History, film, comics, dogs, coffee, tator tots, noodle bowls. Things I love in addition to audiobooks.
I enjoy Thomas Frank???s mixture of contemporary politics linked to deeper history and his terrific wit. ???Pity the Billionaire??? follows on ???What???s the Matter with Kansas????and ???The Wrecking Crew,??? and continues his excellent streak. This is a short book on the Tea Party and its harnessing of the populist anger in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis for the good of free market economics. I laughed out loud at passages like: ???And harmless snakes have learned over the millennia to frighten predators by shaking their tails in the dead leaves. They are mimic rattlesnakes--not the real deal. Don???t be afraid. Go ahead and tread on them.??? He cracks that joke and then embarks on a razor-sharp depiction of how and why the conservative moment mimics other movements it disparages. Frank narrates quickly and with an occasional chuckle in his voice. His voice is different from the professionals, yet surely listenable since I have listened to parts of the book twice now. Recommended.
This book provides interesting historical insights into the way the current political stalemate developed. It attacks both major parties (on different grounds). The opinions Mr. Frank provides are backed up well enough by hard facts to make Republicans cringe over the documented failures of laissez-faire, market-driven economics and Democrats ashamed for insensitivity to the shift in American values. Mr. Frank's reading was both more inflammatory and more entertaining than the printed book, not surprisingly. I found his criticism of Ayn Rand's
Yes, the author's thesis is solid
Simply when he starts introducing the Tea Party, and what their demands were, and how scary, frustrating, and counter-intuitive they were given that they were responding to the financial crisis.
I have not listened to any of his prior works, but I have read the book What's a Matter with Kansas.
This book is one of those cases when the author has a great idea that is meant for a 30 page article. There was no need to make this into a book, and this became clear as the author added filler after filler. Ironically, it works well in an audiobook, because you don't have to be paying close attention, since the argument will be repeated constantly, and interesting anecdotes are scattered throughout the book.
This should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand the financial mess we are in and the incomprehensible response by the tea party. It is written in clear easy to understand English and explains how the monied interests of the far right coopted the rage of people and created a ridiculous call for deregulation in response to a mess created by lack of regulation over the greed of Wall Street.
The author does not let the democrats off the hook either as he explains their lack of courage and inability to create a narrative that grabbed the attention of the common man.
Followed the mess from start to current in a well constructed, researched, and factual rendition.
His enthusiasm comes across throughout the book. His way of questioning the response by the public comes across in his tone.
Pity the Billionaire or How I Learned to Hate the Liberals who did not create this mess in the first place.
Wish the crowd that lives in the Fox News Bubble would take a break from that far right propaganda and read some fact based insight into the mess we are in.
Jumps on his bed while licking the bottom of one foot. He persists in this life affirming act despite interference from the head nurse.
This is a political rant from start to finish. Forget buying it. Granted it was penned by a highly educated fellow with a large vocabulary, but that is not justification enough to call such a flow of nasty mouthings a book. I saw Mr. Frank give a presentation on C-Span and became interested in his writing--enough to buy his book. He made some genuine points on TV. But like people say about coffee, too bad it doesn't taste the way it smells. In his text, any real substance gets lost in a river of prissy, unfunny bon mots on the imbecility of the Republican party, and the treachery of big business. Granted that Republicans are indeed imbeciles, and that big business has the morality of a praying mantis, there is still hardly a word said against Democrats who, after all, are imbeciles every bit as large in magnitude. Insight takes a backseat to the author's own political leaning and his love of writing vitriolic phrases. "Walk on By."
This was a good book on the current political culture. Frank always does a good job of analyizing the current political and cultural norms.