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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It's a sad, sad story

Would you listen to The Great Deformation again? Why?

No, this is a tough read and seems to get repetitious. I will definitely listen to select bits again, but not the whole sad story of betrayal.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The sad fact is that it seems to all have the ring of truth. True capitalism has been assassinated by the crony capitalism version favored by government.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Low interest rates have corrupted the price finding mechanism of the market.

Any additional comments?

At the end of the book, Stockman makes some recommendations as to how the train wreck might be averted. However, everything he proposes leaves you thinking, "Yeah right, that will never happen."

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

VERY TECHNICAL - HARD TO FOLLOW

There is a lot of good stuff in this book - but I found it hard to follow.
The excessive use of economic jargon left me lost in many places.

He makes many good points but the delivery is more complex and technical than it needs to be.
Perhaps for those whose who are working in the finance sector it may be Ok, but for an engineer like me - it was pretty hard going for a lot of the time.
I do however agree with his overalll conclusions:'
- Capitalism has been taken captive by some elusive group
- The American tax payer has been robbed greviously of over $700 billion
- America is on the verge of financial collapse.

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It's all here

Would you consider the audio edition of The Great Deformation to be better than the print version?

Not read print version so no basis for comparison.

What did you like best about this story?

Efficient and comprehensive coverage of a vast topic.

Have you listened to any of William Hughes’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I have not.

If you could give The Great Deformation a new subtitle, what would it be?

It's all in here!

Any additional comments?

Superb work!

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  • Howard
  • Grove City, PA, United States
  • 04-24-13

How do you know if you've lost your place?

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.

6 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

too repetitive, political and biased.

the subject matter is good but the writing style is repetitive, pejorative and biased. It jumps around to the point of confusion and the authors ego hurts the substance greatly

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A tour de force of quantitative data and insight into the outcomes of economic policy

Mr. Stockman's well written book provides a distinct perspective on the history of U.S. economic policy as well as his own thesis about the present impact of the policies of this and previous decades. He also constructs a coherent argument regarding the future impact of today's policies and some alternatives for future economic policy.

This book is a tour de force of quantitative data and insight into the outcomes of economic policy.

It is a provocative book. His data-driven approach should both challenge and inform intelligent laypeople and professional economists who must make personal and professional judgments about the economic well being of the nation.

I have read it twice as well as listened to the audio version.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jim
  • Findlay, OH, United States
  • 07-27-14

Great book - difficult listen

What did you like best about this story?

The book really opens your eyes to how corrupt Wall Street is and how the government supports crony capitalism. I have listened to David Stockman on the internet and he doesn't speak the way this book was written. It is almost like an editor or someone took David Stockman's real words and "spruced up" the language to make it seem more important. The problem is they went crazy with it. The editor should be ashamed to put such a good book into print like that.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Lara
  • Boca Raton, FL, United States
  • 04-03-13

Horrible

What would have made The Great Deformation better?

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.

What was most disappointing about David Stockman’s story?

Poorly written - Poorly Presented - Poorly organized

How did the narrator detract from the book?

This book would challenge any narrator

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Great Deformation?

The beginning - possibly the middle - most likely the end.

5 of 37 people found this review helpful