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Twilight of the Elites Audiobook

Twilight of the Elites: America after Meritocracy

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Publisher's Summary

A powerful and original argument that traces the roots of our present crisis of authority to an unlikely source: the meritocracy.

Over the past decade, Americans watched in bafflement and rage as one institution after another - from Wall Street to Congress, the Catholic Church to corporate America, even Major League Baseball - imploded under the weight of corruption and incompetence. In the wake of the Fail Decade, Americans have historically low levels of trust in their institutions; the social contract between ordinary citizens and elites lies in tatters.

How did we get here? With Twilight of the Elites, Christopher Hayes offers a radically novel answer. Since the 1960s, as the meritocracy elevated a more diverse group of men and women into power, they learned to embrace the accelerating inequality that had placed them near the very top. Their ascension heightened social distance and spawned a new American elite - one more prone to failure and corruption than any that came before it.

Mixing deft political analysis, timely social commentary, and deep historical understanding, Twilight of the Elites describes how the society we have come to inhabit - utterly forgiving at the top and relentlessly punitive at the bottom - produces leaders who are out of touch with the people they have been trusted to govern. Hayes argues that the public's failure to trust the federal government, corporate America, and the media has led to a crisis of authority that threatens to engulf not just our politics but our day-to-day lives.

Upending well-worn ideological and partisan categories, Hayes entirely reorients our perspective on our times. Twilight of the Elites is the defining work of social criticism for the post-bailout age.

©2012 Christopher Hayes (P)2012 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"[L]ively and well-informed.Offering feasible proposals for change, this cogent social commentary urges us to reconstruct our institutions so we can once again trust them." (Publishers Weekly)

"[A] forcefully written debut.... A provocative discussion of the deeper causes of our current discontent, written with verve and meriting wide interest." (Kirkus Reviews)

"This is the Next Big Thing that we have been waiting for. Twilight of the Elites is the fully reported, detailed, true story of a 21st century America beyond the reach of authority. It's new, and true, and beautifully told - Hayes is the young left's most erudite and urgent interpreter. Brilliant book." (Rachel Maddow, host of The Rachel Maddow Show and author of Drift)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (622 )
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Performance
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  •  
    William 10-30-12
    William 10-30-12

    gr8jibe

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Talk radio"
    Would you try another book from Christopher Hayes and/or Christopher Hayes?

    no


    What was most disappointing about Christopher Hayes’s story?

    It's liberal talk radio. I could get that on FM. I don't listen to talk radio, of any persuasion.


    What about Christopher Hayes’s performance did you like?

    baseball steroid analysis earned the two stars.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    disclaimer: Those who like this book may attribute my review to being part of "a group of hypereducated, ambitious overachievers who enjoy tremendous monetary rewards as well as unparalleled political power and prestige, and yet who manage to insulate themselves from sanction, competition, and accountability ..." -- Chapter 2. For the record, I don't think so.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fran Murphy Kensington, MD USA 08-20-12
    Fran Murphy Kensington, MD USA 08-20-12 Member Since 2015

    frannim

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Our life and Times in Perspective"
    If you could sum up Twilight of the Elites in three words, what would they be?

    Solid comprehensive timely


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Twilight of the Elites?

    Hayes skillfully reviews the unraveling of every major institution in the recent past.


    Which character – as performed by Christopher Hayes – was your favorite?

    His description of the Catholic Church's handling of pedophile priests over decades was especially revealing.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    It's how we got here.


    Any additional comments?

    Hayes narrates his book well. And while the book outlines the current state of our lives, I wish there were more solutions for our future were offered. Maybe that is his next book!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Loren Bethesda, MD, United States 11-18-12
    Loren Bethesda, MD, United States 11-18-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Turned it off after 10 minutes"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The author picks the worst developments of the last decade or so to make the point that everything is worse than ever. It is the availability heuristic in a book. I wasted a credit.


    8 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guywhobuysstuff 05-10-17
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    "A damning indictment"

    This more than any other book clarifies why America is so adrift and how Trump was able to run his con game.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mandygrizzle 05-04-17 Member Since 2017
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    "insightful even years later"

    Even years after publication, when political forces appear to have shifted, much remains the same.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Moongazer Whitmore Lake, MI 04-23-17
    Moongazer Whitmore Lake, MI 04-23-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Timely!! Outstanding!"

    Such needed information in our world today. Well worth the listen! I wish this were taught in our high schools and colleges.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike 01-07-17
    Mike 01-07-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Interesting"

    This is well written and interesting. Meritocracy seems to explain the disconnect that is felt between the people and those in power. It also explains how Washington and the talking heads got it so wrong with the recent election. Very interesting topic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Powells Chicago, IL 01-05-17
    D. Powells Chicago, IL 01-05-17

    The Other Critic

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    "Fantastic read!"

    Not everyone who writes about US politics writes well. Not everyone who reads their own book for the audio version knows how to entertain. Chris Hayes did both!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patty Tennessee 11-02-16
    Patty Tennessee 11-02-16 Member Since 2016

    Patty

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    "amazing book!"

    I loved this book. It is amazing how now his book is even more relevant to our current climate in this hostile election cycle. He is also fun to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MovieBluff 10-14-16
    MovieBluff 10-14-16
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    "great analysis"

    I read this book after reading an online article about how it was the ethos for the show Mr Robot. Not sure about that necessarily, but in any case the book was much much more than that. Chi's Hayes has a wonderful insight illustrated through case studies and thought experiments about what it takes to improve our society. Never before have I read a better "we need to fix this" type if book. Highly highly recommend this book to thinkers on the left AND right of the political spectrum.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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