This book is a few years old and can drag on occasions. It cites a lot of facts and requires some knowledge of Reconstruction Era/Gilded Age American history to fully appreciate. But it covers and era that is not well-studied, but has strong parallels to the present.
Understanding how McKinley was not an arch-conservative and laid the groundwork for the modern progressive movement.
Chris Hayes, the author, does a phenomenal job presenting the subject matter with the right amount of intensity.
The book was memorable from start to finish. Chris' ability to analyze diverse topics from the Baseball steroids scandal to the Subprime Crisis is singularly versatile. And his ability to connect seemingly unrelated issues gives this piece of non-fiction a flow usually only found in fiction.
The Andrew Carnegie line in the final chapter (lol).
There are probably too many key observations to list, but the concepts of the Iron Law of Oligarchy and the effects of excess Social Distance are the key takeaways in my mind.
With this book, Chris Hayes has cemented himself as one of the most important critical thinkers of the current period. Given how well his TV show is received, this should come as know surprise. But his writing proves that he can not only select interesting topics for discussion, but can write about them in an impeccable manner as well.
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