Pity the Billionaire: The Unlikely Resurgence of the American Right

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From the bestselling author of What's the Matter with Kansas?, a wonderfully insightful and sardonic look at why the worst economy since the 1930s has brought about the revival of conservatism

Economic catastrophe usually brings social protest and demands for change—or at least it's supposed to. But when Thomas Frank set out in 2009 to look for expressions of American discontent, all he could find were loud demands that the economic system be made even harsher on the recession's...

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Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right

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Overview

From the bestselling author of What's the Matter with Kansas?, a wonderfully insightful and sardonic look at why the worst economy since the 1930s has brought about the revival of conservatism

Economic catastrophe usually brings social protest and demands for change—or at least it's supposed to. But when Thomas Frank set out in 2009 to look for expressions of American discontent, all he could find were loud demands that the economic system be made even harsher on the recession's victims and that society's traditional winners receive even grander prizes. The American Right, which had seemed moribund after the election of 2008, was strangely reinvigorated by the arrival of hard times. The Tea Party movement demanded not that we question the failed system but that we reaffirm our commitment to it. Republicans in Congress embarked on a bold strategy of total opposition to the liberal state. And TV phenom Glenn Beck demonstrated the commercial potential of heroic paranoia and the purest libertarian economics.

In Pity the Billionaire, Frank, the great chronicler of American paradox, examines the peculiar mechanism by which dire economic circumstances have delivered wildly unexpected political results. Using firsthand reporting, a deep knowledge of the American Right, and a wicked sense of humor, he gives us the first full diagnosis of the cultural malady that has transformed collapse into profit, reconceived the Founding Fathers as heroes from an Ayn Rand novel, and enlisted the powerless in a fan club for the prosperous. The understanding Frank reaches is at once startling, original, and profound.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846556029
  • Publisher: Harvill Secker
  • Publication date: 1/28/2012

Meet the Author

Thomas Frank

Thomas Frank is the author of Pity the Billionaire, The Wrecking Crew, What's the Matter with Kansas?, and One Market Under God. A former opinion columnist for The Wall Street Journal, Frank is the founding editor of The Baffler and a monthly columnist for Harper's. He lives outside Washington, D.C.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

    Spot-On!

    Frank opens the door to help the reader see beyond the indecipherable blather of politics, into the machinery of the political right. "Pity the Billionaire" makes clear the motivations that are tearing this nation apart. The reader sees the reprehensible and unconscionable push to worship Market & Money, at the expense of the very fabric of this Nation. This book should be read by all who have a stake in America's future.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    "Swindle" may be too polite a word

    Thomas Frank's book is a brief disposition on the ironic state of American politics today, where the very class — yes, let's use the word — that led us over the brink and nearly destroyed the capitalist world order still dominate the discourse and ideals of our democracy

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2012

    Needed

    Thomas gets it right and with great detail. Corporate thieves gambled and lost after buying politicians who removed all the safties, then looted the treasury to get there losses back with our tax money for bad measure. The only downside to this book is that Thomas never makes a connection between movements like the Tea Party and the culture wars. People are willing to sell even themselves down the river over them and Thomas comes close but never seems to understand that as the answer to his confusion over the Rights quick resurgance after the 2008 economic collapse. Highly reccomended though, a book that needed to be written.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2012

    Propaganda at best

    Lacks details! Calls people liars but doesn't discredit their facts. Author is suffering from typical overconfidene in government intervention. Claims to blame repubs and dems for 2008 stock crash, but only assaults conservatives. Never explains liberals blame for fanny, freddy, or housing collapse. Claims to understand conservatives, but never shows the simplest or basic understanfing of conservative thought. Book reads more as a childs tantrum than an honest assesment of really anything but the greed of wallstreet. Governments greed never even enters his feeble mind. Only free thinkers should read this book due to possibility of brainwashing to other feeble minded people.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    Not worth the effort

    I couldn't believe that half of this book consisted of notes - references and quotes from others' statements. I got half way through and Frank's writing just stopped. Probably won't buy another of his.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 5, 2012

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    Posted March 12, 2012

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    Posted April 29, 2012

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    Posted January 17, 2012

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    Posted March 13, 2012

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