- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; Edition Unstated edition (February 17, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316185434
- ISBN-13: 978-0316185431
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 58 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #619,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power Hardcover – February 17, 2015
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"Provocative....A perceptive reading of the current zeitgeist."―Michael Kazin, Slate
"Fraser offers a sweeping, forcefully argued comparison between, on the one hand, the economy, ideology, and politics of the first Gilded Age and, on the other, the contemporary political scene."―Kim Phillips-Fein, Atlantic
"Sweeping and ambitious....Fraser weaves together a rich tapestry of history, statistics and barely suppressed outrage."―Maura Casey, Washington Post
"Fascinating....As Fraser forcefully shows, during the first Gilded Age American elites were threatened with more than embarrassing statistics."―Naomi Klein, New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice)
"Delivered with real verve....Like Marx in the Communist Manifesto and Thomas Piketty's Capital, but from an American perspective, Fraser writes majestically if not almost poetically about the making of capitalism."―Harvey J. Kaye, Daily Beast
"Fraser is particularly passionate and penetrating in his analysis of our present state of submission and surrender. His intention is not just to chronicle the change but to explain why it happened."―Jon Wiener, Los Angeles Times
"A sharp-edged, completely fascinating look at American history and the contemporary politics of the haves and have-nots."―Vanessa Bush, Booklist
"Fraser's work shines as an angry but cogent denouncement of America's growing wealth disparity. Highly recommended."― Library Journal
"An absorbing, vigorous account of class politics....an excellent, very readable recreation of an authentically American form of working-class militancy and its eclipse."―Publishers Weekly
"Fraser leads the reader on a fascinating and relevant journey."―Brian Tanguay, Santa Barbara Independent
About the Author
Steve Fraser is the author of Every Man a Speculator, Wall Street, and Labor Will Rule, which won the Philip Taft Award for the best book in labor history. He also is the co-editor of The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, The Nation, The American Prospect, Raritan, and the London Review of Books. He has written for the online site Tomdispatch.com, and his work has appeared on the Huffington Post, Salon, Truthout, and Alternet, among others. He lives in New York City.
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I’m a labor activist, former Chief Steward for 12 years, an AFL/CIO labor council delegate and a former member of the Teamsters (15 years) and a retired member of AFSCME (26 years).
I’ve fought the “good fight” but it was mostly against the Union bureaucracies. The Internationals have been coopted for years. They purged the leftists out of the Unions in the late forties and fifties. It has been downhill ever since.
If you need proof about the labor and management collusion read former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich’s book Locked in the Cabinet, pages 98-100.
Two things destroyed the private sector Unions: deregulation and NAFTA.
That left the public sector Unions which met its Waterloo in Madison Wisconsin in 2011.
I sometimes read books that might suggest a strategy for change, a new way to fight back. Age of Acquiescence, leaves it up to the reader to access the problem and decide what to do. In other words Frasier doesn’t have a solution but he definitely understands the problem. My working life experiences will attest to that.
I found it interesting that many reviewers question Mr. Fraser’s vocabulary choices. Well, I too had to check the dictionary quite often but I don’t see why people would find that troubling. Personally, I think Mr. Fraser was showing respect for the readers by not talking down to them.
Sometimes you just have to bring down a failing structure to prevent people from getting hurt in the future and then put up a new and better one. Our Founding Fathers told us what our responsibilities would be in the future.
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776
THE FUTURE IS NOW!
I’m about half way through, having just finished reading chapter 8, “Back to the Future: The Political Economy of Auto-Cannibalism”. This is an astonishing, devastating, detailed account of how the financial sector over the past several decades has exploited, destroyed and consumed the capital of the industrial age which had accumulated of over a hundred years, turning it into obscene profits from themselves, while throwing millions of workers into unemployment and poverty and doing great harm to our commonwealth. The powerful elite have cannibalized their own nation and people.
As I belong to a retired generation who are in our eighties, many of us were able to avoid poverty and hope to be able to pay our expenses to the end without becoming a burden for our children. But we have been watching our children struggle and slide into a standard of living below ours. Worse yet, we fear that our beautiful grandchildren will be living on a subsistence income or even fall below the poverty level.
Now the hopeful thing about chapter 8 is that is gives a very detailed description of the biggest transfer of wealth from the middle and low income groups to the small powerful elites in all of human history. And if we can understand how it happened in the past decades, then we might be able to figure out how it can be reversed and corrected. It will not be easy as the elite have grown more powerful by hundreds of trillions of dollars in my generation & they will do everything in their power to keep their advantage and to expand it even more. As they have bought our elected officials with their campaign contributions etc. we have learned that we can’t expect much help from them.
How do we wake up those who vote against their own children’s future? I suppose to begin we must learn how to articulate the situation in ways that get their attention and are persuasive. For our own understanding I recommend that we continue to read and join progressive groups. Other than Fraser’s book I recommend for your reading “Killers of the Dream” by Lillian Smith and “The Price of Inequality” by Joseph Stieglitz.
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