HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Listen Liberal —or— What Ever Happened…
Loading...

Listen Liberal —or— What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?

by Thomas Frank

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2362469,858 (4.09)77
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 77 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
As I'm starting Frank's newest volume (Rendezvous with Oblivion), I'm realizing I never posted a review for Listen, Liberal. I've been a long-time reader of Franks, dating back to early-ish Baffler days, and this book continues with his sharp, accurate analysis of our current political climate. My reservation with this book is that, while I think I basically accept his position that the Democratic Party has become a party of professionals, out of touch with the working class, I'm not sure I know where he wants us to go from here - or more to the point, how or if the professional/meritocratic/academic world can coexist in the same party as the older style, working-class oriented left, as it resurges. Race is also a big blind spot for him, and I don't think the role race has in our national politics can really be ignored right now. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with his thoughts and writing at this point in time, but I may just be ready for some newer voices on the subject. ( )
  hikatie | Sep 23, 2018 |
``These affluent Democrats do not give a damn about inequality except as an election year slogan.''

May be an interesting read for a left-leaning political junkie, but not for me.
  mkeyhani | Jun 29, 2018 |
Starting with the Carter administration this is a look at how the Democratic party pulled away from its working class base and turned toward the people with money. It gives a history of the change and the affect it had on the middle class and politics up through today. I got mad as I read it and had to put it down several times. I understood what was said. Mr. Frank kept it simple and, at times, humor poked through. I wish I would have been more politically aware when I was younger and understood what was happening and how it would impact me and my world. Worth the read! ( )
1 vote Sheila1957 | May 10, 2018 |
I've been a long time reader of Thomas Frank, dating back to his "Conquest of Cool" and his editorial stint at "The Baffler" of which he was a founder. He is consistently thought provoking and willing to attack the complacency of the liberal class as he so effectively does in this book. The book itself is very reminiscent of Christopher Lasch's "Revolt of the Elites" which similarly attacked the then developing meritocracy twenty years ago for both its overweening self adulation and its abandonment of the working class.

Listen Liberal, coming out as it has at the height of Trump-mania and the elite's total dismissal of the Bernie Sanders phenomenon, provides a framework to understand just what is going on -- the spectacle of a supposedly left party which abandons its working class constituency to cater to the needs of a rising elite, while assuming that its natural constituency, the working class, will have no place else to go. Unfortunately, egged on by an irresponsible, rating obsessed media, that constituency seems to have found one, and its not a pretty one.

Read this book and then read some Lasch, but only if you want some real perspective on current events. ( )
1 vote bearymore | Mar 27, 2018 |
Read this book before the 2016 election. This book was very enlightening and raised many more questions that I hope to dialogue about with those around me. Frank's book has a real call to live out a fight against our current system.

Frank scathes the current Democratic party for its choice to forget that it is "the party of the people." Instead, the moves of the key figures of the past 30 years, the Clinton's and Obama, have done more to contribute to economic inequality by their continual obsequiousness towards meritocracy, plutocracy, professionalism, and the creative class.

In a completely bastardized remix of a more serious quote, this book made me think: "First they came for the workers and I did not speak out-because I was not a worker."

Frank is no conservative either. I want to read is "What's a Matter with Kansas" sometime soon. ( )
1 vote cambernard90 | Apr 12, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Behind all of this nasty fun is a serious political critique. Echoing the historian Lily Geismer, Frank argues that the Democratic Party — once “the Party of the People” — now caters to the interests of a “professional-managerial class” consisting of lawyers, doctors, professors, scientists, programmers, even investment bankers. These affluent city dwellers and suburbanites believe firmly in meritocracy and individual opportunity, but shun the kind of social policies that once gave a real leg up to the working class. In the book, Frank points to the Democrats’ neglect of organized labor and support for Nafta as examples of this sensibility, in which “you get what you deserve, and what you deserve is defined by how you did in school.” [...] Current approaches aren’t working — and unless something dramatic happens, Americans are heading for a society in which a tiny elite controls most of the wealth, ­resources and decision-making power.
added by melmore | editNew York Times, Beverly Gage (Apr 26, 2016)
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Frankprimary authorall editionscalculated
Shoemaker, DavidCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Too, Kelly S.Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
It is doubtless important to the good of nations that those who govern have virtues or talents; but what is perhaps still more important to them is that those who govern do not have interests contrary to the mass of the governed; for in that case the virtues could become almost useless and the talents fatal.

-- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
(tranlasted by Harvey C. Mansfield and Delba Winthrop)
McGeorge Bundy, then, was the finest example of a special elite, a certain breed of men whose continuity is among themselves. They are linked to one another rather than to the couuntry; in their minds they become responsible for the country but not responsive to it.

-- David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest
Dedication
First words
There are consequences to excessive hope, just as there are to other forms of intemperance. (Introduction)
Let us put the question bluntly.
Quotations
What I am suggesting is that their inability to address the social question is not accidental. The current leaders of the Democratic Party know their form of liberalism is somehow related to the good fortune of the top 10 percent. Inequality, in other words, is a reflection of who they are. It goes to the very heart of their self-understanding. (Introduction)
What was shocking about all this was to realize that Obama believed these cliches. Consensus, bipartisanship, the "center": those were the things that this admirable and intelligent man was serious about -- the kind of stale empty verbiage favored by Beltway charlatans on the Sunday talk shows. The other things Obama used to say -- like when he connected deregulation, corruption, and income inequality in his Cooper Union speech in 2008 -- those things were just to reel in the suckers. The suckers being the people who could hear the pillars of their middle-class world snapping. The suckers being the people who could see that the system was crumbling and thought maybe we ought to do something about it. (Introduction)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
From the bestselling author of What's the Matter With Kansas, a scathing look at the standard-bearers of liberal politics -- a book that asks: what's the matter with Democrats?

It is a widespread belief among liberals that if only Democrats can continue to dominate national elections, if only those awful Republicans are beaten into submission, the country will be on the right course.

But this is to fundamentally misunderstand the modern Democratic Party. Drawing on years of research and first-hand reporting, Frank points out that the Democrats have done little to advance traditional liberal goals: expanding opportunity, fighting for social justice, and ensuring that workers get a fair deal. Indeed, they have scarcely dented the free-market consensus at all. This is not for lack of opportunity: Democrats have occupied the White House for sixteen of the last twenty-four years, and yet the decline of the middle class has only accelerated. Wall Street gets its bailouts, wages keep falling, and the free-trade deals keep coming.

With his trademark sardonic wit and lacerating logic, Frank's Listen, Liberal lays bare the essence of the Democratic Party's philosophy and how it has changed over the years. A form of corporate and cultural elitism has largely eclipsed the party's old working-class commitment, he finds. For certain favored groups, this has meant prosperity. But for the nation as a whole, it is a one-way ticket into the abyss of inequality. In this critical election year, Frank recalls the Democrats to their historic goals-the only way to reverse the ever-deepening rift between the rich and the poor in America. [retrieved 9/24/2016 from Amazon.com]
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

"It is a widespread belief among liberals that if only Democrats can continue to dominate national elections, if only those awful Republicans are beaten into submission, the country will be on the right course. But this is to fundamentally misunderstand the modern Democratic Party. Drawing on years of research and first-hand reporting, Frank points out that the Democrats have done little to advance traditional liberal goals: expanding opportunity, fighting for social justice, and ensuring that workers get a fair deal. Indeed, they have scarcely dented the free-market consensus at all. This is not for lack of opportunity: Democrats have occupied the White House for sixteen of the last twenty-four years, and yet the decline of the middle class has only accelerated. Wall Street gets its bailouts, wages keep falling, and the free-trade deals keep coming. With his trademark sardonic wit and lacerating logic, Frank lays bare the essence of the Democratic Party's philosophy and how it has changed over the years. A form of corporate and cultural elitism has largely eclipsed the party's old working-class commitment, he finds. For certain favored groups, this has meant prosperity. But for the nation as a whole, it is a one-way ticket into the abyss of inequality. In this critical election year, Frank recalls the Democrats to their historic goals-the only way to reverse the ever-deepening rift between the rich and the poor in America"--… (more)

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Thomas Frank's book Listen, Liberal was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.09)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 1
2.5
3 11
3.5 4
4 24
4.5 6
5 21

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 129,000,735 books! | Top bar: Always visible