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Download Pity the Billionaire: The Unexpected Resurgence of the American Right Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Pity the Billionaire: The Unexpected Resurgence of the American Right (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Thomas Frank
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (629 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Frank Narrator: Thomas Frank Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2011 ISBN:
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From the best-selling author of What's the Matter with Kansas?, a wonderfully insightful and sardonic look at how the worst economy since the 1930s has brought about the revival of conservatism.

Economic catastrophe usually brings social protest and demands for change - or at least it's supposed to. But when Thomas Frank set out in 2009 to look for expressions of American discontent, all he could find were loud demands that the economic system be made even harsher on the recession's victims and that society's traditional winners receive even grander prizes. The American right, which had seemed moribund after the election of 2008, was strangely reinvigorated by the arrival of hard times. The Tea Party movement demanded not that we question the failed system but that we reaffirm our commitment to it. Republicans in Congress embarked on a bold strategy of total opposition to the liberal state. And TV phenom Glenn Beck demonstrated the commercial potential of heroic paranoia and the purest libertarian economics.

In Pity the Billionaire, Frank, the great chronicler of American paradox, examines the peculiar mechanism by which dire economic circumstances have delivered wildly unexpected political results. Using firsthand reporting, a deep knowledge of the American right, and a wicked sense of humor, he gives us the first full diagnosis of the cultural malady that has transformed collapse into profit, reconceived the Founding Fathers as heroes from an Ayn Rand novel, and enlisted the powerless in a fan club for the prosperous. What it portends is ominous for both our economic health and our democracy.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joan | 2/20/2014

    " Thomas Frank is very clever and intelligent but like many political non-fiction books this is looping, repetitive and though short feels stretched to make a book vs. an in depth artilce. Also it is ultimately depressing. His conclusion is that America is doomed to a civil and economic downward spiral. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fran Caparrelli | 2/17/2014

    " Everyone should read this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nick Lloyd | 1/21/2014

    " Perhaps a bit angrier than his great work, What's The Matter With Kansas?, Frank's latest book is a thorough and sometimes humorous look at the rise of the Tea Party. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tena | 1/12/2014

    " While I understand his pain, I am not enthused about this book; which is more like a rant than a book anyway. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Quincy | 1/11/2014

    " This is a 4.5 stars out of 5 review. The book does an excellent job of drawing parallels between the Great Depression and the 2008 Financial Crisis. It shows where the answers to each respective crisis diverged. A great short history of the rights response. Frank reveals the deep and stifling hypocrisy of the Tea Party and their populist leaders. It's maddening to read about the banksters before and after the crisis. Is even more maddening to hear the rights response. A call for all the policies that got us to this juncture. The claims of being your the little guy while simultaneously pushing policies that help the bankers and CEOs they "hate." I appreciate that Frank writes a book which isn't just a list of the absurd things done fringe Tea Partier said. As he wrote (paraphrasing) the left didn't engage the rights faulty ideas but just maligned them which helped feed their persecution complex. I liked the final chapter which offered up the problems of the lefts tone deaf response. Also does a superb job of pointing to the Democrat's abandonment of labor and the middle class and the poor for the benefit of their wealthy benefactors. My quibbles are his defense of the corporation from the barbs of the right. The big businesses are a large reason for the stripping labor of their bargaining rights and the suicidal pursuit of Neo liberal economic policies. I also think Frank gives Obama the benefit of the doubt. Says he went with the Wall Street-centric bailout and policies was an answer the socialist claims. I don't give him that same benefit. I think he's just another Reagan Democrat masquerading as a progressive continuing the advancement of privatization of America. I recommend this book with the deep insight into the mind of the populist right and solid debunking of the myths permeating their ranks. It is a witty welcome introduction of the leaders and kingmakers of the Tea Party. His sarcastic, acerbic barbs liven the already interesting subject. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christe | 1/10/2014

    " Read half of it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicholas | 1/7/2014

    " preaching to the choir... a little too spun up to appeal to anyone except people who already buy the thesis. in the last bit, he stops throwing bombs, and it's his strongest chapter. decent airplane or shitter reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daves | 12/17/2013

    " Although I did not agree with the author most of the time, it was informative with regards to his point of view. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric | 12/16/2013

    " Given the cognitive enclaves that Americans live in now, most people will never read this book, or even hear of it (except in short passages taken out of context to make alternative points). It's a shame, too; Frank, as usual, is really entertaining, and at times really enlightening. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Houston | 11/28/2013

    " Outstanding read. Very instructive on the real causes of the 2008 financial collapse and the ways in which its culprits have used it for their own gain. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe Keene | 11/17/2013

    " Decent book. Nowhere near as good as What's the Matter with Kansas. Best part of book is the critique of Obama and how he is beholden to corporate interests, just like the GOP. One thing I didn't like is the constant talking about Glenn Beck. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Naomi | 12/31/2012

    " a bit of a diatribe and i didn't really learn that much. i agree with everything he said, but somebody like Michael Moore or Jon Stewart could make the same information more palatable. Frank's tone just didn't set with me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carly Thompson | 9/28/2012

    " Much of the information in this book I already knew. The section comparing the unwillingness of people on the right to acknowledge information that contradicts their beliefs to the blindness of the American Communists in the 1930s was interesting. Will only appeal to people on the left. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cory | 3/25/2012

    " The concept of the book was more compelling than the argument was convincing. The specific evidence was almost all anecdotal, and he kept calling me, "dear reader." I thought I'd love it, but it was just OK. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jason | 2/8/2012

    " I consider myself a liberal and was assuming this would be a guilty pleasure. It turned out to be a waste of time. "

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About the Author
Author Thomas Frank

Thomas Frank is the author of several nonfiction books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Wrecking Crew and What’s the Matter with Kansas? A former opinion columnist for the Wall Street Journal, he is the founding editor of the Baffler and a monthly columnist for Harper’s.