What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America [NOOK Book]

Overview


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 ...
See more details below
What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - First Edition)
$9.99
BN.com price

Overview


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


Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

EBOOK COMMENTARY

"Drunk on tax cuts, favors for corporations and above all else, their undying lust for the culture wars most of us lost interest in years ago, conservatives have driven Middle America into a ditch, Mr. Frank argues in this brilliant book. His examination of how the right has prolonged the battles over pop culture, abortion and religion (and meanwhile accrued great power and financial gain) will not single-handedly eject President Bush from the White House—but it does contain the kind of nuanced ideas that should be talking points for the Kerry campaign . . . Mr. Frank's willingness to scold his own side; his irreverence and his facility with language; his ability to make the connections that other writers fail to make—all of this puts What's the Matter with Kansas? in a different league from most of the political books that have come out in recent years. Even better, its understanding of the methodology that has given Republicans the Presidency and control of both houses of Congress makes it a road map for upending the G.O.P. Here's hoping somebody slips a copy to John Kerry."—Kevin Canfield, The New York Observer

"When I read Thomas Frank, I hear a faint bugle in the background. It's the cavalry-to-the-rescue call: There you are, surrounded by Republicans—outmanned, outgunned, and damn near out of both ammunition and humor—when up shows Thomas Frank. A heartland populist, Frank is hilariously funny on what makes us red-staters different from blue-staters (not), and he actually knows evangelical Christians, antiabortion activists, gun-nuts, and Bubbas. I promise y'all, this is the only way to understand why so many Americans have decided to vote against their own economic and political interests. And Frank explores the subject with scholarship, understanding, passion, and—thank you, Mark Twain—such tart humor."—Molly Ivins

"This is the true story of how conservatives punk'd a nation. Tom Frank has stripped the right-wing hustle to its core: It is bread and circuses—only without bread. Written like poem, every line in its perfect place, What's the Matter with Kansas? is the best new book I've read in years, on any subject."—Rick Perlstein, author of Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of American Consensus

"A wise reporter and a splendid wit; Tom Frank understands the grassroots Right as well as anyone in America. He is the second coming of H. L. Mencken—but with much better politics."—Michael Kazin, author of The Populist Persuasion: An American History

"What's the Matter with Kansas? is the most insightful analysis of American right-wing pseudopopulism to come along in the last decade. As for Kansas: However far it's drifted into delusion, you've got to love a state that could produce someone as wickedly funny, compassionate, and non-stop brilliant as Tom Frank."—Barbara Enhrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed

"Frank combines top-flight journalism with first-person reflections to dig deep into the Kansas psyche. Both exhilarating and a little scary, What's the Matter with Kansas? should help flat-landers and coastal types alike understand how traditional Republicanism gave way to the politics of the Christian Right in the heart of the heart of the country."—Burdett Loomis, professor and chair, Department of Political Science at the University of Kansas

"A fire-and-brimstone essay on false consciousness on the Great Plains. 'The poorest county in America . . . is on the Great Plains, a region of struggling ranchers and dying farm towns,' writes native Kansan and Baffler founding editor Frank, 'and in the election of 2000 the Republican candidate for president, George W. Bush, carried it by a majority greater than 80 percent.' How, Frank wonders, can it be that such a polity—honest toilers descended from free-soil, abolitionist progressives and prairie socialists—could back such a man who showed little concern then and has showed little concern since for the plight of the working class? And how can it be that such a place would forget its origins as a hotbed of what the historian Walter Prescott Webb called 'persistent radicalism,' as the seedbed of Social Security and of agrarian reform, to side with the bosses, to back an ideology that promises the destruction of the liberal state's social-welfare safety net? Whatever the root causes, many of which seem to have something to do with fear and loathing of big-city types and ethnic minorities, Kansas voters—and even the Vietnam vets among them—seem to have picked up on the mantra that the 'snobs on the coasts' are the enemy, and that Bush ('a man so ham-handed in his invocations of the Lord that he occasionally slips into blasphemy') and company are friends and deliverers . . . Even so, he sees the tiniest ray of hope for modern progressives: after all, he notes, the one Kansas county that sports a NASCAR track went for Al Gore in 2000. A bracing, unabashedly partisan, and very smart work of red-state trendspotting."—Kirkus Reviews
The New Yorker
Kansas, once home to farmers who marched against “money power,” is now solidly Republican. In Frank’s scathing and high-spirited polemic, this fact is not just “the mystery of Kansas” but “the mystery of America.” Dismissing much of the received punditry about the red-blue divide, Frank argues that the problem is the “systematic erasure of the economic” from discussions of class and its replacement with a notion of “authenticity,” whereby “there is no bad economic turn a conservative cannot do unto his buddy in the working class, as long as cultural solidarity has been cemented over a beer.” The leaders of this backlash, by focussing on cultural issues in which victory is probably impossible (abortion, “filth” on TV), feed their base’s sense of grievance, abetted, Frank believes, by a “criminally stupid” Democratic strategy of triangulation. Liberals do not need to know more about nascar; they need to talk more about money and class.
Corey Robin
Frank is witty and shrewd, a genial, informative political tour guide of the sort we desperately need today.
The Washington Post
Foreign Affairs
This fresh and engaging book stands out in the torrent of political screeds now pouring off the presses. Written by a man of the left, What's the Matter with Kansas? examines the rise of ultraconservative politics in the state that was once known for agrarian populism. The new activists, Frank says, are lower-middle-and working-class people-in past decades, the backbone of social democratic politics in Kansas. Why, Frank asks, do working-class Kansans labor to support a right-wing agenda that will strip them of social benefits, lower their wages, and provide enormous tax windfalls to the rich? Frank's eye is keen, and his pen is nimble; his answers are sadly conventional. He sees the contemporary Democratic Party as an odious mix of economic conservatism (the Democratic Leadership Council) and decadent social liberalism (Hollywood), and with the two parties united on antiworker economics, Kansas voters act rationally when they choose the party that at least pretends to respect their social values. A sharp turn to the economic left, Frank believes, will ultimately revive Democratic fortunes and stop the New Right in its tracks. Many thoughtful and spirited people have reached this conclusion in the past; none ever managed to build the powerful socialist party of their dreams. Perhaps Frank will succeed where others have failed.
Library Journal
Native Kansan Frank asks why his state, once famously radical, went the way of the entire country and turned Right. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A fire-and-brimstone essay on false consciousness on the Great Plains. "The poorest county in America . . . is on the Great Plains, a region of struggling ranchers and dying farm towns," writes native Kansan and Baffler founding editor Frank (ed., Boob Jubilee, 2003, etc.), "and in the election of 2000 the Republican candidate for president, George W. Bush, carried it by a majority greater than 80 percent." How, Frank wonders, can it be that such a polity-honest toilers descended from free-soil, abolitionist progressives and prairie socialists-could back such a man who showed little concern then and has showed little concern since for the plight of the working class? And how can it be that such a place would forget its origins as a hotbed of what the historian Walter Prescott Webb called "persistent radicalism," as the seedbed of Social Security and of agrarian reform, to side with the bosses, to back an ideology that promises the destruction of the liberal state's social-welfare safety net? Whatever the root causes, many of which seem to have something to do with fear and loathing of big-city types and ethnic minorities, Kansas voters-and even the Vietnam vets among them-seem to have picked up on the mantra that the "snobs on the coasts" are the enemy, and that Bush ("a man so ham-handed in his invocations of the Lord that he occasionally slips into blasphemy") and company are friends and deliverers. Frank ventures several convincing, if sometimes contradictory, reasons for what he clearly considers to be a tragedy; as he writes, "Kansas is ready to lead us singing into the apocalypse." Even so, he sees the tiniest ray of hope for modern progressives: after all, he notes, the one Kansas county that sports a NASCAR track went for Al Gore in 2000. A bracing, unabashedly partisan, and very smart work of red-state trendspotting.
From the Publisher
What op-ed writers across the political spectrum have said about Thomas Frank and

What's the Matter with Kansas?:

"The best political book of the year."

-Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times, November 3, 2004

"Frank is a formidable controversialist-imagine Michael Moore with a trained brain and an intellectual conscience."

-George F. Will, The Washington Post, July 8, 2004

"Brilliant."

-Barbara Ehrenreich, The New York Times, July 1, 2004

"Mr. Frank re-injects economic-class issues into the debate with sardonic vehemence."

-Jerome Weeks, The Dallas Morning News, June 27, 2004

"A searing piece of work . . . one of the most important political writings in years."

-The Boston Globe

"Dazzlingly insightful and wonderfully sardonic . . . Frank has made much sense of the world in this book."

-Chicago Tribune

"Impassioned, compelling . . . Frank's books mark him as one of the most insightful thinkers of the twenty-first century, four years into it."

-Houston Chronicle

"Very funny and very painful . . . Add another literary gold star after Thomas Frank's name."

-San Francisco Chronicle

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429900324
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 84,103
  • File size: 3 MB

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.


Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt


From What’s the Matter with Kansas?:

Hard times, instead of snapping people back to reality, only seem to stoke the fires of the conservative backlash. Indeed, those segments of the working class that have been hardest hit by the big economic changes of recent years are the very ones that vote Republican in the greatest numbers. We seem to have but one way to express our anger, and that’s by raging along with Rush—against liberal bias in academia, liberal softness on terrorism, liberal permissiveness, and so on. Our reaction to hard times is thus to hand over ever more power to the people who make them hard. In fact, the election of 2002 provided a perverse incentive to the men who gave us the dot-com bubble and the Enron fiasco: Keep at it. The more you screw the public over, the more they will clamor to cut your taxes. The more you cheat and steal, the angrier they will become—at the liberal media that expose your cheating and stealing.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 41 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2008

    The Great Delusion: Republicans as the 'People's Party'

    There¿s a paradox abroad in land that has troubled many thoughtful people for many years. On the one hand, workers¿ wages, in real terms, have been stagnant for two decades, despite strong productivity growth throughout the economy we continue to hemorrhage manufacturing jobs (and now even white-collar jobs) to outsourcing--including the latest twist, offshoring, which consists of parking boats offshore filled with low-wage computer workers who replace Americans on the land income inequality has reached obscene levels and we still don¿t have even a semblance of a national health-care safety net for the millions of people without insurance. On the other hand, we continue to elect conservative Republican politicians who, once in office, cut taxes for the rich, cut regulations on big business, and trumpet a mantra of laissez-faire, free-market capitalism that makes the rich richer and washes the losers out the bottom end. In this widely acclaimed book, Thomas Frank examines his home state of Kansas to see if he can unravel the problem (the book, published in 2004, predates the Democrats¿ regaining control of both the House and Senate in 2006--more on that later). What he finds is that through the ¿erasure of economics¿ from public debate and the substitution of hot-button cultural issues, the Republicans (with little resistance from the Democrats) have achieved the astounding feat of convincing average Americans, even those hurt or displaced by pro-business government policies, that they are the party of the little guy, with liberals being tarred as pampered, over-educated, elitist snobs who have lost touch with ¿real¿ Americans but who continue to pull the strings from on high while also being responsible for the cultural decay the conservatives see all around them. To further the irony, Frank points out that the issues emphasized by the far right conservatives--abortion, ¿family values,¿ prayer in the schools and the teaching of alternatives to evolution, gay marriage, violence and sleaze in the mass media, etc.--are largely things about which little or nothing ever gets done or can be done. And that¿s the way the conservatives like it. Helping us average Joes in any material way might blunt the sharp edge of the culture war, which is what keeps them in power and which thus needs to be unending. As one of Frank¿s chapter headings states, we seem to be ¿happy captives¿ in a medieval system in which everyone is supposed to know his or her place and not complain about such touchy subjects as income inequality or the rapacity of large corporations. ¿Backlash conservatives,¿ Frank writes, ¿deal in outrage, not satisfaction,¿ based on a worldview that is highly anti-intellectual and almost entirely emotional in its appeal. As an example of the ¿real¿ real world, Frank studies Johnson County, Kansas, where he finds two types of conservatives, which he calls the Mods and the Cons (moderate and far-right or cultural conservatives, respectively). He traces how, over the past four decades the Cons have systematically elbowed out the Mods everywhere from county party chairs to the U.S. Senate. And, yet he finds two Johnson Counties in an economic sense as well: ¿One Johnson county lives in landscaped cul-de-sac communities with statuary in the traffic islands and a swimming pool behind each house,¿ while ¿the other Johnson County is a place of peeling paint and cheap plywood construction with knee-high crabgrass.¿ Strangely, it is the latter Johnson County that is inhabited by the Cons. Meanwhile, the Mods (the ¿haves¿) pay lip service to the culture war because it elects conservative politicians, who then get down to the business of doing good things for business. Frank lays the blame for the plight of the common people mainly on the fact that through the red-herring issues of the culture war they have been hoodwinked into accepting a less and less regulated free-market system that is often their worst enemy, even as it contin

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 2, 2005

    liked it from title to conclusion

    I liked the book and I am personally aware that Thomas Frank accurately described what has happened in Kansas. If the book opens a mind or two along the way, it will serve a valuable purpose.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 17, 2005

    Great perception on current change in ideology

    I was born in Kansas and now live in Southern Arizona. The microcosm of Kansas politics is an excellent example of how and where the right wing of our two party system is going. It is easily seen by examining this state the battle grounds that are being staked, out not only for the main parties, but the inter-republican party specifically. There is good insight in how the democrats are perceived as well. I am currently looking at a run for US congress and have found that this book will help overcome the perception the people have of democrats.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 24, 2005

    Excellent!

    Offers an interesting perspective on America's changing political landscape. Very well written, witty, insightful and concise.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 16, 2005

    Cogent, Funny Political Analysis

    This book is one of the best political analyses to come down the pike in quite a while. Despite what others have said, it is at heart non-partisan, asking why the people of Kansas, who used to vote progressive for the better part of a century and a half, are now conservatives. Well written, thoughtful, humorous analysis. A quick read, but, if encountered with an open mind, gives an excellent overview of the current political climate.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 29, 2004

    A wake up call to the DLC and liberals

    Thomas Frank does an excellent job of explaining why people don't think their 'voting against your[their] 'own self interest'', but voting against the supposed liberal scourge and why those efforts amount to nothing but their own economic undoing. Frank also explains why the DLC and Democratic Party will never succeed aslong as it keeps pursuing the 'rich boys'. Sorry, Mike and Justin, but I think you just didn't understand what Thomas Frank was trying to show the rest of the country.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted November 12, 2004

    Great Book-Sad but True.

    This should be a must read in EVERY school, not just in Kansas, If the people in Kansas REALLY wanted to turn things around.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 12, 2006

    What's Up?

    From Kansas's infamous age as the hotbed for Abolitioist fury, it seems strange that Kansas has become Conservative USA. However, as Thomas Frank shows, conservatives have been the best pugulists in the raging and unresolved culture wars. Gives excellent guide of the power and allure of populist conservatism of Limbaugh and Coulter and how that has transformed the once-radical state of Kansas.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 12, 2005

    Excellent Research- Superbly Written

    The scholarship of this work is profoundly impressive, as is Rich's writing style. Rich is arguably the smartest pundit on the left and even (intelligent) conservatives must admit Rich's skill as a researcher and writer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 8, 2005

    Interesting, but maybe an oversimplification

    Marks makes some thoughtful and interesting arguments about why many Americans - specifically conservatives in Kansas vote against their own economic self-interest. Reading about the political history of Kansas in relation to our present circumstances was at times fascinating. The wit and humor of the author added to the experience. However, I think the main point of 'voting against self-interest' is a bit deceptive. I believe that some people are simply accustomed to their own situation so they will never see a 'vote' guided by their conscience as some kind of self-betrayal. Personally, I seldom vote conservative becaues of the state of conservative ideology and I understand that this 'liberal' vote is not always in my own self interest.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 4, 2004

    a must-read

    As a liberal Democrat from southcentral Kansas, I loved this book. It will have you laughing, shaking your head, and feeling proud for the radical state that KS used to be. Why, oh why did that have to change?? The sarcastic tone of the author is awesome. Unfortunately, I doubt too many conservative Republicans would be able to read this cover to cover since they would get too mad, but I doubt they would pick it up anyway, given the text that displays on the cover!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 28, 2004

    The Coalition That Is The GOP

    Frank clearly explains the coalition that is the GOP. It is composed of one group of people who worship market forces and another group of people who have tuned out economic issues. Frank's book was such a delightful and easy read that I went out a purchased his earlier book 'One Market Under God'. The earlier book is a more difficult read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 30, 2004

    Brilliant

    This book is to Kansas what 'Roger and Me' was to Michigan.. a must read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 24, 2004

    A must read for anyone interested in politics

    If you want to know why so many otherwise bright working class people are foolishly voting for Republicans, this book has the answers. I bought extra copies for my friends: some for the sociological phenomena, others for the political.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 9, 2004

    Knot-heads of America Unite!¿All you have to lose is your livelihood.

    The plainspoken Harry Truman once said ¿How many times do you have to be hit on the head before you figure out who¿s hitting you on the head?¿ Thomas Frank¿s What¿s The Matter With Kansas provides a fascinating blow-by-blow account. The voting pattern of Red-stater¿s give new meaning to the term ¿Hard Hat Conservatives.¿

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 12, 2014

    Although this book was written several years ago, its message re

    Although this book was written several years ago, its message resonates even more loudly today.  There are no moderates left in the GOP; for them, it's all about  big business, big oil and big bucks...for the wealthy.  What is amazing is how the GOP has been able to co-opt the Religious Right to buy into the GOP philosophy through opposition to abortion, gun legislation, prayer in schools, and related issues that the wealthy could not care less about.  And this is the heart of this book.  How is it that middle class and even poor Kansans support the GOP when its economic policies cut against these Kansans?  This is the rank hypocrisy of the GOP as supposedly representing real America.  The simple fact is they do not.  But the Democrats don't get a pass;  they seem incapable of shaping a simple message that will resonate and expose the hypocrisy of the GOP.  Of course, talking about issues is always more complex than simply using labels.  For GOP voters, just branding anything as liberal, Obamacare, Pelosi, etc., conjures up evil.  The simpler the message, the easier to sell.  The problem here is that virtually every dictator or tyrant followed this path of the simpler the message, the easier to sell.  Democracy is not an easy sell; in a dynamic and diverse society, life is more nuanced and complex.  But at a time when an informed public is vital, we are witnessing the dumbing down of our public education system; reliance on sound bites and spilled venom;  talking heads and self-proclaimed pundits doing the thinking for us; all designed to keep us fat, dumb and happy.  This book, and others like it, tell a sad, shocking but true story about where we are in our national intelligence.  I am not saying the GOP is all wrong and the Democrats have all the answers.  Neither is correct.  But on the hypocrisy scale and truth-telling scale, the GOP is off the charts.  

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 6, 2012

    Not truthful

    Bottom Line: if Molly Irvins likes it, it's filled with lies.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 5, 2010

    I highly dislike this book.

    I have to say I have never read a more dry book. I cant see why this book stayed on the best seller list, or how it got there in the first place. I was forced to read it twice and Franks snide remarks often left me wondering "who is he trying to ridicule?". I highly recommend you save your cash and not buy this book.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 4, 2006

    What a disappointment

    First, I'm a liberal and was looking forward to this book however I was sorely disappointed. I did not think the endnotes supported the conclusions in the book. It stuck me as a screed -- just what the author accuses so many conservative writers. I thought he had some interesting premises, but did not support them in the book. I recommend you skip this and go with Al Franken's Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. It did a much better job supporting it's premise and it was funny!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted November 26, 2004

    He just doesn't get it.

    Frank suffers from what many liberals, and John Kerry, suffer from. A lack of common sense. He just doesn't get it. It is not about voting against your 'own self interest', it's about voting for a better government, and government governs best when it governs least. Profiles of Courage every time you step in the ballot booth.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)