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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alarmingly incisive; 100% free from cliches, 5 Feb 2011
Ronald Haak (Cork, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This book is superbly informed and gripping to read. Be sure to read the opening pages that are offered by, pages 1-5. It seems at first to be the account of just one sincere, dislocated American, but his case is not an isolated one. It profiles a growing legion of disaffected Americans who comprise a potentially explosive sector of the population. These people feel betrayed and angry because they've been plowed under by corporate greed and abandoned by the political parties who have forsaken them. The specifics of their lives differ, but they are united in being cut loose from a fair chance at a decent life. These people are boxed in without hope because of the decades-long abdication of principled actors and reformers in American political life. Now the chickens have come home to roost. Corporations have taken over and now the extent of the cancer is plain. The villians are liberals whose nature was to be co-opted by the system, the liberals who found it was a short journey from the anti-war demonstration to the grant application, the liberals who always sold out the American radicals when the going got tough. Now the liberals find themselves all but destroyed as a result of their collusion and co-optation. The beneficiaries of liberal default are the corporations who cannot see beyond their balance sheets and are destroying America.

All the casualties are represented by the desperate, idealistic man in the first 5 pages of the book. We are not talking immigrants or minorities here, but loads of native-born caucasian Americans, some of whom are war veterans. They feel betrayed, perplexed and at the end of their tether. As Noam Chomsky says later in the book, these people who often appear on talk radio and say, "I'm a God-fearing, responsible citizen. I love my country. I've worked hard all my life. I'm not asking for a handout. I'm fed up with the unresponsiveness of political parties and finding no opportunities available. I'm angry and I've got a gun. I don't know what to do." The seeds for fascism and nihilism in America are here.

The account is lucidly presented and scary. The steam boiler of chaos is being stoked by politicians who are in the pocket of corporations and the Americans who are excluded as a result. The corporations are either blind to this, or will find a way to use this tide of potential chaos for their own purposes.

98% of the book analyzes how this developed. It's an extended exposition of how corporate influence co-opted political responsibility. It is cliche-free, concise, fresh and brisk in its treatment. It is not a rehash of tired partisan diatribes. The final two chapters chart a way out. It's enormously ominous and significant.
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Death of the Liberal Class
Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges (Paperback - 15 Dec 2011)
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