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Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country Hardcover – March 17, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Ever since the early 1990s, Greider (Who Will Tell the People?) has been warning that our democracy is in peril because America’s political parties have abandoned the citizenry in favor of the interests of corporations and the power elite. Here he outlines the full substance of the predicament we find ourselves in as exhibited by the financial collapse: a culmination of our decaying democracy, the negative effects of globalism, the dominance of militarism in our financial policy, the destruction of the middle class, and the threat of global climate change. Greider argues that spreading our style of democracy through force is a new form of imperialism stemming from an arrogance of power. He sees much pain in our future if we remain on our current course but finds hope for a day of reckoning when mass social movements and a third front that fills the space between big government and the private sector will take power back into the hands of ordinary citizens. While those in power may claim that Greider’s ideas are defeatist or unpatriotic, it is during times like these that his dissenting ideas are likely to resonate with a large and angry audience. --David Siegfried

Review

"Greider's moment...may have arrived. Given the current, gloomy circumstances, all neatly summarized here, it's more difficult than ever to argue with his analysis, and he's surely correct that 'in crisis lies opportunity'...With the times propitious and unprecedented organizing tools (the Internet, especially) readily available, the people may finally be sufficiently aroused--in the manner of the late 19th-century Populists and the early New Dealers--to demand accountability from a system that has failed them. If they do, historians may point to this book as one of the prairie fire's first sparks. Astute, hopeful and humane commentary." - Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; 1 edition (March 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594868166
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594868160
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,588,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Greider is the bestselling author of five previous books, including One World, Ready or Not (on the global economy), Who Will Tell the People (on American politics), and Secrets of the Temple (on the Federal Reserve). A reporter for forty years, he has written for The Washington Post and Rolling Stone and has been an on-air correspondent for six Frontline documentaries on PBS. Currently the national affairs correspondent for The Nation, he lives in Washington, D.C.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 69 people found the following review helpful By William R. Neil on March 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Bill Greider has written a very good book, and a very needed book, about the dire situation our nation is facing. The timing of its appearance, given the curve of events, especially the public's outrage over the AIG bonuses, has made him smile, I'm sure, and seem just a bit prophetic, since he assigns a big role for growing citizen participation to build a new economy, and a "thicker" democracy. (For "the smile," see his Op-Ed in the Outlook section of the March 22, 2009 edition of the Washington Post: "Main Street is Fired Up. Does Obama Feel the Heat?" at [...]

It seems a lot of folks are calling for "Fireside Chats" these days, including NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who wants President Obama to level with the people over how tough the road ahead will be, but primarily to rally them behind the Secretary of the Treasury Geithner's Bailout II; others have called the President's recent appearance on the Jay Leno show a modern day "video" equivalent of the FDR original radio broadcasts, but this writer believes it is Bill Greider who has delivered a real Fireside Chat to the nation with his new book Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of our Country (Rodale).

To be a genuine Fireside Chat, whatever the format, success is a matter of both tone and content: a conversational, over-the-fence tone, and serious, society-shaking subject matter. Greider has done justice, and then some, to both aspects. His opening chapter, "Fair Warning," is nearly pitch perfect in putting the reader at ease that the matters which follow, grave as they are, will be understandable. And he's tough, but fair, on the nation's political leaders: "I have some hard things to say about our country.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Richard E. Noble VINE VOICE on May 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have made it a point to read all of Mr. Greider's Books. I find him to be an honest interpreter of current events. I consider him my civics teacher. He has been all over the world and has a big overview of what is happening. He knows banking. He knows economics. He knows Washington politics. He knows world trade. He knows people. And he knows and respects all of us "little" regular folks. Most important of all he has and is concerned with moral character - right and wrong; fair and unfair - what the old school once called "Social Justice."

I was very surprised to read in this book that Mr. Greider was a product of a Republican upbringing. He states that if his back was put to the wall he would choose Democrat over Republican. I don't have to have my back to the wall to make the same choice - yet I find myself often as critical of both sides as Mr. Greider.

I think Mr. Greider has come to the age where he feels any beating around the bush to be a waste of his valuable time. In this book he is very open with regards to his motivation, his goals and his dreams for America.

He has covered the Washington political scene and found our elected representatives less than inspiring. He has covered lobbying and the moneyed interests and their hold on our system. He has written an exhausting book on the Federal Reserve. He has been hired to speak to bankers by the bankers. He has been warning of this economic and financial disaster for years. He has challenged the top economists on their principles - especially Free Trade and the Global economy. He has found little hope anywhere in the established system but yet he remains strong to his commitment to a personal optimism.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence E. Bryan on August 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Greider seems like a nice man, the kind of man who helps old ladies across the street or gets cats out of trees. The kind of man my conservative friends call a bleeding heart liberal. But his careful analysis of the problems facing the United States as well as the problems the rest of the world have in coming to grips with the military power of the United States, makes this book well worth reading. If you agree with his conclusions or not, go read it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Mason on April 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country William Greider presents a readable view of the current financial crisis and how we got here. He puts the spotlight on big banks, big business, and Wall Street and their collusion with our government over the last 30 yrs. Congress is in the pocket of these three, forming an oligarchy which rules for itself to the detriment of the middle class and the poor. The people need to take back their government with reasonable rules and regulations for the control of the financial system and business and to restore real democracy in the USA before we complete our downward spiral into a banana republic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J.L. Populist on December 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
COME HOME,AMERICA is William Greider's best book yet. It's one of a number of recent books that was written to address the current financial catastrophe. His viewpoint is more of a populist view.

Some of the many issues that he correctly assesses in this book are the military expenses that could be spent on domestic programs rather than maintaining a military presence around the globe.
And the Federal Reserves direct role in globalization and loss of American jobs in outsourcing.
Mr. Greider details the Fed's role in favoring Wall Street and screwing the middle class laborers.
He advocates reforming the Fed.

On page 32 the author explains one of the problems in our government-
"Under both Democrats and Republicans, the U.S. government first and foremost promotes and defends the fortunes of America's multinational corporations and financial firms."

He also takes a critical(and accurate)look at U.S.- China trade relations.

Mr. Greider offers ideas for redeeming some of what our country has lost.
I like his two-pronged solution to the depletion of American jobs and the gradual death of the middle class.

This book is stimulating at a time when thinking and government policies are in need of a change.
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