Thomas Frank; John Nichols–Great New Books

1) Pity The Billionaire, The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of The Right, by Thomas Frank. His previous books include The Wrecking Crew and What?s The Matter with Kansas? (Frank is a former Wall Street Journal reporter who now writes for Harper?s magazine).

This a wonderfully written, deeply researched analysis of the bizarre and, ultimately, moneybags-manipulated rise of the Tea Party. The book also asks and answers the question: How did the theory and practice of Free Market capitalism get tranmogrified into a religion, complete with its own holy texts (The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged), high priests and massive, organized media arm?
This kind of subject is right on Frank?s beat?and he?s got a great writing style; a sort of professionally controlled disgust and disbelief, combined with a sharp sense of humor?and all of it based on objective observation and facts.

2) Uprising, How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street, by John Nichols.
(Nichols is the Washington Correspondent of The Nation Magazine, and the associate editor of The Capital Times in Madison?also the author of numerous books on the media and politics).

A passionate celebration of what Nichols sees as a new American populist revolution?based on his extensive knowledge of history and his experience as a journalist. He was also on the spot when a hundred thousand Wisconsonites occupied and surrounded the State Capitol.
The writing is clear, forthright has a good reportorial flow to it. This is a book that links movements together and provides some good, solid hope for the future of our democracy.

– Mike Feder (New York City – February 21, 2012)

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