A coruscating, brilliantly insightful exegesis of where capitalism went wrong, how it was corrupted, and how it might be restored, by outspoken former Reagan budget director and best-selling author David Stockman.
David Stockman was the architect of the Reagan Revolution that was meant to restore sound money principles to the United States government. It failed, derailed by politics, special interests, welfare, and warfare. In The Great Deformation, Stockman describes how the working of free markets and democracy has long been under threat in America and provides a surprising, nonpartisan catalog of the corrupters and defenders. His analysis overturns the assumptions of Keynesians and monetarists alike, showing how both liberal and neoconservative interference in markets has proved damaging and often dangerous. Over time, crony capitalism has made fools of us all, transforming Republican treasury secretaries into big-government interventionists and populist Democrat presidents into industry-wrecking internationalists. Today’s national debt stands at nearly $16 trillion. Divided equally among taxpayers, each of us is $52,000 in debt. This book explains how we got here—and why this warped crony capitalism has betrayed so many of our hopes and dreams.
©2013 David A. Stockman (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc
"Stockman performs a real service when he debunks the myths that have been associated with Reagan’s conservatism and promotes Eisenhower’s fiscal and military conservatism…Stockman forcefully conveys enormous amounts of knowledge." (Kirkus Reviews)
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
This is an excellently supported book that goes into extraordinary detail of the US economy from the period leading up to the great depression to the present. This is not a quick or easy listen. The author may be an expert in economics but he is not an expert writer. The book is very long and filled with annoying mixed metaphors (that are sometimes so bad they are funny), cliches repeated ad nauseam, and jumps wildly between temporally distant causes and effects and from one subject to another. Thus I can’t say this was a pleasure of a listen. Nevertheless the author makes quite a few really excellent points. The author shows extreme political independence casting blame and praise regardless of party. The book is also quite a downer, filled with doom and gloom with almost no way out. This book is filled with facts and statistics that are key to understanding our economic past and future. I did not agree with everything the author proposes (the gold standard), but I was surprised by how much I found quite convincing. Clearly this tomb is not for everyone. This is more than a bit dry and detailed oriented, yet I found it a very rational alternative view of modern economics,
I could not wait for 36 hours to rebut the 1 star review, so after 1 hour of listening I give this book the highest marks for content and production. Finally someone who understands both Government and finance lays out in understandable and chronological order how crony capitalism, an unchecked FED and bigger and bigger government is destroying free market capitalism and prosperity in this country.
I'm only about 1/2 way through this audiobook but wanted to write a review anyways.
From the start of this book I was highly engaged even though it is filled with more data, stats, and numbers than I could realistically consume. It was very eye opening and even though it does jump a round quite a bit, its like a history lesson told from financial side of things. It gives you a new perspective on government, politics, and political figures. Money changes everything.
I actually feel like everyone should listen to this book. Even though quite a bit goes over my head, and there is so much information to consume, there are parts that will really stand out to you. You'll gain an understanding of how our financial system works, and fails... and might open your eyes to the future. Highly recommended.
The style of writing is extremely annoying. It's hard enough to follow an audiobook that is full of statistics and dates, followed by names and positions; but Stockman makes it even more difficult by showcasing his capacious and abstruse vocabulary (if those don't ring a bell for you...then this book probably isn't for you). He frequently uses rarely used and technical language followed by something akin to a pop-culture reference. It causes the listener to have to rewind and re-listen to portions again and again. In addition, I got tired of hearing the constant hyperbole in virtually every chapter. I realize that costly mistakes were made by men in power in the past, but not every mistake can be a "monumental blunder of epic proportions". While I did find much of the information useful, and I was thankful for the thorough explanation of the topics discussed, I would probably have preferred a book with less discussion about the Great Depression in favor of a book that focused on more recent history. 30+ hours is a very long book. The narrator does an excellent job in my opinion, but the content is just not at the same level.
This is a difficult book to read for 2 reasons.
First, Stockman builds a solid narrative of successive short-sighted political decisions that led to terrible repercussions for democracy and the US economy. Starting with Roosevelt on through Obama, each president made choices that deformed normal economic mechanisms. His criticisms are not really partisan, as he bashes Nixon and Bush as much as Democrats. The examples he uses are numerous, devastating, and often mind-numbing in detail. The conclusions and predictions are very pessimistic.
The second reason the book is difficult is because Stockman is a really bad writer. Seemingly everything "grows like Topsy." Thousands of things are said that are "needless to say." Things "literally explode" that are not pyrotechnic. The countless cliches and a rather tedious sentence structure make the reading unpleasant. That a businessman like Stockman is not a prose stylist is not much of a fault, but why didn't the publisher have the book edited by someone fluent in English?
I chose this book hoping to learn something useful about our economy. Instead I got a book that seems to be analogous of it: disjointed, complex, totally mysterious and above all, resembling an enormous Rube Goldberg machine with levers and buttons that the servants of the moneyed class pull and push like children running rampant on an active submarine. When it sinks, they will all point the finger of blame at someone else. I have long suspected this; Stockman’s book proves it. Or, at least I think it does. I could almost hear other people with his background shouting refutations and angry rebuttals at his interpretation of things.
The greatest genius in the world teaches no one if he will not speak on their level. If portions of this book were accidentally shuffled on an iPod, how would you know? Knowledgeable authors are able to present things in a simple-enough manner to get their points across, while the ignorant ramble on as if they have insight and savvy flowing over. This author handles his subject as if it is so sophisticated that it can only be talked about using a never-ending stream of esotericism; acronyms, abbreviations and similes practically tripping over one another. I know the world of high finance has a language of its own, but,..“If the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who shall prepare for battle?” One gets the idea he is trying to impress the reader. Mostly he baffles him.
I had watched Mr. Stockman several times on tv - internet prior to his book and he talked about various problems in the economy in an intellgent manner, but this book is dreadful. He is all over the place - rambling from one thing to another with very little real objective detail. He makes grand and unsuppported statements. After 45 minutes I could not listen to anymore. Disappointing- certainly no "Big Short" (Martin Lewis). If you like Glenn Beck then "Deformation" is for you.
Poorly written - Poorly Presented - Poorly organized
This book would challenge any narrator
The beginning - possibly the middle - most likely the end.
Report Inappropriate Content