Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country

Overview

The recent financial collapse exposed cracks in the foundation of our economic, cultural, and political values. As we continue to dig out of the rubble, we must ask ourselves as a nation: What happened? What do we do now? No one is in a better position to address these pressing questions than William Greider who has for years been ringing the alarm on the gross dereliction of the Federal Reserve and other regulators, rampant materialism, the decay of political democracy, and the...

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Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country

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Overview

The recent financial collapse exposed cracks in the foundation of our economic, cultural, and political values. As we continue to dig out of the rubble, we must ask ourselves as a nation: What happened? What do we do now? No one is in a better position to address these pressing questions than William Greider who has for years been ringing the alarm on the gross dereliction of the Federal Reserve and other regulators, rampant materialism, the decay of political democracy, and the deepening inequalities in American life.

In Come Home, America, Greider lays out the confluence of political and economic forces that led to this defining moment in our nation's history. Greider argues this is a turning point that offers profound challenges but also profound opportunities to face up to the economic and social contradictions we've been avoiding for decades and, under circumstances few of us ever hoped for or imagined, rediscover the redeeming promise of our country.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The Nation's national affairs correspondent diagnoses America's perilous state and calls for a rebirth of participatory democracy..After nearly 40 years as a reporter and author of several books, Greider (The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy, 2003, etc.) has earned his reputation as a serious, thoughtful, albeit "uncredentialed" critic of our democracy. He has consistently warned about America's trade deficits and national debt, our crumbling infrastructure and inadequate health-care system and a greedy and gluttonous capitalism unconcerned with equity and security. He has inveighed against a costly, overreaching militarism, environmental depredations and, most of all, against a deformed democracy where big business gives orders to governing elites hopelessly out of touch with the people they pretend to serve. It's a left-leaning critique, closely approximated by the soundly rejected political campaigns of Jesse Jackson, Dennis Kucinich, John Edwards and Ralph Nader. Greider's moment, though, may have arrived. Given the current, gloomy circumstances, all neatly summarized here, it's more difficult than ever to argue with his analysis, and he's surely correct that "in crisis lies opportunity." There are, he warns, wrenching changes ahead, changes too important to be left to the same stewards who've created the current debacle. Greider hopes that the anxious and angry electorate will attempt an end run around our "betters" to seize control from the current concentrations of power. With the times propitious and unprecedented organizing tools (the Internet, especially) readily available, the people may finally be sufficiently aroused—in the manner of the late19th-century Populists and the early New Dealers—to demand accountability from a system that has failed them. If they do, historians may point to this book as one of the prairie fire's first sparks..Astute, hopeful and humane commentary..Agent: Lynn Nesbit/Janklow & Nesbit.
From the Publisher
"Greider's moment...may have arrived. Given the current, gloomy circumstances, all neatly summarized here, it's more difficult than ever to argue with his analysis, and he's surely correct that 'in crisis lies opportunity'...With the times propitious and unprecedented organizing tools (the Internet, especially) readily available, the people may finally be sufficiently aroused—in the manner of the late 19th-century Populists and the early New Dealers—to demand accountability from a system that has failed them. If they do, historians may point to this book as one of the prairie fire's first sparks. Astute, hopeful and humane commentary." - Kirkus Reviews
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605294759
  • Publisher: Rodale Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/2/2010
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,284,474
  • Product dimensions: 6.18 (w) x 8.72 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

WILLIAM GREIDER is the best-selling author of five previous books, including One World, Ready or Not; Who Will Tell the People; and Secrets of the Temple. He has written for the Washington Post and Rolling Stone and has been an on-air correspondent for six Frontline documentaries on PBS. Currently the national affairs correspondent for The Nation, he lives in Washington, D.C.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Fair Warning 1

Chapter 2 The Other America 10

Chapter 3 The Walls Closing In 15

Chapter 4 The "Winner's Complex" 25

Chapter 5 The Politics of "Hard Money" 37

Chapter 6 Blinded by Faith 62

Chapter 7 Second Thoughts 93

Chapter 8 The Next War 117

Chapter 9 Why Not Victory? 150

Chapter 10 The End of the Conservative Era 173

Chapter 11 America the Possible 197

Chapter 12 Machine Politics 219

Chapter 13 The Reckoning 248

Chapter 14 The Underground River 270

Endnotes 300

Acknowledgments 311

Index 313

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 16, 2009

    Come Home, America

    All Americans concerned about this country must read this book. It explains why we are struggling to keep our standand of living, and how it
    was created over the past 20 years. He also explains we all must get involved to take back our country from special interests.
    If you are a veteran you will want to read his thoughts, since he
    also is one of us. He believes we as a group are the best equipped to lead
    this charge. If you think of yourself as a patriot who cares about this country, this is a must read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Fine study of US economy and politics

    Noted commentator William Greider shows how the USA's "democracy is broken." He points out, "we have two parties representing capital." He urges the American people to stop their state 'trying to run the world'. The USA is a corporate state, in which huge corporations use their political clout to win privileges from government. The state diverts public cash into private hands. It seems to be right to protect capital and corporations, but wrong to protect workers and unions. For example, in 1979, the Federal Reserve Bank's anti-inflation policy increased the value of money, and so of assets (stocks and bonds), benefiting most those with most, holding down wages and growth for years. Globalisation is bad for the USA; it borrows to consume more than it produces. It exports jobs and imports debt. Its trade deficit in manufactured goods was $130 billion in 1999, $500 billion in 2009. Greider shows how corrupt capitalists (and their media) are: "More than 115 companies have been caught backdating stock options for senior executives (including celebrity CEO Steve Jobs of Apple) to inflate the value of their bonuses. But the Wall Street Journal pleaded their innocence: 'Were all of the CEOs, CFOs and general counsels at all of these companies greedy and corrupt? Seems unlikely,' an editorial insisted." He shows how finance capital rips us off. For example, "Deregulation created a rich opportunity for financial players. . Wall Street hedge funds developed a very lucrative market in buying and selling utility companies and power plants, quickly doubling or tripling returns to their investors. Each time ownership was flipped, hedge funds took their profits and left the electric companies deeper in debt - forcing them to raise their rates for customers." Aggression abroad mirrors exploitation at home. Greider points to the ghastly wars against Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. He calls the Korean War 'a hideous mistake'. He notes that Alan Greenspan admitted, "The Iraq war is largely about oil", and that "both political parties are, in practice, united in a 'war party' that supports and finances militarism." His book abounds with telling facts: under Bush, family debt doubled to $7 trillion. The USA is one of only five countries without a national policy of paid maternity leave. Billionaire speculator Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. Finally, Greider proposes solutions to all these problems, believing, "The people are not the problem. The people are the solution." Americans need to 'rebuild the national economy at home and restore economic equity and security in society.' He sums up, "Reconstruction requires vast federal spending devoted to public investments. Rebuild the common assets of society (ranging from worn-out bridges to social guarantees) and finance the development of new industrial sectors that will create millions of new jobs." Rebuilding the USA will create jobs for Americans. The USA should borrow to create. In 1946, US government debt was 120 per cent of GDP, but, invested in new factories and new technologies, it generated jobs and wages and created the new wealth that supported better lives for the people.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2009

    Well worth the purchase price and more

    This author has done a great job of researching and tells it like it is.
    Offers many solutions to the problems this country has and exposes many of the people that have caused those problems. It is hard to put down once you start reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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