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150 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent exposition
Right on target, bravo! The real threat to the values and traditions of the Republic comes not from liberals, as neo- and radical conservatives would have us believe, but from an alliance of secretive government, timid legislature, judiciary with little respect for constitution and big money controlling what most Americans hear and see every day through the media...
Published on May 16, 2004 by SK

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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps a more interesting book today than when it was released
I'd like to have liked this more, but there's two reasons I couldn't.

He starts strong, giving a litany of what he thinks is wrong with American politics and business life. But the more you listen to his positions on big business activities like Enron and WorldCom, you may find yourself thinking "but it's not like you were an outsider during all of this". Reich...
Published on July 5, 2009 by Don McGowan


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150 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent exposition, May 16, 2004
By 
SK (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
Right on target, bravo! The real threat to the values and traditions of the Republic comes not from liberals, as neo- and radical conservatives would have us believe, but from an alliance of secretive government, timid legislature, judiciary with little respect for constitution and big money controlling what most Americans hear and see every day through the media.
"Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may commence persecutor, and better men be his victims... From the conclusion of this war we shall be going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this war, will remain on us long, will be made heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion."
Thomas Jefferson, "Notes on the State of Virginia", response to query 17, (1781).
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135 of 155 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reich inspires by telling the truth, May 20, 2004
By A Customer
In this book Robert Reich continues to be the voice of reason in America. By exposing the dramatic attack tactics Republicans have used to bully, con, and seize America and by reminding us of the values on which we have built a magnificent and hopeful democracy, Reich provides both reason and hope for the future. Is it right that we should be condemning people for what they do in their bedrooms but ignore the atrocities and treasons committed in American boardrooms? Appendix A of 'Reason' illustrates how the American public has been surveyed as a very tolerant, rational, compassionate, open, and enlightened body but has been made to believe that it is unpatriotic to question and disagree with those who would give tax cuts to the rich and wage war without the support of a world coalition. More importantly than exposing Republican tactics, Reich instructs Democrats on how to shed the lethargy that has plagued them and gives hope that with organization and true, American passion we will restore our reputation and future as the great leader of the world-moral leader and not simply military leader. This book is what Americans need to hear and remember.
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83 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There Is Hope Yet, May 11, 2004
By 
Philip Gulley (Danville, IN United States) - See all my reviews
I have long been a fan of Robert Reich and this book confirms what I've always believed - that the fiscal policies articulated by liberals - which enhance the lives of all Americans, not just the richest ones - are the only hope for our country. Thank you, Robert Reich, for your fiscal vision and your prudent, gracious care for the least of these.
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199 of 243 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Piercing the Cloud Of Unreason, May 11, 2004
A good and noble project is REASON, but one which ultimately fails. Not because Reich is not reasonable. Not because he is not clear-eyed, prudent, and good-humored as well.
No, REASON fails because fair reason, that powerful engine of the Enlightenment and a mainstay of the Founding Fathers, has been short-circuited by 1) the socially corrosive bought-and-paid-for cant of the right-wing libertarian think tank crowd, 2) the intolerant and divisive fulminations of Christian Right and their self-appointed public scolds, and 3) the tendentious free-market fables told by the Chicago "School" to serve and protect the prerogatives of the wealthy. Perhaps most threatening of all to sweet reason is 4) the trillion megawatt transmission system carved out of the public airwaves that stuffs this quasi-philosophic farrago of half-truths and outright lies into the ears of a stunned American public.
Reich intends REASON as a kind of handbook for the politically moderate American who knows that the grand egalitarian tradition is under siege, wants to understand how the Radcons have done it, and wants to do something about it. Reich knows that many Americans who grew up in a more optimistic, yes, a kinder and gentler liberal America are at a loss in trying to understand and counter the manipulative rhetorical tricks and absolutist dogma of the Radcon crowd. (Radcon is Reich's shorthand for the new model conservative -- the radical conservative -- a species of political animal bearing little resemblance to either the traditional Burkean conservative,or to that moderate, fiscally conservative Republican who until just recently held the Radcon's revanchist tendencies in check.)
With REASON, Reich shows how the Radcons have stacked the deck of public discourse through various debating club stratagems -- the classic argument from authority (because I said so and I'm in charge) and perhaps the even more favored "slippery slope" argument (if we let one person spit out their car window, then everyone will spit out their car windows and soon no one will be able to drive because all the spit will make it impossible to see out the windows and chaos and anarchy will ensue and that mustn't be allowed to happen, and so more police must be hired and more jails built).
Reich also shows how Radcon absolutism works, too. He shows that the seemingly contradictory Radcon "philosophies" -- libertarianism, "objectivism," fundamentalism -- do share one simple idea: that man and womankind are evil. Further, generally speaking, evil is in these philosophies anything that might give more power to those who traditionally have had less power. This means more power given to women, gays, and people who are not white is evil. It means that more power given to people who are not religious in the way that they ought to be religious, and people who are poor are evil. It means that people who do not believe that the Market God and His biblical counterpart form a perfect interlocking machine that impartially sorts humanity into the deserving and undeserving are evil. It means that anyone who believes that humanity can and should make decisions about what is good for humanity is evil. This, of course, describes a core liberal belief. It is also a core tenet of democracy which believes with some optimism tempered with some reasonable amount of pessimism that through discussion evil might avoided, that the common good might be found and that provision might be made for it.
REASON ultimately fails to do what Reich acknowledges must be done to stop the Radcon threat to American society: light a fire in the reader, a burning, all consuming fire of commitment to the tenets of liberalism that surpasses the absolutist Manichean view of the Radcon. Unfortunately, Reich's belief in and reliance on reason is exactly why traditional liberalism is fast disappearing as a viable political philosophy in these United States. Reason, at its heart is merely reasonable and as such is a weak argument against the overwhelming moral absolutes of the Market God,the other God, and their handservants, dissembling and deception. In this contest, REASON is overmatched, overwhelmed and overturned. When the liberal says "let us reason together," the Radcon cries "60s radicals almost destroyed this country, and you're just like them!"
Still, perhaps there is hope for Reich's cause. In books like REASON and MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS (by Godfrey Hodgson) one can begin to see a slow recovery of Liberalism's strength, i.e., its coherent philosophy of equality and justice and its abiding belief that man is more or less good, and capable of doing good through institutions in addition to churches, the market and the military which are the only institutions the Radcons endorse even as they have taken over the government, the one institution which is intended to be by the people, of the people and for the people, and which in the Radcon view is responsible for much of the evil in the world. Through such books, liberalism's condition has perhaps been stabilized. What is necessary now is a bold new prescription, a prescription building on a new COMMON SENSE, one that will cleanse and bind up the many wounds the Radcons have inflicted upon the American body politic, that will contain a message of hope and freedom that will lift its spirit, arm it properly against its powerful foes, and send it marching bravely into battle against this terrifying and unreasonable enemy of democracy.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Encouragement for Liberalism, April 12, 2005
By 
E. David Swan (South Euclid, Ohio USA) - See all my reviews
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In `Reason', Robert Reich labels the current crop of conservatives `Radcons' for radical conservatives. His intention is to differentiate the radical conservatives from tradition conservatives who appear to be a dying breed. The Radcons are recognized by their extremism including a pathologic faith in the free market and supply side economics as well an intense hatred for government safety nets including welfare, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Many Radcons go so far as to encourage tax cheating while the White House Radcons work to de-claw the IRS and SEC. `It's YOUR money' intones George W. Bush but the reduction in tax revenues means a reduction in services and safety nets. As Reich points out this kind of Darwinian, everyone for themselves attitude may work well for a frontier economy but it doesn't work so good for a post modern society. It's also one of the many ironies of the Radcon movement to push extreme patriotism with an utter lack of civic responsibility.

As Clinton's Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich it probably most at home discussing business and economic matters and this is where the book shines. Reich is a big proponent of free trade and confesses that when it comes to protectionism the Democrats are as bad if not worse than the Republican's. `Reason' features a great explanation of Supply Side Economics and why it doesn't work. The idea is to reduce taxes on unearned income such as stock dividends and inheritance taxes. Not coincidently these are the taxes paid by the wealthy. The wealthy will then use the extra money to invest in American business causing companies to modernize and increase labor which will then spur a spike in the nations GDP. The problem that Reich points out is that the wealthy tend to have little to no national allegiance when it comes to investing. Another great book on the subject is Neoconomy by Daniel Altman. Altman pointed out that companies don't tend to modernize when they're already producing efficiently and production isn't currently a problem in the U.S. Rather than invest in modern equipment many companies are just creating gigantic golden parachutes for their executive staff. Reich also gives an explanation on how the national GDP can actually be a very misleading indicator of the health of the economy.

The point Robert Reich tries to make is that liberals don't just have complaints they have solutions. Globalization is inevitable and the United States needs to prepare for truly stateless companies. There are two routs the United States can take. We can make the United States attractive by offering the world's best infrastructure, a safe environment and a top notch, well trained work force OR we can offer cheap labor. The Radcons have chosen the Wal Mart route. Reich points out that the U.S. will never be able to compete on cheap labor unless we dramatically reduce our standard of living. The liberal answer is investing in education, health and infrastructure and THAT requires a collective effort. Let's see, strengthening and improving the United States, one might almost accuse liberals of being *gasp* patriotic and pro-American.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it, June 16, 2004
By A Customer
It is easy to see that Robert Reich frightens the right--look how rapidly they spring forth to trash his book without having even read it. Mr. Reich is a literate, gentle, well-spoken individual with a clear and untroubled mind, which makes him a refreshing change from the talk show hosts in the elephant echo chamber. Do not miss this book.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps a more interesting book today than when it was released, July 5, 2009
I'd like to have liked this more, but there's two reasons I couldn't.

He starts strong, giving a litany of what he thinks is wrong with American politics and business life. But the more you listen to his positions on big business activities like Enron and WorldCom, you may find yourself thinking "but it's not like you were an outsider during all of this". Reich was in the Clinton White House. He was Secretary of Labor. He was there. Sure, Clinton didn't control the Congress, but people listen when a Cabinet Secretary talks. He didn't speak up then, so he waives a bit of his moral right to speak now.

2. This book isn't actually about Why Liberals Will Win. It's about what Robert Reich thinks is wrong with conservatism. That's fine, but you may find yourself waiting for the conclusion that never comes.

The book becomes a more interesting read today, with Barack Obama in the White House, than it was when it was released during the George W. Bush presidency and the liberal time in the wilderness. You can see how ideas like the ones Reich advocates are coming back into the national discourse. We'll see if it turns out he was right...
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please read the book, or go to a message eboard..., June 12, 2004
By 
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If the "people" (Radcons) posting "reviews" (blind baseless attacks) of the book had actually read it or attempted to read it with help from an educated adult, then they would not be the slavering, selfish, egocentric, near-mindless idiots that they reveal themselves as...when they post an attack on a political party instead of a review...ON AMAZON.COM... Surely there are better places to vent one's spleen than here?
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful in its simplicity, February 10, 2005
I worry that the subtitle of this outstanding book will scare away people who desperately need to read it. Of course, Reich really does hope and believe that "Liberals will win the battle for America", but the depth and meaning behind his statement is a universe away from the "evil liberal" vs "rabid conservative" tone of too many political books (Ann Coulter and Al Franken come to mind). Throughout this short, clearly written, extremely readable book, he speaks in terms of traditional liberal ideals, avoiding unnecessary and overstated labels for political parties or for individuals. His praise is direct and clear, his criticism precise and well-argued.

This book contains the first clear description I've seen of the fundamental source of tension between the left and right: Reich strongly spells out liberal ideas of social justice and equality, but brace yourself, he acknowledges that there must also be personal responsibility and consequences for anti-social behavior. Most importantly, he discusses the difficulty and the challenge involved in balancing these two sides. This simple and seemingly obvious idea is skipped over too much in political literature; its mere acknowledgement, I believe, could aid in making both sides just CALM DOWN and work out some issues.

Overall, Reich's book can be read quickly, but its ideas are powerful and logical. I highly recommended it to anyone interested in current political ideas and controversies.
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36 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very excellent read, May 31, 2004
By 
Mr. T. P. (massachusetts, US) - See all my reviews
Very insightful book. My only complaint is that it doesn't spend enough on religious and cultural issues...maybe a bit much on economics. Still, what it does have to say is true and needs to be heard.
One more problem: the title and cover might put off some perspective readers. I like how it's a bit in the style of a "call to arms", but still, that's not a good way to keep closeminded conservatives to take a look at it.
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Reason: WHY LIBERALS WILL WIN THE BATTLE FOR AMERICA
Reason: WHY LIBERALS WILL WIN THE BATTLE FOR AMERICA by Robert B. Reich (Audio Cassette - May 11, 2004)
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