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American Ruling Class

4.1 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

THE AMERICAN RULING CLASS is a morality tale set to music about two Yale students who seek their opportunities after graduation. Lewis Lapham, the renowned essayist, author and longtime Harper+¯-+-+s Magazine editor, conducts them through the corridors of power +¯-+-+ Pentagon press briefings, the World Economic Forum, philanthropic foundations, Washington law firms, banks, the Council on Foreign Relations and New York society dinners. As they make their way, the real-life luminaries they meet become characters in a dramatic story about power, its responsibilities and abuses. The subject is our country+¯-+-+s most taboo topic: class, power and privilege in our nominally democratic republic.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Lewis Lapham, Caton Burwell, Paul Cantagallo, Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Hollis Witherspoon
  • Directors: John Kirby
  • Writers: Lewis Lapham, John Kirby, Libby Handros
  • Producers: Caroline Camougis, Caroline Stevens, Chris Hilton, Erich Sturm
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Alive Mind
  • DVD Release Date: January 13, 2009
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001HM2CE2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,091 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "American Ruling Class" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
There are very few movies that warrant the blowing of me away. Enough about me.

At first glance, this movie might appear a bit erudite. Go right ahead and move past that - if you listen carefully, you will hear scintillating brilliance and dry urbane wit that rivals Monty Python's Quest for Holy Grail.

Of course this is not a comedy. But sometimes, dry can be humorful in an incredulous, eye-opening sort of way.

One of the things that absolutely floored me is how revealing this movie is. You will see people who are the real deal (extraordinary people from powerful places and top positions in the stratosphere of the global elite) say astounding, unbelievable things. And, they mean every word. It's mindblowing.

Don't be surprised if you say to yourself, "Did I hear correctly?" "No, I couldn't have heard that - let me rewind..." "They're joking, right?" "This is a put on... isn't it?" "Are they impersonators? Dub-ins?" "Are they who they say they are?" "How did the movie director get them into this movie?" "Astounding!" "I can't believe it!"

Your head will swivel. You will definitely have to watch this movie over and over again to savor every enlightening moment, every little zinging nuance.

One reason is, because, there's so much depth amongst the flashes of light and dark. It's mesmerizing. Small, simple little phrases here and there that have the weight of dark matter.

There's this quote from Voltaire - look for it. It's extraordinarily timely, considering today's economic climate... It involves "corporatism."

One beauty of this movie is that it allows you to draw your own conclusions. It provides information. You provide the thinking.

The Acting and Actors...
Read more ›
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
As much as I'd like to think this is the land of the free and you can become just about anything you want to be, there are some truths in this documentary that are very disturbing and lead many to believe there is indeed a "ruling class" in our country with information our government only wants us to believe. If you're a mega millionaire or billionaire, it's easy to connect the dots that not everyone in America is indeed equal. This documentary is definitely eye opening for sure.
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Format: Amazon Video
Mediocre.
Sellouts who shill for bankers or become banksters themselves in order that they can then later indulge their humanitarian interests.
The movie fails to honestly reveal the true criteria for access to the ruling class,
which every aspiring Jewish, Indian, and Chinese minority family in the Northeast and California knows and strives for-
get into one of the private or public Ivy League schools and then intermarry with the existing ruling class.
If not and you manage to make it anyway on your own merit or luck, you'll be considered second class and open to mockery.
(Howard Baker went to Tulane, so it's open season on him as if he's a war criminal while Henry Kissinger, who is seen eerily throughout the movie on every wall of every elite is not mentioned though he be a real war criminal- Harvard graduate)
The cream of the ruling class are those blessed by admission to Oxford through Rhodes Scholarship,
and this cements the Anglo influences and interests in the US, while the anglophile US elites fall in place behind them.
This is creepy since the English are in a significant way anointing the leaders of the US ruling class by their scholarships.
The New England WASPs may be washed out, but their masters in London never disappeared.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A satirical look at the life of the rich (with so many advantages) versus the middle & lower class. I liked the comparison of 2 college graduates and how their lives are influenced in so many ways by their class. It shows an undercover reporter trying to make it as a waitress (she can't). It is college level media due to the jargon and ironies.
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Format: DVD
Lewis Lapham's The American Ruling Class, is a devilish and illuminating "dramatic-documentary-musical satire" on our plutocratic power elite.

No one is better equiped to pull off this dark seriocomedic venture than the wry master of patrician sensibility himself, the author of Fortune's Child, Money and Class in America: Notes and Observations On Our Civil Religion, and Imperial Masquerade.

Lapham is joined by a sterling cavalcade of establishment noteworthies playing themselves, as this sly Luciferian guides two befuddled innocents through the Oz-like, kaleidoscopic maze composing the elite corridors of power in America.

Lapham is the former editor of Harpers magazine, and one of America's premier essayists.

He ranks with H. L. Mencken and Albert Jay Nock in his stylistic elegance and keen ability to dissect the bloated rotting corpse of the American body politic, exposing the frailties, pretentiousness, and rank imbecilities of what he aptly describes as its "equestrian class." America, where the masses are born with saddles on their backs, for a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God, the GOP, and George W. Bush.
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