverence toward the "Liberal Class," well-educated, impeccably credentialed white-collar professionals. By the first Clinton administration, non-college-educated laboring voters were left open to widening inequality, a shocking erosion of workers' rights, and a growing concentration of power and capital facilitated by trade pacts like NAFTA. Worse, Democratic establishment figures such as the Clintons have embraced this dynamic, failing to confront abusive financial practices and engaging in fatuous reverence for "innovation" and startup companies. Frank demonstrates, cogently and at times acidly, how the party lost the allegiance of blue-collar Americans. (Mar.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews