Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and the Remaking of America

Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and the Remaking of America

by David Callahan
     
 

In Fortunes of Change, David Callahan contends that something big is happening among the rich in America: they're drifting to the left.

When Callahan set out to write a book on the new upper class, he expected to profile a greedy and reactionary elite—the robber barons of a second Gilded Age. Instead, he discovered something else. While many of the

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Overview

In Fortunes of Change, David Callahan contends that something big is happening among the rich in America: they're drifting to the left.

When Callahan set out to write a book on the new upper class, he expected to profile a greedy and reactionary elite—the robber barons of a second Gilded Age. Instead, he discovered something else. While many of the rich still back a GOP that stands against taxes and regulation, liberalism is spreading fast among the wealthy.

In Fortunes of Change, we meet an upper class increasingly filled with super-educated professionals and entrepreneurs who work in “knowledge” industries and live in the bluest parts of America. This cosmopolitan elite takes for granted such key liberal ideas as multiculturalism and active government, and have ever less in common with an extremist GOP based in small-town America and dominated by Tea Party activists and the likes of Sarah Palin.

With groundbreaking research and profiles of key wealthy liberals, Callahan explains why the ranks of the liberal rich will keep growing, thanks to ongoing changes in the economy and the liberalism of elite educational institutions, and why this group will become ever more powerful. In the process, he busts myths, slays sacred cows, and topples the conventional wisdom about who really runs America and what they think.

Fortunes of Change will cause heated debate as many Republicans find their biases confirmed and debate how to recapture an upper class that used to side squarely with the GOP. Liberal activists will read the book with excitement, but also apprehension, as they grapple with new allies who may care more about polar bears than janitors, or more about legalizing gay marriage than controlling CEO pay.

Packed with surprising facts and behind-the-scene stories, Fortunes of Change is a must-read book if you want to understand how America's politics and culture are changing—and what the future may hold.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

In 2004, Callahan dissected "the pervasive greed and corruption found in the 'winning class' of the Enron era," in The Cheating Culture; now he takes another look at the super rich and finds paradoxically that in recent years "liberalism has spread in the upper class," and Billionaire Democrats played a significant role in Obama's victory. He disputes the claim that wealthy backers have pushed the party to the center in opposite to the their middle class constituency, and presents evidence to the contrary. While the "reformist tradition of patrician public service" dates back to Theodore Roosevelt, Callahan worries about a liberal plutocracy, even a benign one; prioritizing environmental causes over pollution in poor communities, ignoring the ongoing problem of home foreclosures, and opposing any meaningful financial reform will endanger our political democracy, he argues. And even were this not the case, "the outsized influence of rich people over electoral outcomes... undermines the ideal of one person, on vote," making Callahan's top priority "major reforms in the area of campaign finance and elections." What could have been a basic polemic is a nuanced, counterintuitive examination that deserves serious consideration from all sides of the political spectrum.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780470177112
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
08/09/2010
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

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