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Regime Change Begins at Home: Freeing America from Corporate Rule Hardcover – June 9, 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 291 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers (June 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576752925
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576752920
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,030,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The titular anti-war quip gets inflated into a world system in this feisty but glib left-populist manifesto. Sociologist Derber pegs the current era as a "third corporate regime"-successor to the New Deal regime that succumbed to Reagan’s presidency-that subsumes both Republicans and Democrats. Its "five pillars" are the dominance of transnational corporations; the corporate-welfare state; permanent "social insecurity" featuring an unstable job market and shredded government safety nets; a foreign policy of "empire"; and an ideology of "the corporate mystique," a combination of free-market triumphalism and consumerism. Derber uses this scheme to organize a broad but sketchy critique of familiar left-wing targets like globalization, Bush’s tax policies, the war in Iraq, the Patriot Act and media consolidation. As the regime contains the seeds of its own destruction in the form of growing inequality and debt, Derber anticipates a change to a "New Democracy" regime, spearheaded by "social movements," that will extend Roosevelt’s New Deal, humble the corporations and guarantee good jobs and health care to all. Writing in a punchy, buoyant style, with sidebars on "Corporate Superpowers" and profiles of downsized workers, Derber mixes classic populist motifs from Ralph Nader, Michael Moore and Hegel: the co-optation of the state by monied interests, the corruption and sameness of politicians, nostalgia for a now-trampled Constitution, and an oppressive sense that our lives are being marketed to us. Unfortunately, his assumption that America’s pro-business tilt is an alien imposition by corporate elites rather than a reflection of deeper convictions and conflicts within the body politic is too simplistic, as is his vision of a big tent of liberals, conservatives, libertarians, leftist radicals, rust-belt workers, "software geeks" and the odd fundamentalist somehow burying their differences to overthrow it.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Praise for People Before Profit: ""A provocative and stimulating work, directed to issues of the highest significance.""

More About the Author

Charles Derber is Professor of Sociology at Boston College and has written 17 books - on politics, economy, capitalism, war, the culture wars, culture and conversation, and social change. He writes for and has been reviewed in the NY Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Truthout, and other leading media. His books are translated into Chinese, Korean, Tamil, German and Polish- and he is a bestseller in South Korea, done extended book tours in German bookstores and blues coffee houses, and has lectured in Italy in June for seven years. Derber is a public intellectual - shortlisted for best book in current affairs - who believes that serious ideas should be written in an accessible and entertaining style.His most recent book is Sociopathic Society: A People's Sociology of the United States. He is also a life-long social justice activist and a terrific public speaker - so contact him and try to lure him to a public talk. Check out his Youtube presentations. He is married and has a beautiful Wheaten Terrier dog named Mojo, who lives up to his name.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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It will inspire them and others, in turn.
A customer
If you have read either Corporation Nation or People Before Profit, I am sure you will want to read this new book by Charles Derber.
John Williamson
I hope my review motivates you to read his book.
Dr. Gary B. Brumback

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By John Williamson on May 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you have read either Corporation Nation or People Before Profit, I am sure you will want to read this new book by Charles Derber. In my opinion his new book provides an even more readable introduction to the ideas of an author who is on the path to becoming one of the nation's foremost public intellectuals. As far as I am concerned this is not a good book, it is a great book.
According to Derber we are currently in the midst of the "Third Corporate Regime," a political regime that began with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 and continues to the present. In case you were wondering, the "First Corporate Regime" ran from 1865-1901 (the Gilded Age) and the "Second Corporate Regime" ran from 1921-1933 (the Roaring Twenties). Thus regimes, as Derber uses the term, refer to broad swings with major realignments of power. All three are referred to as corporate regimes reflecting the marriage between corporate and political power, with big corporations having a great deal of control over the national government. A distinctive aspect of the Third Corporate Regime is that is has power that can be compared with that of both the British and the Roman Empires. It rules "not only America but much of the world."
If Bush wins in the 2004 election, Derber's view is that this will further solidify the Third Corporate Regime, particularly if he wins with substantial majorities in both houses of Congress. The fear is that the nation will become even more of a "corpocracy," his name for a pseudo-democracy in which a formally democratic government become a vehicle for corporate control. Kerry's election would reduce the damage done during the next four years, but it would not, by itself, represent genuine regime change.
A strength of this book is that Derber offers solutions.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
When I first heard that Charles Derber's new book was entitled "Regime Change Begins at Home," I chuckled, and figured that he'd joined the Al Franken/Michael Moore wing of political sloganeering. Not that I have anything against Franken and Moore -- far from it -- but I expect greater depth from Derber, whose fine "Corporation Nation" was the first book to not only sound the alarm against corporate power but also dig into its roots.
So I got a copy of "Regime Change Begins at Home" -- and found not only the hoped-for depth but also a entire new perspective on politics that, once seen, is obviously true. This is quite simply the most important political book I've read in years. I urge you to get a copy as soon as you can, read it, and spread the word to your friends to do the same. This is a book that can make a difference in the direction of our country and the world, but only if lots of people read it. Happily, Derber writes not like the academic he is but in a clear, simple, populist style.
I won't go on and on. Suffice it to say that Derber, a sociologist and political economist at Boston University, uses the word "regime" not as an epithet but in its deepest meaning. He says that American political history since the Civil War has had only five regimes, each spanning several presidencies; we are now living in the Third Corporate Regime. The First Corporate Regime lasted from 1865 to 1901, when it was supplanted by the Progressive Regime; that was supplanted by the Second Corporate Regime during the Roaring Twenties; it gave way to the New Deal Regime, which lasted longer than any other but ended in 1980 as the Third Corporate Regime took power with Ronald Reagan.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Brian on June 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Derber has hit the nail on the head again - in this case it's a bulls-eye, with Bush in the center. But much more important than Bush the individual is Derber's penetrating analysis of the corporate/political elites' control of our democratic processes. By exposing the underlying structure of this control, Derber gives us a meaningful vantage point to understand how the unabashed self-interest of a powerful minority negatigvely impacts the vast majority. I found Derber's upbeat style and witty presentation ultimately hopeful. It's a complicated topic, but this is a readable and important book. We need to wake up ourselves and our country to the reality of what's really happening under Bush (not to mention whoever wins in Nov) - let's demand our leaders and institutions do a much better job of implementing the fundamental ideals and human rights that our country was founded on and that we teach school children to believe in.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A customer on May 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am a very big Charles Derber fan. He is, in my view, the most articulate public intellectual writing about the way corporations have been taking over America, the world, and our lives. As a person greatly worried about the erosion of honest democracy in the U.S., I devoured his earlier books entitled Corporation Nation and People Before Profits. Now, Derber has written another absolute winner with profound implications for political and social renewal. In Regime Change Begins at Home Derber has produced a truthful, witty, provocative, sometimes funny, and profound analysis of corporate ascendancy. He has found a way to combine playful writing with startling insight about the state of the nation. At a time when so many Americans feel powerless to change the course of their government and their lives Derber has provided a reasoned manifesto that renews optimism about the possibility of a new and more humane America.
Please read this book right away since it has such immediate relevance for the upcoming presidential election. Derber provides the straight scoop about the ties between the war in Iraq, the horribly incestuous connections between Bush's presidency and ever-increasing corporate power, the debilitating practical and moral implications of America's empire building throughout the world, the relentless concentration of unthinkable wealth in the hands of so few, and the economic plight of average Americans. While Derber spells out the high stakes of beating Bush in November, the book offers a broader vision based on the notion of regime changes. What makes this work so compelling is Derber's ability to let us see contemporary political events from a broader historical perspective.
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