Pity the Billionaire

This past Sunday – New Year’s Day – The Boston Globe ran my review of Thomas Frank’s Pity The Billionaire as the lead review in the books section. You can find the review here.

A bit from the piece:

Welcome to election year – we’ve started our initial descent. The Iowa caucus looms, and in 310 days the polls will open and we’ll respond to the ludicrously expensive carnival of recrimination, strategic cynicism, and merciless sanctimony of campaign politics. The next 11 months will deliver much over-hyped stagecraft and little statecraft. Rather than a substantive debate on the most fundamental issues confronting the country – issues that reveal radically different conceptions of politics and human nature, such as how best to steward the physical health and financial security of our fellow citizens – what we’ll receive is a series of well-financed caricatures of political engagement.

None of this is surprising.

What is surprising, according to Thomas Frank’s “Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right,’’ is that the American right not only retains legitimacy but has thrived despite the 2008 economic collapse and ongoing recession, the direct consequence, he says, of ever-expanding conservative influence. “Pity the Billionaire,’’ which inaugurates the extended political publishing season, offers a spirited, acerbic, stylish exploration of this Republican resurrection.


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