From Publishers Weekly
The emotional fervor generated by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has helped a domestic neoconservative agenda, as well as altered a historical pattern in which governments waging war wind up expanding civil rights and social programs, or so argues sociologist Piven (Why Americans Dont Vote). The turn to preemptive war and the disregarding of international linkages, she claims, is part of a domestic strategy, just as the Cold War justified the domestic Red Scare. Piven doesnt add original research; rather she synthesizes a wide range of reportage and commentators (Chalmers Johnson, Kevin Phillips, Naomi Klein, Garry Wills, Jonathan Schell, etc.) in sometimes bloglike fashion. She finds Bush backers in Congress invoked the need to avoid partisan bickering in wartimethus hastening passage of corporate-friendly tax-cut legislation and deregulation. Meanwhile, cuts in federal spending increased pressure on the states to cut back their own social spending. Piven doesnt pause much to analyze why the opposition Democrats and others let this happen, but she does argue that the fallout from the wars make the administration vulnerable in the upcoming election. "War itself cannot be an effective cover for this ruse for long," she concludes, predicting (while at the same time working to foster) an atmosphere conducive to regime change.
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A brilliant and provocative theory of what's driving the new imperialismand no, it's not the oil, stupid! -- Barbara Ehrenreich
After all that has been written on the Iraq war, Frances Fox Piven supplies the missing piece of the puzzle. -- Fred Block, author of The Vampire State
Frances Fox Piven has hit the nail on the head as usual. -- Theodore J. Lowi, author of The End of Liberalism
Good fuel for arguments with the Republican next door. -- Kirkus Reviews
Superb and provocative. -- The Capital Times
Synthesizes a wide range of reportage and commentators. -- Publishers Weekly
The most thoroughgoing, detailed indictment of George W. Bush and his cronies that has appeared between two covers. -- Peter Edelman, author of Searching for America's Heart