The Battle: How the Fight between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America's Future

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Overview


America faces a new culture war--one that threatens our long-standing culture of free enterprise. Free enterprise embodies the values that define us as a nation: individual liberty, equal opportunity, entrepreneurship, and self-reliance. But the recent economic crisis has distorted these values, leading many Americans to forget the evils of socialism--which, as Arthur C. Brooks reveals, is back with a vengeance. Its proponents are playing for keeps, and if they win, America will be changed forever, both economically and culturally. At once a call to action and a crucial redefinition of the gulf that divides Americans, The Battle offers a plan of action for the defense of free enterprise, the very soul of America.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
According to Gingrich, this slim volume will be judged in the future as "one of the pivotal books around which American history turned." Citing a 2009 poll, Brooks (Gross National Happiness), president of the American Enterprise Institute, examines the 30% of Americans who don't support Free Enterprise, calling them an "intellectual upper class" composed of "statist politicians, socialist college professors, left-leaning journalists, America-bashing entertainers..." His claim that this "30 percent coalition" has taken over the country is based on answers to two questions: should government promote policies to narrow the gap between rich and poor? Or should it foster job growth and allow "people to keep more of what they earn?" Nearly two to one opt for the latter. While the economy and Obama's appeal to minorities and young people swept Democrats to victory in 2008, "Statism had effectively taken hold in Washington" long before, in Brooks's view. Not above red-baiting (linking calls for "economic justice" to the "leftist philosophy" of Karl Marx, for instance), Brooks's main target is the "unprincipled Republican party" which has "strayed too far from its free-enterprise values," and needs new leadership.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher

From the foreword by Newt Gingrich

Arthur C. Brooks has written a book which will take its place with Charles Murray’s Losing Ground as one of the pivotal books around which American history turned.

From his very first sentences Brooks is outlining a stark and compelling analysis of the crisis of contemporary America.

Brooks begins: “America faces a new culture war. I know this language is jarring, and many people are unwilling to accept it. But it’s true.”

The Battle then outlines three big facts:

First, there is a fundamental disagreement about America’s future between a socialist, redistributionist minority (the 30% coalition) and a massive free enterprise, work ethic, opportunity oriented majority (the 70% majority). For years I have spoken and written that “we are the majority”. It is a concept I learned from Ronald Reagan in the 1970s. Now Brooks provides the ammunition to factually explain why the 70% should govern America as a reflection of our legitimate majority status.

Second, there is an elite system of power which enables the 30% coalition to dominate the 70% majority. There are the seeds of an extraordinary history book buried in a few paragraphs of The Battle. How did the coalition of word users come to so thoroughly dominate the coalition of workers and doers? How did the elites on academic campuses come to define legitimacy for the news media, the Hollywood system, the Courts, and the bureaucracy? Brooks makes clear that the dominance of the hard left in these worlds is a fact. He sets the stage for someone (maybe another AEI scholar) to develop the historic explanation of how this usurpation of the people by the elite came to be.

Third, this is a conflict over values in which those who represent redistributionist, left wing materialism have stolen the language of morality while those who favor freedom, individual opportunity, the right to pursue happiness and personal liberty have been maneuvered into a series of banal and ultimately unattractive positions in the public debate. Brooks’ outline of a morally dominant culture of freedom shaming the materialistic, statist, coercive culture of redistribution is as important for our generation as Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom was for the Reagan-Thatcher generation.

What makes The Battle so important is its unique combination of intellectual clarity and the best succinct analysis of the values of the American people I have ever read.

Brooks argues that conservatism in its market oriented, individual liberty, equality of opportunity, right to pursue happiness, work ethic form is both popular and historically the most positive way for people to live.

After you have read this book and committed its arguments and its salient facts to memory, you will be able to debate any elitist redistributionist leftist and win the day in both moral rhetoric and factual analysis.

Every American about their country’s future and worried by the radicalism of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid machine should read The Battle. It is the ammunition with which to save our country and change our history for the better.

Richard B. Cheney, former Vice President of the United States
“This is the playbook for the resurgence of the conservative movement.”

William J. Bennett
"Arthur Brooks is one of America's most astute, bold, and iconoclastic thinkers. The Battle provides yet more evidence of that fact. Loaded with fresh data and common sense, The Battle uncovers liberalism's true grand agenda—to change America's culture and the American way—and explains how these same Americans can fight back and ultimately win."

Marvin Olasky, editor-in-chief, World Magazine, and Provost, The King's College
“Economic issues are not just about money. They're about how we live. The Battle shows how Washington power-grabbers use financial fears to tell the rest of us how we must live. Crucially, The Battle teaches us how to fight back.”

Karl Rove
"Clear, sharp, well reasoned and tough, The Battle is a must-read for conservatives who want our movement to dominate the intellectual and policy debates of America’s coming vital decades."

Ronald Kessler, Newsmax
“Sometimes it takes someone who was on the other side to explain things clearly, as Brooks does in his eye-opening book…Crammed with telling statistics, Brooks’ book says that academia is a particularly important part of the ‘30 percent coalition.’”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465019380
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 5/25/2010
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.64 (w) x 5.92 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author


President of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Arthur C. Brooks lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword xiii

Introduction xvii

Chapter 1 The 70-30 Nation 1

Chapter 2 A Bill of Goods: The 30 Percent Coalition's Story of the Financial Crisis 25

Chapter 3 Free Enterprise and the Pursuit of Happiness 65

Chapter 4 The Moral Case for Free Enterprise 95

Notes 125

Index 163

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Foreword

FROM THE FORWARD BY NEWT GINGRICH:

Arthur C. Brooks has written a book which will take its place with Charles Murray's Losing Ground as one of the pivotal books around which American history turned.

From his very first sentences Brooks is outlining a stark and compelling analysis of the crisis of contemporary America.

Brooks begins: "America faces a new culture war. I know this language is jarring, and many people are unwilling to accept it. But it's true."

The Battle then outlines three big facts:

First, there is a fundamental disagreement about America's future between a socialist, redistributionist minority (the 30% coalition) and a massive free enterprise, work ethic, opportunity oriented majority (the 70% majority). For years I have spoken and written that "we are the majority". It is a concept I learned from Ronald Reagan in the 1970s. Now Brooks provides the ammunition to factually explain why the 70% should govern America as a reflection of our legitimate majority status.

Second, there is an elite system of power which enables the 30% coalition to dominate the 70% majority. There are the seeds of an extraordinary history book buried in a few paragraphs of The Battle. How did the coalition of word users come to so thoroughly dominate the coalition of workers and doers? How did the elites on academic campuses come to define legitimacy for the news media, the Hollywood system, the Courts, and the bureaucracy? Brooks makes clear that the dominance of the hard left in these worlds is a fact. He sets the stage for someone (maybe another AEI scholar) to develop the historic explanation of how this usurpation of the peopleby the elite came to be.

Third, this is a conflict over values in which those who represent redistributionist, left wing materialism have stolen the language of morality while those who favor freedom, individual opportunity, the right to pursue happiness and personal liberty have been maneuvered into a series of banal and ultimately unattractive positions in the public debate. Brooks' outline of a morally dominant culture of freedom shaming the materialistic, statist, coercive culture of redistribution is as important for our generation as Hayek's The Road to Serfdom was for the Reagan-Thatcher generation.

What makes The Battle so important is its unique combination of intellectual clarity and the best succinct analysis of the values of the American people I have ever read.

Brooks argues that conservatism in its market oriented, individual liberty, equality of opportunity, right to pursue happiness, work ethic form is both popular and historically the most positive way for people to live.

After you have read this book and committed its arguments and its salient facts to memory, you will be able to debate any elitist redistributionist leftist and win the day in both moral rhetoric and factual analysis.

Every American about their country's future and worried by the radicalism of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid machine should read The Battle. It is the ammunition with which to save our country and change our history for the better.
Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A rousing conservative metaphorical call to arms in defense of free enterprise

    Nothing less than the future of America is at stake, says conservative public policy expert Arthur C. Brooks in his dissection of the nation's political and economic scene. Relying on surveys, polls and statistics (some almost up-to-the-minute, some quite dated), he posits a split in the U.S. between a 70% majority that supports free enterprise, limited government and less taxes, and a 30% minority made up of the "intellectual upper class" and its followers who cheer "social democracy," big government and soaking the rich. Brooks, head of the American Enterprise Institute, discusses the U.S.'s historical love of free enterprise. Along with the expected critiques of the liberal media and academia, he makes an accessible case that free enterprise's supporters should focus less on money and materialism as the reasons for their advocacy, and more on the morality and values of personal achievement and success in an opportunity-driven economy. getAbstract suggests his book - an extended editorial statement - to all sides of the political spectrum whether it confirms your opinions or acts a basis for worthwhile debate.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Battle is a must read...

    Parents, make your kids read this book. Parents, read it yourself. Brooks does a superb job of hitting the main points very quickly and offering ample support for every assertion. I'm giving this book as a gift to at least 25 of my best freinds.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 6, 2011

    An ideological screed from a right wingnut

    This author thinks that if you're in the higher education field or entertainment industry, you're part of an elitist intelligensia that is unAmerican ... The alleged 30% this slice of the U.S. population constitutes is driving an agenda that is alien and destructive to the other 70%.

    If you think Newt Gingrich is the foreteller of our future as a nation, you'll love this book.

    Bud Lee

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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