Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right
From the bestselling author of What's the Matter with Kansas?, a wonderfully insightful and sardonic look at why the worst economy since the 1930s has brought about the revival of conservatismEconomic catastrophe usually brings social protest and demands for change—or at least it's supposed to.... show more
From the bestselling author of What's the Matter with Kansas?, a wonderfully insightful and sardonic look at why the worst economy since the 1930s has brought about the revival of conservatismEconomic catastrophe usually brings social protest and demands for change—or at least it's supposed to. But when Thomas Frank set out in 2009 to look for expressions of American discontent, all he could find were loud demands that the economic system be made even harsher on the recession's victims and that society's traditional winners receive even grander prizes. The American Right, which had seemed moribund after the election of 2008, was strangely reinvigorated by the arrival of hard times. The Tea Party movement demanded not that we question the failed system but that we reaffirm our commitment to it. Republicans in Congress embarked on a bold strategy of total opposition to the liberal state. And TV phenom Glenn Beck demonstrated the commercial potential of heroic paranoia and the purest libertarian economics.In Pity the Billionaire, Frank, the great chronicler of American paradox, examines the peculiar mechanism by which dire economic circumstances have delivered wildly unexpected political results. Using firsthand reporting, a deep knowledge of the American Right, and a wicked sense of humor, he gives us the first full diagnosis of the cultural malady that has transformed collapse into profit, reconceived the Founding Fathers as heroes from an Ayn Rand novel, and enlisted the powerless in a fan club for the prosperous. The understanding Frank reaches is at once startling, original, and profound.
Publish date: January 3rd 2012
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
Pages no: 240
Edition language: English
, Political Science
, Social Science
It was an interesting book about how the Right used the traditional populist rhetoric of the Left to get people energized and turn their anger toward things like stopping health care reform rather than focusing on the bailouts. But as with What's the Matter with Kansas, I found myself wishing that F...
Three and a half stars.Frank makes some good points, but I wish it were a little bit more well-documented and a bit less sardonic.I've not yet read [b:What's the Matter With Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America|54666|What's the Matter With Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of A...
I don't often read current-affairs books, even when I already know I'll agree with them, because what I see in the daily headlines makes me mad enough. I picked up this one because an article in our local paper pointed out that Thomas Frank wrote much of it in the very Port Townsend Public Library w...
Outrage apparently doesn't lead to reason. At least according to this author there was no reasoned response to the outrage that followed the 2008 economic meltdown. This book reviews the political reactions to the sub-prime mortgage crisis from a liberal's point of view and finds plenty to critici...