From the acclaimed author of Listen, Liberal and What’s the Matter with Kansas, a scathing collection of his incisive commentary on our cruel times—perfect for this political moment. What does a middle-class democracy look like when it comes apart? When, after forty years of economic triumph, America’s winners persuade themselves that they owe nothing to the rest of the country? With his sharp eye for detail, Thomas Frank takes us on a wide-ranging tour through present-day America, showing us a society in the late stages of disintegration and describing the worlds of both the winners and the losers—the sprawling mansion districts as well as the lives of fast-food workers. Rendezvous with Oblivion is a collection of interlocking essays examining how inequality has manifested itself in our cities, in our jobs, in the way we travel—and of course in our politics, where in 2016, millions of anxious ordinary people rallied to the presidential campaign of a billionaire who meant them no good. These accounts of folly and exploitation are here brought together in a single volume unified by Frank’s distinctive voice, sardonic wit, and anti-orthodox perspective. They capture a society where every status signifier is hollow, where the allure of mobility is just another con game, and where rebellion too often yields nothing. For those who despair of the future of our country and of reason itself, Rendezvous with Oblivion is a booster shot of energy, reality, and moral outrage.
Published by Metropolitan Books on 06/19/2018
Book details: 224 pages.
From the bestselling author of What's the Matter With Kansas, a scathing look at the standard-bearers of liberal politics -- a book that asks: what's the matter with Democrats? It is a widespread belief among liberals that if only Democrats can continue to dominate national elections, if only those awful Republicans are beaten into submission, the country will be on the right course. But this is to fundamentally misunderstand the modern Democratic Party. Drawing on years of research and first-hand reporting, Frank points out that the Democrats have done little to advance traditional liberal goals: expanding opportunity, fighting for social justice, and ensuring that workers get a fair deal. Indeed, they have scarcely dented the free-market consensus at all. This is not for lack of opportunity: Democrats have occupied the White House for sixteen of the last twenty-four years, and yet the decline of the middle class has only accelerated. Wall Street gets its bailouts, wages keep falling, and the free-trade deals keep coming. With his trademark sardonic wit and lacerating logic, Frank's Listen, Liberal lays bare the essence of the Democratic Party's philosophy and how it has changed over the years. A form of corporate and cultural elitism has largely eclipsed the party's old working-class commitment, he finds. For certain favored groups, this has meant prosperity. But for the nation as a whole, it is a one-way ticket into the abyss of inequality. In this critical election year, Frank recalls the Democrats to their historic goals-the only way to reverse the ever-deepening rift between the rich and the poor in America.
Published by Metropolitan Books on 03/15/2016
Book details: 224 pages.
One of "our most insightful social observers"* cracks the great political mystery of our time: how conservatism, once a marker of class privilege, became the creed of millions of ordinary Americans With his acclaimed wit and acuity, Thomas Frank turns his eye on what he calls the "thirty-year backlash"—the populist revolt against a supposedly liberal establishment. The high point of that backlash is the Republican Party's success in building the most unnatural of alliances: between blue-collar Midwesterners and Wall Street business interests, workers and bosses, populists and right-wingers. In asking "what 's the matter with Kansas?"—how a place famous for its radicalism became one of the most conservative states in the union—Frank, a native Kansan and onetime Republican, seeks to answer some broader American riddles: Why do so many of us vote against our economic interests? Where's the outrage at corporate manipulators? And whatever happened to middle-American progressivism? The questions are urgent as well as provocative. Frank answers them by examining pop conservatism—the bestsellers, the radio talk shows, the vicious political combat—and showing how our long culture wars have left us with an electorate far more concerned with their leaders' "values" and down-home qualities than with their stands on hard questions of policy. A brilliant analysis—and funny to boot—What's the Matter with Kansas? presents a critical assessment of who we are, while telling a remarkable story of how a group of frat boys, lawyers, and CEOs came to convince a nation that they spoke on behalf of the People. *Los Angeles Times
Published by Metropolitan Books on 04/01/2007
Book details: 320 pages.
The Harper's columnist and author of The Wrecking Crew profiles how conservative Republicans have rebounded after the election of Barack Obama, outlining their strategy of total opposition to the liberal state while arguing that their policies further injure victims of the recession.
Published by Macmillan on 09/18/2012
Book details: 240 pages.
In a book that has been raising hackles far and wide, the social critic Thomas Frank skewers one of the most sacred cows of the go-go '90s: the idea that the new free-market economy is good for everyone. Frank's target is "market populism"--the widely held belief that markets are a more democratic form of organization than democratically elected governments. Refuting the idea that billionaire CEOs are looking out for the interests of the little guy, he argues that "the great euphoria of the late nineties was never as much about the return of good times as it was the giddy triumph of one America over another." Frank is a latter-day Mencken, as readers of his journal The Baffler and his book The Conquest of Cool know. With incisive analysis, passionate advocacy, and razor-sharp wit, he asks where we?re headed-and whether we're going to like it when we get there. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published by Anchor on 02/10/2010
Book details: 464 pages.
The author of the best-selling What's the Matter with Kansas? examines the consequences of several decades of deliberate and lucrative conservative misrule, revealing how Washington has been remade into a world of economic disparity, lobbyists, and incompetence. Reprint.
Published by Macmillan on 08/18/2009
Book details: 400 pages.
Looks at advertising during the 1960s, focusing on the relationship between the counterculture movement and commerce.
Published by University of Chicago Press on 12/01/1998
Book details: 287 pages.
From the pages of The Baffler, the most vital and perceptive new magazine of the nineties, sharp, satirical broadsides against the Culture Trust. In the "old" Gilded Age, the barons of business accumulated vast wealth and influence from their railroads, steel mills, and banks. But today it is culture that stands at the heart of the American enterprise, mass entertainment the economic dynamo that brings the public into the consuming fold and consolidates the power of business over the American mind. For a decade The Baffler has been the invigorating voice of dissent against these developments, in the grand tradition of the muckrakers and The American Mercury. This collection gathers the best of its writing to explore such peculiar developments as the birth of the rebel hero as consumer in the pages of Wired and Details; the ever-accelerating race to market youth culture; the rise of new business gurus like Tom Peters and the fad for Hobbesian corporate "reengineering"; and the encroachment of advertising and commercial enterprise into every last nook and cranny of American life. With its liberating attitude and cant-free intelligence, this book is a powerful polemic against the designs of the culture business on us all.
Published by W. W. Norton & Company on 07/18/2011
Book details: 288 pages.
Salvos of sane and humorous dissent from the worship of the almighty market.
Published by W. W. Norton & Company on 07/23/2019
Book details: 404 pages.
In his nearly thirty years at CBS News, Emmy Award–winner Bernard Goldberg earned a reputation as one of the preeminent reporters in the television news business. When he looked at his own industry, however, he saw that the media far too often ignored their primary mission: objective, disinterested reporting. Again and again he saw that they slanted the news to the left. For years Goldberg appealed to reporters, producers, and network executives for more balanced reporting, but no one listened. The liberal bias continued. In this classic number one New York Times bestseller, Goldberg blew the whistle on the news business, showing exactly how the media slant their coverage while insisting they’re just reporting the facts.
Published by Regnery Publishing on 07/21/2014
Book details: 232 pages.