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The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Ruined Government, Enriched Themselves, and Beggared the Nation

by

The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Ruined Government, Enriched Themselves, and Beggared the Nation Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the author of the landmark bestseller What's the Matter with Kansas?, a jaw-dropping investigation of the decades of deliberate — and lucrative — conservative misrule.

In his previous book, Thomas Frank explained why working America votes for politicians who reserve their favors for the rich. Now, in The Wrecking Crew, Frank examines the blundering and corrupt Washington those politicians have given us.

Casting back to the early days of the conservative revolution, Frank describes the rise of a ruling coalition dedicated to dismantling government. But rather than cutting down the big government they claim to hate, conservatives have simply sold it off, deregulating some industries, defunding others, but always turning public policy into a private-sector bidding war. Washington itself has been remade into a golden landscape of super-wealthy suburbs and gleaming lobbyist headquarters--the wages of government-by-entrepreneurship practiced so outrageously by figures such as Jack Abramoff.

It is no coincidence, Frank argues, that the same politicians who guffaw at the idea of effective government have installed a regime in which incompetence is the rule. Nor will the country easily shake off the consequences of deliberate misgovernment through the usual election remedies. Obsessed with achieving a lasting victory, conservatives have taken pains to enshrine the free market as the permanent creed of state.

Stamped with Thomas Frank's audacity, analytic brilliance, and wit, The Wrecking Crew is his most revelatory work yet — and his most important.

Review:

"A no-holds-barred exegesis on the naked cynicism of conservatism in America." Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Review:

"Glorious....Often brilliant....Franks gloom is leavened by an eye for the unexpected and the absurd."Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Well-researched and witty....Provides a powerful liberal antidote to the high-volume rantings of Bill OReilly, Ann Coulter and Fox News." Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Review:

"Franks gifts as a social observer are on display....His analysis of why there are so many libertarian think tanks in a country with so few libertarians is dead on. In Thomas Frank, the American left has found its own Juvenal." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Frank offers one damning anecdote after another. The Wrecking Crew explains how cynical conservatives have wrested control of the government by railing against its very existence, all while using federal perches to funnel billions into the pockets of lobbyists and the corporations they represent."Time

Review:

"Tom Frank has hold of something real. The Wrecking Crew can be good, spirited fun. Frank captures a quality of exuberant bullying in those of his conservative subjects he knows well enough to identify individually, rather than categorically." The New Yorker

Review:

"Franks sentences inhale and unfurl with a wit and verve...."The New York Observer

Review:

"Conservatives in office have made their share of blunders and mistakes, and Frank is at his finest in depicting some of the stunning instances of hypocrisy and idiocy in the period of Republican rule." The New York Post

Review:

"Smart, thoroughly researched, and written with wit and panache." The Wichita Eagle

Review:

"A superb follow-up to What's The Matter with Kansas?... Thorough reporting and incisive historical analysis. With genuine outrage and blasts of polemic, but Frank never allows The Wrecking Crew to become just another seething right- or left-wing political tract preaching to the choir." The Oregonian

Synopsis:

From the most astute political scoffer since H. L. Mencken, the definitive account of the conservative reign of misrule and corruption.

Hailed as a “hunk of dynamite” (Salon) and celebrated for its “satiric wit” (The New York Times Book Review) and “delighted outrage” (The New Republic), The Wrecking Crew supplies the first and — lacking future fact-finding commissions — probably the only full reckoning of what conservatism has wrought.

Casting his eyes from the Bush administrations final months of plunder to the earliest days of the Republican revolution, Thomas Frank uncovers the deep logic behind the graft and incompetence of conservatives in power. He shows how leaders dedicated to a doctrine of government by entrepreneurship proceeded to sell off the state, channeling the profits to cronies and loyalists. He surveys the federal agencies doomed to failure by the inept and even hostile staff appointed to run them. He charts the practice of wholesale deregulation and the devastating results now clear for all to see. From political scandal to mortgage meltdown, Frank documents the consequences of enshrining the free market as the logic of the state.

As conservatives retreat to lick their wounds and a new administration prepares to undo the years of misgovernment, The Wrecking Crew makes clear the challenges before the nation. A brilliant and audacious stock-taking — now thoroughly revised and updated — this is Franks most revelatory work yet.

Synopsis:

From the most astute political scoffer since H. L. Mencken, the definitive account of the conservative reign of misrule and corruption

Hailed as a “hunk of dynamite” (Salon) and celebrated for its “satiric wit” (The New York Times Book Review) and “delighted outrage” (The New Republic), The Wrecking Crew supplies the first andlacking future fact-finding commissionsprobably the only full reckoning of what conservatism has wrought.

Casting his eyes from the Bush administrations final months of plunder to the earliest days of the Republican revolution, Thomas Frank uncovers the deep logic behind the graft and incompetence of conservatives in power. He shows how leaders dedicated to a doctrine of government by entrepreneurship proceeded to sell off the state, channeling the profits to cronies and loyalists. He surveys the federal agencies doomed to failure by the inept and even hostile staff appointed to run them. He charts the practice of wholesale deregulation and the devastating results now clear for all to see. From political scandal to mortgage meltdown, Frank documents the consequences of enshrining the free market as the logic of the state.

As conservatives retreat to lick their wounds and a new administration prepares to undo the years of misgovernment, The Wrecking Crew makes clear the challenges before the nation. A brilliant and audacious stocktakingnow thoroughly revised and updatedthis is Franks most revelatory work yet.

Thomas Frank is the author of Whats the Matter with Kansas? and One Market Under God. The founding editor of The Baffler and a contributing editor at Harpers Magazine, Frank has received a Lannan award and been a guest columnist for The New York Times. He lives in Washington, D.C.

The Wrecking Crew casts back to the early days of the conservative revolution, to what Thomas Frank describes as the rise of a ruling coalition dedicated to dismantling government. But rather than cutting down the big government they claim to hate, conservatives have simply sold it off, deregulating some industries, de-funding others, but always turning public policy into a private-sector bidding war. Washington itself has been remade into a golden landscape of super-wealthy suburbs and gleaming lobbyist headquartersthe wages of government-by-entrepreneurship practiced so outrageously by figures such as Jack Abramoff.

It is no coincidence, Frank argues, that the same politicians who guffaw at the idea of effective government have installed a regime in which incompetence is the rule. Nor will the country easily shake off the consequences of deliberate misgovernment through the usual election remedies. Obsessed with achieving a lasting victory, conservatives have taken pains to enshrine the free market as the permanent creed of state.

"Frank's gifts as a social observer are on display . . . His analysis of why there are so many libertarian think tanks in a country with so few libertarians is dead on. In Thomas Frank, the American left has found its own Juvenal."Michael Lind, The New York Times Book Review
"Frank's gifts as a social observer are on display . . . His analysis of why there are so many libertarian think tanks in a country with so few libertarians is dead on. In Thomas Frank, the American left has found its own Juvenal."Michael Lind, The New York Times Book Review
 
"In his new book, Frank has shifted the focus from the metaphorical Kansas to the real Washington, from the voters to those who governnot just the president and Congress but the lobbyists, government contractors and political operatives who have shaped so much of what has gone wrong in the last eight years. The challenge of writing a book like this is to avoid wearing the reader down with gloom and outrage. Frank acknowledges this problem at the outset, in one of his characteristically glorious sentences: 'We climb to the rooftop, but we cannot find the heights of irony from which we might laugh off the blend of thug and pharisee that is Tom DeLay . . .' Nevertheless from his rooftop, he has met the challenge, often brilliantly. He tempers his rage with bitter sarcasm, and his gloom is leavened by an eye for the unexpected and the absurd."Jon Weiner, Los Angeles Times
 
"Whats the Matter with Kansas? presented red-state voters as having been gulled into voting against their real economic interests by means of dubious cultural appeals. When Obama had to spend a couple of weeks last spring backing away from his explanation of why small-town Pennsylvanians weren't voting for him ('Bittergate'), it looked as if hed got into trouble for channeling Thomas Frank . . . The Wrecking Crew offers another account of conservatives political power: they have built a mighty lobbying apparatus that has taken over Washington and disabled the normal workings of the federal government . . . Washington, as Frank sees it, plays host to a simple clash of interests: money and business on one side, the people on the other. The Wrecking Crew is written in a voice of high derisionmuch more so than the sincere, bewildered What's the Matter with Kansas?and it can be good, spirited fun."Nicholas Lemann, The New Yorker
 
“This is the scenario: Conservatives detest big government, so when they come into power they fill federal positions with inept and inexperienced loyalists and then proceed to run up massive deficits. This undermines the government's effectiveness, spurs more privatization, benefits business elites, undercuts liberals and their social programs. This perverse and cynical misuse of American government power is the centerpiece of Thomas Franks stinging new critiqueThe Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule. Frank follows his influential best-seller (What's the Matter With Kansas?) with another well-researched and witty evisceration of conservatism, a new book with expectations of huge sales in this election year . . . What the conservatives do while in power is the raison d'etre of The Wrecking Crew and is the strongest portion of the book, especially when Frank examines the Bush administrations rampant use of outside contractors (‘outsourcing) that has taken over many former functions of the federal government . . . Frank also dissects the massive growth industries of conservative fundraising and lobbying by business. Torrents of ready bucks have flooded Washington and led to inevitable scandals and downfalls at the highest levels, from Iran-Contra to U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay to uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The Wrecking Crew paints a contemptuous portrait of conservative governance and provides a powerful liberal antidote to the high-volume rantings of Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter and Fox News."John Marshall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 
"There's plenty in Thomas Frank's latest appraisal of right-wing politics to sate the appetites of liberals starved for perspective after eight years of Republican rule in the executive branch of government . . . Wrecking Crew stands as a worthy follow to the pairing of scholarship and analysis Frank exhibited three years ago in his breakout book on the blurring social and economic issues in his home state of Kansas."Steven Giegerich, S

About the Author

Thomas Frank is the author of What's the Matter with Kansas? and One Market Under God. The founding editor of The Baffler and a contributing editor at Harpers, Frank has received a Lannan award and been a columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He lives, of course, in Washington, D.C.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805090901
Author:
Frank, Thomas
Publisher:
Henry Holt & Company
Subject:
Political Parties
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Conservatism & Liberalism
Subject:
Political Process - Political Parties
Subject:
Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20090831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
8.00 x 5.25 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » American Studies » Culture Wars
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Culture
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics

The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Ruined Government, Enriched Themselves, and Beggared the Nation New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.00 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Holt McDougal - English 9780805090901 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A no-holds-barred exegesis on the naked cynicism of conservatism in America." Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Review" by , "Glorious....Often brilliant....Franks gloom is leavened by an eye for the unexpected and the absurd."
"Review" by , "Well-researched and witty....Provides a powerful liberal antidote to the high-volume rantings of Bill OReilly, Ann Coulter and Fox News."
"Review" by , "Franks gifts as a social observer are on display....His analysis of why there are so many libertarian think tanks in a country with so few libertarians is dead on. In Thomas Frank, the American left has found its own Juvenal."
"Review" by , "Frank offers one damning anecdote after another. The Wrecking Crew explains how cynical conservatives have wrested control of the government by railing against its very existence, all while using federal perches to funnel billions into the pockets of lobbyists and the corporations they represent."
"Review" by , "Tom Frank has hold of something real. The Wrecking Crew can be good, spirited fun. Frank captures a quality of exuberant bullying in those of his conservative subjects he knows well enough to identify individually, rather than categorically."
"Review" by , "Franks sentences inhale and unfurl with a wit and verve...."
"Review" by , "Conservatives in office have made their share of blunders and mistakes, and Frank is at his finest in depicting some of the stunning instances of hypocrisy and idiocy in the period of Republican rule."
"Review" by , "Smart, thoroughly researched, and written with wit and panache."
"Review" by , "A superb follow-up to What's The Matter with Kansas?... Thorough reporting and incisive historical analysis. With genuine outrage and blasts of polemic, but Frank never allows The Wrecking Crew to become just another seething right- or left-wing political tract preaching to the choir."
"Synopsis" by , From the most astute political scoffer since H. L. Mencken, the definitive account of the conservative reign of misrule and corruption.

Hailed as a “hunk of dynamite” (Salon) and celebrated for its “satiric wit” (The New York Times Book Review) and “delighted outrage” (The New Republic), The Wrecking Crew supplies the first and — lacking future fact-finding commissions — probably the only full reckoning of what conservatism has wrought.

Casting his eyes from the Bush administrations final months of plunder to the earliest days of the Republican revolution, Thomas Frank uncovers the deep logic behind the graft and incompetence of conservatives in power. He shows how leaders dedicated to a doctrine of government by entrepreneurship proceeded to sell off the state, channeling the profits to cronies and loyalists. He surveys the federal agencies doomed to failure by the inept and even hostile staff appointed to run them. He charts the practice of wholesale deregulation and the devastating results now clear for all to see. From political scandal to mortgage meltdown, Frank documents the consequences of enshrining the free market as the logic of the state.

As conservatives retreat to lick their wounds and a new administration prepares to undo the years of misgovernment, The Wrecking Crew makes clear the challenges before the nation. A brilliant and audacious stock-taking — now thoroughly revised and updated — this is Franks most revelatory work yet.

"Synopsis" by , From the most astute political scoffer since H. L. Mencken, the definitive account of the conservative reign of misrule and corruption

Hailed as a “hunk of dynamite” (Salon) and celebrated for its “satiric wit” (The New York Times Book Review) and “delighted outrage” (The New Republic), The Wrecking Crew supplies the first andlacking future fact-finding commissionsprobably the only full reckoning of what conservatism has wrought.

Casting his eyes from the Bush administrations final months of plunder to the earliest days of the Republican revolution, Thomas Frank uncovers the deep logic behind the graft and incompetence of conservatives in power. He shows how leaders dedicated to a doctrine of government by entrepreneurship proceeded to sell off the state, channeling the profits to cronies and loyalists. He surveys the federal agencies doomed to failure by the inept and even hostile staff appointed to run them. He charts the practice of wholesale deregulation and the devastating results now clear for all to see. From political scandal to mortgage meltdown, Frank documents the consequences of enshrining the free market as the logic of the state.

As conservatives retreat to lick their wounds and a new administration prepares to undo the years of misgovernment, The Wrecking Crew makes clear the challenges before the nation. A brilliant and audacious stocktakingnow thoroughly revised and updatedthis is Franks most revelatory work yet.

Thomas Frank is the author of Whats the Matter with Kansas? and One Market Under God. The founding editor of The Baffler and a contributing editor at Harpers Magazine, Frank has received a Lannan award and been a guest columnist for The New York Times. He lives in Washington, D.C.

The Wrecking Crew casts back to the early days of the conservative revolution, to what Thomas Frank describes as the rise of a ruling coalition dedicated to dismantling government. But rather than cutting down the big government they claim to hate, conservatives have simply sold it off, deregulating some industries, de-funding others, but always turning public policy into a private-sector bidding war. Washington itself has been remade into a golden landscape of super-wealthy suburbs and gleaming lobbyist headquartersthe wages of government-by-entrepreneurship practiced so outrageously by figures such as Jack Abramoff.

It is no coincidence, Frank argues, that the same politicians who guffaw at the idea of effective government have installed a regime in which incompetence is the rule. Nor will the country easily shake off the consequences of deliberate misgovernment through the usual election remedies. Obsessed with achieving a lasting victory, conservatives have taken pains to enshrine the free market as the permanent creed of state.

"Frank's gifts as a social observer are on display . . . His analysis of why there are so many libertarian think tanks in a country with so few libertarians is dead on. In Thomas Frank, the American left has found its own Juvenal."Michael Lind, The New York Times Book Review
"Frank's gifts as a social observer are on display . . . His analysis of why there are so many libertarian think tanks in a country with so few libertarians is dead on. In Thomas Frank, the American left has found its own Juvenal."Michael Lind, The New York Times Book Review
 
"In his new book, Frank has shifted the focus from the metaphorical Kansas to the real Washington, from the voters to those who governnot just the president and Congress but the lobbyists, government contractors and political operatives who have shaped so much of what has gone wrong in the last eight years. The challenge of writing a book like this is to avoid wearing the reader down with gloom and outrage. Frank acknowledges this problem at the outset, in one of his characteristically glorious sentences: 'We climb to the rooftop, but we cannot find the heights of irony from which we might laugh off the blend of thug and pharisee that is Tom DeLay . . .' Nevertheless from his rooftop, he has met the challenge, often brilliantly. He tempers his rage with bitter sarcasm, and his gloom is leavened by an eye for the unexpected and the absurd."Jon Weiner, Los Angeles Times
 
"Whats the Matter with Kansas? presented red-state voters as having been gulled into voting against their real economic interests by means of dubious cultural appeals. When Obama had to spend a couple of weeks last spring backing away from his explanation of why small-town Pennsylvanians weren't voting for him ('Bittergate'), it looked as if hed got into trouble for channeling Thomas Frank . . . The Wrecking Crew offers another account of conservatives political power: they have built a mighty lobbying apparatus that has taken over Washington and disabled the normal workings of the federal government . . . Washington, as Frank sees it, plays host to a simple clash of interests: money and business on one side, the people on the other. The Wrecking Crew is written in a voice of high derisionmuch more so than the sincere, bewildered What's the Matter with Kansas?and it can be good, spirited fun."Nicholas Lemann, The New Yorker
 
“This is the scenario: Conservatives detest big government, so when they come into power they fill federal positions with inept and inexperienced loyalists and then proceed to run up massive deficits. This undermines the government's effectiveness, spurs more privatization, benefits business elites, undercuts liberals and their social programs. This perverse and cynical misuse of American government power is the centerpiece of Thomas Franks stinging new critiqueThe Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule. Frank follows his influential best-seller (What's the Matter With Kansas?) with another well-researched and witty evisceration of conservatism, a new book with expectations of huge sales in this election year . . . What the conservatives do while in power is the raison d'etre of The Wrecking Crew and is the strongest portion of the book, especially when Frank examines the Bush administrations rampant use of outside contractors (‘outsourcing) that has taken over many former functions of the federal government . . . Frank also dissects the massive growth industries of conservative fundraising and lobbying by business. Torrents of ready bucks have flooded Washington and led to inevitable scandals and downfalls at the highest levels, from Iran-Contra to U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay to uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The Wrecking Crew paints a contemptuous portrait of conservative governance and provides a powerful liberal antidote to the high-volume rantings of Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter and Fox News."John Marshall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 
"There's plenty in Thomas Frank's latest appraisal of right-wing politics to sate the appetites of liberals starved for perspective after eight years of Republican rule in the executive branch of government . . . Wrecking Crew stands as a worthy follow to the pairing of scholarship and analysis Frank exhibited three years ago in his breakout book on the blurring social and economic issues in his home state of Kansas."Steven Giegerich, S

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