Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?
Author: Thomas Frank
Pubpsher: Metropolitan Books
Category: Political Science
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.
or, what ever happened to the party of the people?
Author: Thomas Frank
Pubpsher: Scribe Publications
Category: Political Science
With his trademark sardonic wit and lacerating logic, New York Times-bestselling author Thomas Frank exposes how, in the last few decades, the American Left has made an unprecedented shift away from its working-class roots. Financial inequality is one of the biggest political issues of our time: from the Wall Street bail-outs — where bankers still received huge bonuses while thousands of people lost their homes — to the rise of ‘the One Percent’, who between them control 40 per cent of US wealth. So where are the Democrats — the notional party of the people — in all this? In his scathing examination of how the Democratic Party has failed to combat financial inequality, despite being given near perfect conditions for success, Thomas Frank argues that the Left in America has abandoned its roots to pursue a new class of supporter: elite professionals. Under this ‘meritocratic’ system, the educated middle class prosper, but ordinary workers continue to suffer. Unless the Democrats remember their historic purpose and win back the working class, Frank warns, the rift between America’s rich and poor will deepen further still, with dire consequences for both sides. PRAISE FOR THOMAS FRANK ‘Thoroughly entertaining … An unabashed polemic … Frank delights in skewering the sacred cows of coastal liberalism, including private universities, bike paths, microfinance, the Clinton Foundation, “well-meaning billionaires” and any public policy offering “innovation” or “education” as a solution to inequality.’ The New York Times Book Review
In this pioneering exploration of the interplay between liberalism and black nationalism, Devin Fergus returns to the tumultuous era of Johnson, Nixon, Carter, and Helms and challenges us to see familiar political developments through a new lens. What if the liberal coalition, instead of being torn apart by the demands of Black Power, actually engaged in a productive relationship with radical upstarts, absorbing black separatists into the political mainstream and keeping them from a more violent path? What if the New Right arose not only in response to Great Society Democrats but, as significantly, in reaction to Republican moderates who sought compromise with black nationalists through conduits like the Blacks for Nixon movement? Focusing especially on North Carolina, a progressive southern state and a national center of Black Power activism, Fergus reveals how liberal engagement helped to bring a radical civic ideology back from the brink of political violence and social nihilism. He covers Malcolm X Liberation University and Soul City, two largely forgotten, federally funded black nationalist experiments; the political scene in Winston-Salem, where Black Panthers were elected to office in surprising numbers; and the liberal-nationalist coalition that formed in 1974 to defend Joan Little, a black prisoner who killed a guard she accused of raping her. Throughout, Fergus charts new territory in the study of America's recent past, taking up largely unexplored topics such as the expanding political role of institutions like the ACLU and the Ford Foundation and the emergence of sexual violence as a political issue. He also urges American historians to think globally by drawing comparisons between black nationalism in the United States and other separatist movements around the world. By 1980, Fergus writes, black radicals and their offspring were "more likely to petition Congress than blow it up." That liberals engaged black radicalism at all, however, was enough for New Right insurgents to paint liberalism as an effete, anti-American ideology--a sentiment that has had lasting appeal to significant numbers of voters.
'A State Beyond the Pale' looks at the roots of anti-Israeli sentiment in Europe. The Jewish state of Israel has now acquired the status of a pariah across much of the West and especially in Europe. For many, it has become the contemporary equivalent of apartheid South Africa - a system and a state with no legitimate place in the modern world. Israel's conflict with the Palestinians and the wider Muslim world also takes place across one of the great fault lines in global politics. No-one with a serious interest in international affairs can ignore it. But why have so many people and institutions of influence in Europe chosen to place themselves on the side of that fault line which opposes Israel? Where exactly does all this hostility come from? Can this really be put down to a revival of anti-Semitism on a continent which gave the world the Holocaust? 'A State Beyond the Pale: Europe's Problem with Israel' looks at the roots of anti-Israeli sentiment in Europe and shows why there is now a risk that it may even spread to the United States. In the author's view, the Israel-Palestine conflict can be seen as a test case for the West's ability to stand up for the values it claims as its own. In Europe, important institutions and individuals are now failing that test. This book explains why.