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One Market Under God: Extreme Capitalism, Market Populism, and the End of Economic Democracyby Thomas Frank
Synopses & Reviews
One Market Under God is a cogent, fiercely entertaining, and often scathing assault on the institutions and pretensions of the new capitalist order and the tyranny of the almighty market.
At no other moment in American history have the values of business and the corporation been more nakedly and arrogantly in the ascendant. In One Market Under God, social critic Thomas Frank examines the morphing of the language of American democracy into the cant and jargon of the marketplace. Combining popular intellectual history with a survey of recent business culture, Frank traces an idea he calls "market populism"-the notion that markets are, in some transcendent way, identifiable with democracy and the will of the people. The belief that any criticism of things as they are is elitist can be seen in management literature, where downsizing and ceaseless, chaotic change are celebrated as victories for democracy; in advertising, where an endless array of brands seek to position themselves as symbols of authenticity and rebellion; on Wall Street, where the stock market is identified as the domain of the small investor and common man; in newspaper publishing, where the vogue for focus-group-guided "civic journalism" is eroding journalistic independence and initiative; and in the right-wing politics of the 1990s and the popular social theories of George Gilder, Lester Thurow, and Thomas Friedman.
Frank's counterattack against the onslaught of market propaganda is mounted with the weapons of common sense, a genius for useful ridicule, and the older American values of economic justice and political democracy. Lucid and intellectually probing, One Market Under God is tinged with anger, betrayal, and a certain hope for the future.
Book News Annotation:
A social critic offers a scathing assault on the institutions and pretensions of the new capitalist order and the tyranny of the almighty market. He examines the morphing of the language of American democracy into the jargon of the marketplace, and traces the notion that markets are identifiable with democracy and the will of the people. He looks at the ideas of recent business culture in management, advertising, Wall Street, newspaper publishing, politics, and popular social theories. Frank is founding editor of The Baffler, a magazine of cultural criticism.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the editor of the brilliantly iconoclastic magazine "The Baffler" comes a cogent, fiercely entertaining and sometimes bare-knuckled assault on the institutions and pretensions of hip, postmodern capitalism in all its many manifestations.
About the Author
Thomas Frank is a founding editor of The Baffler, a magazine of cultural criticism. He holds a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Chicago and is the author of The Conquest of Cool and coeditor of Commodify Your Dissent: Salvos from The Baffler. He has regularly been quoted by, appeared on, or written for National Public Radio, ABC's World News Tonight, The Wall Street Journal, Harper's, The Nation, and many other outlets.
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