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.
‘In his new book, progressive commentator Thomas Frank says Democrats need to take a good long look in the mirror if they want answers to why blue-collar workers are feeling abandoned and even infuriated by what used to be their party.’
New York Post
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‘Over the past four decades, Frank argues, the Democrats have embraced a new favorite constituency: the professional class ? the doctors, lawyers, engineers, programmers, entrepreneurs, artists, writers, financiers and other so-called creatives whose fetish for academic credentials and technological innovation has infected the party of the working class . . . For that class, Frank argues, income and wealth inequality is not a problem but an inevitable condition.’
‘An astute dissection of contemporary Democratic politics that demonstrates, cogently and at times acidly, how the party lost the allegiance of blue-collar Americans.’
‘A tough and thought-provoking look at what’s wrong with America . . . Frank puts forth an impressive catalog of Democratic disappointments, more than enough to make liberals uncomfortable.’
‘Thomas Frank’s new book Listen, Liberal documents a half-century of work by the Democratic elite to belittle working people and exile their concerns to the fringes of the party’s platform. If the prevailing ideology of the Republican establishment is that of a sneering aristocracy, Democratic elites are all too often the purveyors of a smirking meritocracy that offers working people very little.’
‘As with Frank’s other books, Listen, Liberal is a piece of contemporary history that tells us not only what the powerful are up to, but how the trick is being pulled, with an admirable deployment of irony. . . While his previous books are essentially about devils being devils, this one shows how the angels have fallen further than they realise.’
‘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.’
New York Times Book Review
‘A must-read for entrepreneurs who want to understand what's happening this year in politics and business.’
‘An impassioned howl of rage at what Frank sees as the Democratic Party’s abandonment of the people it used to represent.’
Shaun Ley, BBC Radio 4 'The World Tonight'
‘[A] detailed, thoroughly researched polemic.’
The Huffington Post