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Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? Hardcover – March 15, 2016
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“Thoroughly entertaining . . . Frank delights in skewering the sacred cows of coastal liberalism . . . he argues that the Democratic party―once “the Party of the People”―now caters to the interests of a “professional managerial class” consisting of lawyers, doctors, professors, scientists, programmers, even investment bankers . . . A serious political critique.”
―New York Times Book Review (front page)
“What makes Frank’s book new, different and important is its offer of a compelling theory as to how and why the party of Jefferson, Jackson and Roosevelt is now so unlikely to champion the economic needs of everyday people. . . . In such a looking-glass world, Listen, Liberal is a desperately needed corrective.”
―History News Network
“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
“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.”
“Important . . . engaging . . . An edgy―even disturbing―analysis of the Democratic Party’s jilting of its traditional base.”
―The National Book Review
“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.”
“Democrats often use the fact that Republicans have gone off the deep end to ignore their left flank, on the grounds that those liberals have nowhere else to go politically. Listen, Liberal contributes to the literature that expresses deep frustration with that decision, the fuel for a revolt.”
―The Fiscal Times
“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 realize.”
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The difference between Republicans and Democrats ain’t what it used to be, according to Frank. The Democrats have decided to put all their eggs in one basket: professionals. They staff their offices with them, just like the Republicans use only lawyers from the Federalist Society. Their backers are Wall Streeters, because the Democrats are at least as generous to Wall Street as the Republicans when in power. For the wealthy, it’s a win-win. Doesn’t matter who gets in. So while Republicans consider their base the uneducated, bootstrap entrepreneurs who create jobs, the Democrats consider their base the highly educated, networked professionals who create jobs. Two sides of the same coin. And neither one can be bothered with the rest of the population except when vote-gathering. Then, for a brief period, it’s all about inequality and jobs.
Frank focuses on the last two Democratic presidents, Clinton and Obama, and the upcoming contender – Hillary Clinton. He autopsies their administrations (and Hillary’s part in them) and finds them all the same – mouthing platitudes to gain votes from the electorate, then reverting to type and removing any and all support for them so they can to deliver on promises made to the rich.Read more ›
One of my favorite quotes was:
“Economies aren’t ecosystems. They aren’t naturally occurring phenomena to which we must learn to acclimate. Their rules are made by humans. They are, in a word, political. In a democracy we can set the economic table however we choose.”
Let's start choosing how the table gets set!
I don't mean to get all political on Amazon, but Frank does a brilliant job breaking down the empty promises of Democrats during election season since the Clinton era and the things they actually accomplished for working class people which is very little to nothing. Frank's dissection of the way in which meritocracy and the rise of the professional class has allowed the Democrats to turn their backs on serious issues of inequality is compelling--and scary. It's pretty damning evidence I have to admit that this book helped me challenge my own perspective on my so-called liberalism. So glad Thomas Frank has stepped into the ring this election season.
In order to regain true health, our economy needs a new approach, one that gives great consideration to the needs of working people. And to get that it will need a political party that actually represents this majority of the electorate.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Liberals, wake up! Reading Frank's book is a real eye opener if you are suffering from the illusion that the Democratic Party hasn't been instrumental in plotting the downfall of... Read morePublished 19 minutes ago by John T. Earl
Excellent book, filled with important facts. I had forgotten that Bill Clinton had agreed with Gingrich to privatize social security, i.e. Read morePublished 55 minutes ago by Wayne Waxman
Well researched. Mr. Frank makes a persuasive argument about the "new" Democratic Party and it's part in the decline of the American Middle Class.Published 2 hours ago by terry lipke
This book should be required reading for anyone in liberal politics or media. Democrats desperately need to absorb the lessons within. Read morePublished 11 hours ago by NYCLES
Lurking behind this important book is the idea of the Post-industrial Society, which was introduced by the respected sociologist Daniel Bell in 1973. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Jim Morris
Well written. Well researched. Interesting read. Well worth the tim .Published 1 day ago by Gregg Ronzo
The author nails it until the Obama presidency.
As a 20-year old, this book helped me to understand the main constituency of today's Democrats: professionals. Read more
Plain talk pulls away the mystique of Neo-liberalism, even in the Obama variation. Bernie represents the effort to pull the Democrats back to the class on whose backs they rode... Read morePublished 2 days ago by M Zin
You better read this book before you try and understand what in the world is going on this election year. In other words, a must-read for 2016.Published 2 days ago by Chester Corpt