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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

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Performance
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  •  
    Britt Valparaiso, FL, United States 04-08-13
    Britt Valparaiso, FL, United States 04-08-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Nailed it"
    What made the experience of listening to Twilight of the Elites the most enjoyable?

    Despite having read other similar books I trusted the reviews and listened to this book as well. It explains well, why we are stuck in a society run by the top and why the elite have difficulty emphasizing with the rest of us.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan 01-30-13
    Jonathan 01-30-13

    Love non-fiction.

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    "The US is in a bad state, and this is why"

    The main thing I took away from this book was that problems the Founding Fathers were trying to prevent when they created our system of government have managed to return and we are essentially back at a similar point. The current people who occupy positions of power are unable to self-correct and want to continue with the status quo just like the British of the 18th century trying to run the distant colonies in North America. This book does a good job making the case that our government is no longer beholden to the people as it was intended but is instead run by a handful of elite lobbyists and political families that come from privileged backgrounds that do not represent the average American. Unfortunately, though there are a lot of great examples making this point, the book comes short of offering any real solutions. Only the last chapter gets into solutions, and they are pretty broad and vague.

    Nonetheless, this book made me realize that we are at (or nearly at) a critical time in our country's history not unlike the revolutionary times of the 18th century. Massive changes must occur, so if we don't intentionally decide to self-correct, we are in for a massive collapse of our culture

    Finally, I'm not a big fan of the author's performance. He seems to have trouble enunciate words and I found it quite annoying at times. It would probably be better having a professional "reader" read the book instead of the author himself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martie 01-26-13
    Martie 01-26-13

    GreenNetizen

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    "Chris Hayes... Junior"

    My husband and I have seen Chris since he first started appearing on MSNBC. We have watched him grow as a TV personality. We lovingly call him 'junior."

    As a talking head, Chris is OK, but we quickly saw where his talents lie. He is a wonderful moderator and has the most interesting discussions with his guests on his morning show, UP with Chris.

    And the art of discussions is at the heart of what this book is about. The one thing that will make America a stronger country is open dialogue that gets to that heart of the issue and opens it up to many differet facets and points of view.

    Chris does a great job of explaining why our current system is in the process of change and why this is inevable.

    Sometimes I had listen to him on the slow speed to really digest what he was saying becasue he thinks as fast as he talks and it is a lot to take in at one time.

    But he blew me away; I was so impressed with his book! I wish I could get more young people to read it because he has the antidote to apathy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms Dorothy Kahn New York, New York United States 01-07-13
    Ms Dorothy Kahn New York, New York United States 01-07-13 Member Since 2013
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    "An engaging argument"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, this is an accessible arguement about an important problem. Hayes, patiently but without condescention, gives his readers a coherent argument as to why meritocracy leads to an "entitled" elite that loses sight of its moral bearings.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Christopher Hayes


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

    Christopher Hayes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 12-05-12
    John SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 12-05-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Right on Chris"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I'm a liberal, so, I like him.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Reality


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

    Obama


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, except I had to laugh at the stupid conservative Republicans.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael Newark, DE, United States 11-29-12
    michael Newark, DE, United States 11-29-12
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    "The Lost Decade"
    Where does Twilight of the Elites rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best books about what happened this last decade and how the elite have betrayed our confidence and set us adrift in an institutional black hole. The Church, Major-League baseball, the financial community and the political process are institutions that have failed us and left us looking for a new way to regain trust in anything in our lives. Chris carefully explains how our institutions have failed us and how we need to navigate in the world void of a trust in them.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Paducah, KY, United States 11-23-12
    Mark Paducah, KY, United States 11-23-12 Member Since 2012
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    "A wealth of Information"
    If you could sum up Twilight of the Elites in three words, what would they be?

    Understanding Why !!


    Any additional comments?

    getting a better view and understanding of why things happen and how they are influenced will help get things changed for the better if you choose to do something about it :-)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A 11-16-12
    A 11-16-12
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    "A cultural essay that America's been screaming for"
    Where does Twilight of the Elites rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the most informative, new thought, audiobooks I've listened to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Hayes proves that the tea party and occupy wallstreet movement are one in the same.


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

    "The teaparty wants to live back in the 50's and occupy wallstreeters want to work in the 50's." Love it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hilary Delafield, Wisconsin, United States 10-14-12
    Hilary Delafield, Wisconsin, United States 10-14-12 Member Since 2017
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    "Chris Hayes - freshest voice of his generation"
    Any additional comments?

    Chris Hayes is a skilled speaker and writer. He is unfailingly intelligent, critical and honest. His book is absolutely worth a read or a listen and will educate and interest a wide range of audiences.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Penfield, NY, United States 09-17-12
    Jason Penfield, NY, United States 09-17-12
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    "Good Listen"

    Found the book very engaging. If you like "Up" with Chris Hayes and weekend mornings then you'll also enjoy this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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