Rendezvous with oblivion : reports from a sinking society / Thomas Frank.

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      First edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "What does a middle-class democracy look like when it comes apart? When, after forty years of economic triumph, America's winners persuade themselves that they owe nothing to the rest of the country? In this collection of interlocking essays, Thomas Frank takes us on a wide-ranging tour through present-day America, showing us a society in the late stages of disintegration and describing the worlds of both the winners and the losers."--Book jacket.
    • Content Notes:
      Introduction : The first shall be first -- Part 1: Many vibrant mansions -- Servile disobedience -- The architecture of inequality -- Home of the whopper -- Meet the DYKWIAs -- Dead end on shakin' street -- Part 2: Too smart to fail -- Academy fight song -- A matter of degrees -- Course corrections -- Part 3: The poverty of centrism -- Beltway trifecta -- The animatronic presidency -- Bully pulpit -- The powers that were -- Part 4: The explosion -- Why millions of ordinary Americans support Donald Trump -- Rendezvous with oblivion -- How the Democrats could win again, if they wanted -- Main Street USA -- America made great again.
    • ISBN:
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LJ Reviews 2018 June #2

Frank (What's the Matter with Kansas?) has selected several pieces written for various publications over the last decade for his latest book. The essays included here all point toward the political but are not exclusively so. The overriding sociological theme seems to investigate where did it all go so wrong and how can we get it back? The economic climate of our country is the backdrop for Frank's essays, whether discussing suburbia, art, architecture, or the state of journalism. Frank's writing is refreshing in that he is solidly independent and gives no quarter to anyone in his sights, whether on the right or left. In fact, his most stinging criticisms are for the left. In that the essays are from the years leading up to the 2016 election, the things he wrote about the Democrats then have proven prescient. VERDICT Frank's old-school, punching-up liberal style is much welcomed. There is no better introduction to his work than this easily consumed volume suitable for all readers.—Brett Rohlwing, Milwaukee P.L.

Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

PW Reviews 2018 April #5

A decade of fraud, exploitation, and hypocrisy gets mercilessly dissected in these caustic essays. Journalist and historian Frank (Listen, Liberal) gathers pieces published in Harper's, the Guardian, and elsewhere since 2011, surveying the cultural camouflage that disguises the predatory workings of capitalism. He attacks many juicy targets, including the callous interpersonal psychology of rich people; the faux-folksiness of fast-food restaurants that pay starvation wages; journalism's plunge, led by conservative media mogul Andrew Breitbart, into fake news and mindless caricature; the defunding of the humanities at universities and academics' defense of those fields as incubators of business acumen; reactions to Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln that lionized its depiction of political corruption as bipartisan "compromise" to which real-life politicians should aspire; and the George W. Bush Presidential Library's efforts to gloss over war, Hurricane Katrina, and economic collapse with an exhibit on "Laura and the twins and all the fun they had." In several trenchant pieces probing Donald Trump's rise, Frank avoids simplistic claims of voter bigotry and instead emphasizes issues of trade, economic decline, and the Democrats' abandonment of the working class for a politics of centrist neoliberalism. Frank's combination of insightful analysis, moral passion, and keen satirical wit make these essays both entertaining and an important commentary on the times. (June)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.