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The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class Hardcover – January 28, 2014
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The roots of American liberalism are not compassion but snobbery. So argues historian Fred Siegel in The Revolt Against the Masses. Siegel traces the development of liberalism from the cultural critics of the post WWI years to the gentry liberals today, and he shows how the common thread is scorn for middle-class Americans and for America itself. This is a stunningly originaland convincingbook.”
Michael Barone, senior political analyst at the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics
Fred Siegel’s superb The Revolt Against the Masses should be required reading for those who wonder how liberal elites came to dominate our culture, overriding the will of the people. Siegel’s book is history at its best and most relevant.”
Roger L. Simon, Academy Awardnominated screenwriter, author, and founder of PJ Media
In The Revolt Against the Masses, Fred Siegel reveals the intellectual underpinnings of today’s ascendant gentry liberalism, which leaves old-fashioned liberals, including, I suspect, Siegel himself, politically homeless. The increasingly anti-democratic character of liberalism also undermines much of the reason we became progressives in the first place, which was to help the middle and working classes. The gentry’s stridency and hypocrisywhat’s OK for them is not for everyone elseis utterly transforming liberalism today. The progressives portrayed in this book are not so much the heirs of Jefferson or Jackson or even Roosevelt, as they are the American heirs of the worst high-toned Tories.”
Joel Kotkin, author of The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050
About the Author
The former editor of City Journal, he has written for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, The Atlantic, Commentary, The New Republic, Dissent, and many other publications. He has also appeared widely on TV and radio.
A former senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., Mr. Siegel is currently a scholar in residence at St. Francis College in Brooklyn and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
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So, considering Siegel is intelligent, and the case he makes is convincing, why am I giving this work a qualified review? The answer is simply that, while Siegel is in his element describing everything from, say, the tail of the New Deal to the Obama technocratic oligarchy, he is rudderless when trying to tie disparate elements of the Left together from former times. He places a lot of emphasis on H.G. Wells, crediting him with essentially restructuring America's perception of itself via his observations (a la De Tocqueville) of our flawed democracy, and I frankly don't think he does a good job with this thesis. Also, because so much ground is covered in the book, and so much history is recounted, the effort can't help but feel partial and abortive.
This is an okay foray for a mainstream conservative view of Gentry Liberalism and the "high-low" coalitions like that of mayor John Lindsay (perfected by the corrupt Obama machine and Clinton regime), but it also left a lot to be desired. For those seeking a Cliff's Notes version of a century of Leftism, from Utopian fantasy to the rise and entrenchment of Paul Gottfried's "managerial state," this might be a good place to start Those looking for more in depth research, look elsewhere.
Most recent customer reviews
It begins with superiority... smugness.
It becomes contempt... disdain.Read more