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The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Ruleby Thomas Frank
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Republican misrule and mistaken policy is the intended fulfillment of conservative antigovernment ideology, argues this scintillating j'accuse. Frank (What's the Matter With Kansas?) surveys what he regards as the hallmarks of conservative control of Washington: a government hobbled by budget deficits, disgraced by scandals, downsized, outsourced, hollowed out and sold off to corporate interests and thus made incapable of meeting its basic responsibilities. The result of this 'political vandalism,' he contends, is a perverse propaganda triumph for conservatives, who point with gleeful cynicism to the shambles they make of government as proof that government can't do anything right. Frank presents a scathing recap of Republican mismanagement and corruption, from the Hurricane Katrina debacle to the depredations of Jack Abramoff, and combines it with a shrewd dissection of the theories of conservative ideologues who call for and celebrate the sabotaging of the state. Writing with a barbed wit and finely controlled anger, he skewers such juicy targets as libertarian strategist Grover Norquist and Michelle Malkin, 'a pundit with the appearance of a Bratz doll but the soul of Chucky.' One of the sharpest political commentators around, Frank is required reading for every concerned citizen." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
From the author of the landmark bestseller "What's the Matter with Kansas?" comes a jaw-dropping investigation of the decades of deliberate--and lucrative--conservative misrule.
From the bestselling author of Whats The Matter With Kansas?, an exposé of the Washington conservatism has built: how it works, how it doesnt, and why its here to stay
About the Author
Thomas Frank, the author of Whats the Matter With Kansas? and One Market Under God, is also the founding editor of The Baffler and a contributing editor at Harpers. Recipient of a Lannan nonfiction prize, he has been a guest columnist for The New York Times and frequently writes for Harpers, The New Republic and The New York Review of Books, among others. He lives, of course, in Washington, D.C.
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History and Social Science » American Studies » Culture Wars