This is a reasoned but passionate look at how Reaganism—the political philosophy of Ronald Reagan—has severely damaged representative democracy as created by the nation's founders. According to Williams, Reagan and his foremost disciple George W. Bush have created a plutocracy where the United States is no longer a government of the people, by the people, and for the people but is ruled by the wealthiest individuals and corporate America. Refreshingly unafraid to point out that Reaganism's anti-government fundamentalism stands on feet of clay, Walter Williams asks that Americans move from their political apathy to pay attention to the politicians and the corporations lurking behind the power curtain to see the dangers they represent to the true essential of the American way of life.
Williams' most important contribution is his extended analysis of the central role the key institutions—the presidency, Congress, the federal agencies—must play for the U.S. government to be capable in both sustaining representative democracy and protecting the safety and economic security of the American people. A clear result of the weakened institutions has been the grossly inadequate homeland security effort following September 11, and the massive corporate fraud revealed by Enron and other large firms that robbed the nation of hundreds of billions of dollars in stock values and depleted the pension savings of millions of people. The initial destructive blow that damaged the institutions of governance can be traced to Ronald Reagan and his simplistic antigovernment philosophy that fostered rapacious business practices and personal greed. The book also takes the media to task, criticizing the dismal record of failing to investigate the political and corporate chicanery that has brought us to this pass.
Keenly argued and scrupulously documented, Walter Williams has written a stinging wake-up call to the dangers of the demise of representative democracy and the rise of plutocracy that American citizens can ignore only at their peril.
Do you ever wonder why conservative pundits drop the word “faggot” or talk about killing and then Christianizing Muslims abroad? Do you wonder why the right’s spokespeople seem so confrontational, rude, and over-the-top recently? Does it seem strange that conservative books have such apocalyptic titles? Do you marvel at why conservative writers trumpeted the “rebel” qualities of George W. Bush just a few years back?
There is no doubt that the style of the political right today is tough, brash, and by many accounts, not very conservative sounding. After all, isn’t conservatism supposed to be about maintaining standards, upholding civility, and frowning upon rebellion? Historian Kevin Mattson explains the apparent contradictions of the party in this fresh examination of the postwar conservative mind. Examining a big cast of characters that includes William F. Buckley, Whittaker Chambers, Norman Podhoretz, Irving Kristol, Kevin Phillips, David Brooks, and others, Mattson shows how right-wing intellectuals have always, but in different ways, played to the populist and rowdy tendencies in America’s political culture. He boldly compares the conservative intellectual movement to the radical utopians among the New Left of the 1960s and he explains how conservatism has ingested central features of American culture, including a distrust of sophistication and intellectualism and a love of popular culture, sensation, shock, and celebrity.
Both a work of history and political criticism, Rebels All! shows how the conservative mind made itself appealing, but also points to its endemic problems. Mattson’s conclusion outlines how a recast liberalism should respond to the conservative ascendancy that has marked our politics for the last thirty years.
Religious organizations in many countries of the communist world have served as agents for the preservation, defense, and reinforcement of nationalist feelings, and in playing this role have frequently been a source of frustration to the Communist Party elites. Although the relationship between governments and religious groups varies according to the particular country and group in question, the mosaic of these relationships constitutes a revealing picture of the political reform shaping the lives of Soviet and East European citizens.
Rethinking the Cold War
edited by Allen Hunter Temple University Press, 1997 Library of Congress D843.R437 1998 | Dewey Decimal 909.82
The end of the Cold War should have been an occasion to reassess its origins, history, significance, and consequences. Yet most commentators have restated positions already developed during the Cold War. They have taken the break-up of the Soviet Union, the shift toward capitalism and electoral politics in Eastern Europe and countries formerly in the USSR as evidence of a moral and political victory for the United States that needs no further elaboration.
This collection of essays offers a more complex and nuanced analysis of Cold War history. It challenges the prevailing perspective, which editor Allen Hunter terms "vindicationism." Writing from different disciplinary and conceptual vantage points, the contributors to the collection invite a rethinking of what the Cold War was, how fully it defined the decades after World War II, what forces sustained it, and what forces led to its demise. By exploring a wide range of central themes of the era, Rethinking the Cold War widens the discussion of the Cold War's place in post-war history and intellectual life.
This autobiography follows West Virginia senator Robert C. Byrd’s experiences from his boyhood in the early 1920s to his election in 2000, which won him an unprecedented eighth term in the Senate. Within these pages, Senator Byrd offers commentary on national and international events that occurred throughout his long life in public service.
His journey from the hardscrabble coalfields to the marbled halls of Congress has inspired generations of people in West Virginia and throughout the nation. From reading the stories of the Founding Fathers as a young boy by the light of a kerosene lamp to the swearing of an oath for more than a half-century to guard the US Constitution, Senator Byrd’s life is legendary.
Until his death on June 28, 2010, Byrd stood by his principles, earning the affection of the people of his home state and the respect of Americans from all walks of life. With his beloved Erma ever by his side, Robert C. Byrd never forgot his roots, harkening back to those early lessons that he learned as a child of the Appalachian coalfields.
This new paperback edition includes a foreword by Gaston Caperton, governor of West Virginia from 1989–1997.
This autobiography follows United States Senator Robert C. Byrd’s experiences from his boyhood in the early 1920s to his election in 2000, which won him an unprecedented eighth term in the Senate. Along the way, Senator Byrd offers commentary on national and international events that occurred throughout his long life in public service. Senator Byrd’s journey from the hardscrabble coalfields to the marbled halls of Congress has inspired generations of people in West Virginia and throughout the nation. From reading the stories of the Founding Fathers as a young boy by the light of a kerosene lamp to the swearing of an oath for more than a half-century to guard the United States Constitution, Senator Byrd’s life is legendary. Byrd always stands by his principles, earning the affection of the people of his home state and the respect of Americans from all walks of life. With his beloved Erma ever by his side, Robert C. Byrd has never forgotten his roots, harkening back to those early lessons that he learned as a child of the Appalachian coalfields.
"There are few places where the game [of politics] is played with more intensity than in Chicago," notes Steve Neal, who has covered that city's politics since 1979.
The longtime political columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, Neal covered Jane M. Byrne's election in 1979 as the city's first woman mayor and Harold Washington's 1983 triumph as Chicago's first African American mayor. Even people who are not interested in politics are drawn to Neal's column because of his hard-hitting style and lucid insights. Rolling on the River is the first published collection of his work.
In these pages, you'll meet the state legislator who never met a special interest he did not like, an alderman groveling to a mob boss, and the prosecutor who gained notoriety as a publicity hound. Of a junketing congressman, Neal writes: "Instead of sending out a congressional newsletter, [he] ought to be sending his constituents 'Wish you were here' postcards of sandy beaches."
Neal's beat is politics, but his interests are rich and varied. He also writes about sports, music, literature, and film with a point of view that is fresh and original. Neal shows how Muhammad Ali became the heavyweight champion who transcended sports and how Sid Luckman changed football. He writes of Kenny Washington's importance in breaking professional football's color barrier and Steve Prefontaine's courage in taking on the little gray men of the sports establishment. Neal chronicles Paul Robeson's struggles: "His name became a great whisper. . . . The injustices against Paul Robeson have not been righted."
Nobel laureate Saul Bellow tells Neal that comedy is the bright hope of American fiction because it is too difficult for writers in this country to grasp the worst of the human condition. Neal tells why Frank Sinatra called Chicago his kind of town and also shows how the city inspires the poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks.
Neal, a former White House correspondent, shares his perspective as one of the few reporters to have interviewed Ronald Reagan in four different decades. He recalls spending an evening with Richard M. Nixon, defends Harry Truman's most controversial decision, and writes from Ireland of John F. Kennedy's enduring legacy in the nation of his ancestors. Neal portrays William Jefferson Clinton as the "world's oldest teenager."
With vivid imagery, Neal makes his subjects come alive. Mayor Richard M. Daley is likened to Forrest Gump, and the legendary boxing announcer Ben Bentley is hailed as the last of the Damon Runyon characters.
Tough but fair. Illuminating. Compassionate. That's the best of Steve Neal.