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Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (edition 2002)
Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich by Kevin Phillips
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0767905342, Paperback)Most American conservatives take it as an article of faith that the less governmental involvement in affairs of the market and pocketbook the better. The rich do not, whatever they might say--for much of their wealth comes from the "power and preferment of government." So writes Kevin Phillips, the accomplished historian and one-time Washington insider, in this extraordinary survey of plutocracy, excess, and reform. "Laissez-faire is a pretense," he argues; as the wealth of the rich has grown, so has its control over government, making politics a hostage of money. Examining cycles of economic growth and decline from the founding days of the republic to the recent collapse of technology stocks, Phillips dispels notions of trickle-down wealth creation, pricks holes in speculative bubbles, and decries the ever-increasing "financialization" of the economy--all of which, he argues, have served to reduce the well-being of ordinary Americans and government alike. Highly readable for all its charts and graphs, Phillips's book offers a refreshing--and, of course, controversial--blend of economic history and social criticism. His conclusions won't please all readers, but just about everyone who comes to his pages will feel hackles rising. --Gregory McNamee
(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 20 Apr 2011 11:23:29 -0400)
"For more than thirty years, Kevin Phillips' insight into American politics and economics has helped to make history as well as record it. Now he turns his attention to the United States' history of great wealth and power, a sweeping cavalcade from the American Revolution to what he calls "the Second Gilded Age" at the turn of the twenty-first century." "The Second Gilded Age has been staggering enough in its concentration of wealth to dwarf the original Gilded Age a hundred years earlier. However, the tech crash and then the horrible events of September 11, 2001, pointed out that great riches are as vulnerable as they have ever been. In Wealth and Democracy, Kevin Phillips charts the ongoing American saga of great wealth - how it has been accumulated, its shifting sources, and its ups and downs over more than two centuries. He explores how the rich and politically powerful have frequently worked together to create or perpetuate privilege, often at the expense of the national interest and usually at the expense of the middle and lower classes."--BOOK JACKET.
(summary from another edition)
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