REVIEWS+

Pity the Billionaire

The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right
. 978-0-80509-369-8. Political Science
COPY ISBN
Frank (columnist, Harper's magazine; What's the Matter with Kansas?) continues his investigation of our country's rightward turn. The 2008 financial meltdown gave rise to the grassroots Tea Party movement: How could a major failure of unbridled capitalism result in a movement supporting...more capitalism? Frank examines this phenomenon by combing through the websites, publications, and TV shows popular with Tea Partiers and tries, sometimes desperately, to find coherence among their grievances. He pays much attention to former Fox News host Glenn Beck, whose combination of conspiracy theorizing, boyish charm, and old-fashioned hucksterism has made him a superstar to this crowd. The resurgent popularity of the late libertarian author Ayn Rand, whose novels and philosophical writings have influenced more politicians today (e.g., Ron Paul, Paul Ryan) than at any other time since their original publication, also merits attention from Frank.
VERDICT This is a smart, thorough, and funny examination of the political mood of the Obama era and the future implications of this peculiar episode in American history. Politically liberal readers looking to arm themselves with useful information for the upcoming election season will enjoy this book. [See Prepub Alert, 7/18/11.]

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.