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Extended Audio Sample The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule Audiobook, by Thomas Frank Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (864 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Frank Narrator: Oliver Wyman Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2008 ISBN: 9781427204554
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In his previous book, Thomas Frank explained why working America votes for politicians who reserve their favors for the rich. Now, in Wrecking Crew, Frank examines the Washington those politicians have given us, showing why, no matter what happens in November 2008, we're stuck with it for the foreseeable future.

Casting back to the early days of the conservative revolution, Frank describes the rise of a ruling coalition dedicated to dismantling government. But rather than cutting down the big government they claim to hate, conservatives have simply sold it off, deregulating some industries, defunding others, but always turning public policy into a private-sector bidding war. Washington itself has been remade into a golden landscape of super-wealthy suburbs and gleaming lobbyist headquarters. And though arch-lobbyist Jack Abramoff has crashed and burned, the government-by-entrepreneurship he pioneered so outrageously has become the law of the land.

It is no coincidence, Frank argues, that the same politicians who guffaw at the idea of effective government have installed a regime in which incompetence is the rule. Nor will the country easily shake off the consequences of deliberate misgovernment through the usual election remedies. Obsessed with achieving a lasting victory, conservatives have taken pains to enshrine the free market as the permanent creed of state.

Stamped with Frank's audacity, analytic brilliance, and wit, Wrecking Crewis his most revelatory work yet—and his most important.

Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darrell Fisher | 2/16/2014

    " This is a must read book if you want to understand the strategies used on the conservative side of the aisle. I thought I was aware of the cynical techniques the Republican party uses but I admit I only scratched the surface. You will be amazed at the total disrespect they have toward the average American. Even the one that support them. If you have any interest in politics...this is a must read "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kevin | 2/1/2014

    " I saw Thomas Frank give a talk on Book TV on C-SPAN, and it piqued my interest so I got this book at the local library. It was mostly a disappointment, as it was mostly a simplistic anti-capitalist rant. His point is that there is a conservative conspiracy to make government incompetent in order to prove their point that government is inefficient. However, I think Occam's razor gives us a better reason- because government spends peoples money to benefit other people, it is less efficient than people spending their money as they wish- it is the inherent nature of government to be inefficient, incompetent and corrupt. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stewart | 1/14/2014

    " Thomas Frank's "What's the Matter With Kansas?" I consider to be the preeminent book about what has happened politically in the U.S. the past 35 years. "The Wrecking Crew" is a worthy successor. Full of statements by Far Right conservatives themselves, the book points out the Far Right's efforts to dismantle the federal government by cronyism, massive debt, and purposeful ineptitude. Which is to say, the FEMA response to Hurricane Katrina and other federal agencies' failures the past eight years have not been accidents but are a deliberate attempt to wreck the federal government and sow cynicism among Americans that their federal government can ever be effective. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan | 1/12/2014

    " One of only a few "must reads" of the decade... if you want to understand how our government works. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gina | 1/6/2014

    " The review of four stars is because the book is well-researched, well-written, and important. That being said, I also have to say that it was a really hard read. The book is denser and somewhat less accessible than "What's the Matter with Kansas", and combined with the appalling subject matter, reading was more of a chore than pleasure. I could not do more than one chapter a day because I would get so disgusted by the contents that I would have to stop. Although I can't endorse it, I can see why they say ignorance is bliss. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonathan | 1/5/2014

    " This dude is important. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chantal | 11/15/2013

    " P is for progressive, and that's me. What can I say, everything and anything this man writes is well-researched and makes me more aware of the f*ed-up world we live in. Even my re-born christian, republican father found that Thomas Frank had given him a lot too think about -- now that's progress! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Russ | 11/15/2013

    " Great documentation of how the Conservative Movement and the Republican Party were co-opted by a group of people intent on making themselves wealthy on the backs of taxpayers. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 daniel silliman | 11/2/2013

    " Franks makes a good case that "conservatives" are sold out to business interests and have excellent sabatoge strategies, but he tends to take really odd events and facts and act like they're central to the history of conservatism. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ely | 3/3/2013

    " Again, Frank is dead-on in his thinking, crisp in his prose, and churning with righteous anger. But as good as he is in identifying what's wrong with the country, he's light on solutions. It's been like this since his Baffler days. Still, we're a lot better off for having him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Drew | 2/26/2013

    " I liked how Thomas Frank describes the D.C. suburbs in Virginia just like he described Johnson County, Kansas, from "What's the Matter with Kansas." While I preferred his previous book, this one is a good one to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 6/29/2012

    " It doesn't take Ron Paul to see that what Messrs Paulson, Bernanke and Bush are about to do (sneaking around the Capitol on a Sunday morning) is utterly criminal. Welcome back to the 19th century. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill Kerwin | 4/2/2012

    " In this worthy follow-up to "What's the Matter with Kansas," Thomas Frank show how modern conservatives demonstrate their contempt for government per se by systematically eviscerating and/or privatizing it when they are in power. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott | 10/27/2011

    " Fascinating and horrifying look at corporate control of America in the Republican party. Read all about how Jack Abramoff and other Republicans relate to a murderous African dictator! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alec Gray | 8/15/2011

    " A good overview of Republican party politics "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karl | 6/16/2011

    " An absolute gem if you want to know what the Bush Administration was really all about. If you guessed it was about money and power, you still will find the full explanation of exactly how they they dealt with those issues fascinating. I'd like to buy this book for everyone with an open mind. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jose | 10/22/2010

    " Very good audio book. enjoyed it. According to Frank, conservative party is about as bad as anything you can imagine. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 9/3/2010

    " Frank explains what the conservatives are really up to. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jose | 7/30/2010

    " Very good audio book. enjoyed it. According to Frank, conservative party is about as bad as anything you can imagine. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nicholas | 6/2/2010

    " Eugh this book was awful. Just rhetoric blasted from a cannon. Dismisses valid points and twists words.

    Don't waste your time on it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 4/16/2010

    " I believe that it deals with the strategy of conservatives to increase spending by the federal government to the point of bankruptcy. The Tea Party movement is used to blame liberals for these problems that leads to slashing public services. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 1/28/2010

    " Too early to say. Don't think it's going to be high on conservative reading list, however. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Noel | 1/15/2010

    " This book is well written, but the problem is that its all familiar ground for anyone that paid attention to politics during the 90s. And I probably also am rating it lower v=because lately I'm sick of politics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 1/6/2010

    " I wish Thomas Frank was in charge of first year Political Science courses across the country. His insight is brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! I cannot recommend him enough. "

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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.

About the Narrator

Oliver Wyman is an actor and award-winning audiobook narrator. His first full-length audiobook, It’s Not about the Bike, won an Audie Award. Quickly renowned for his versatility, he went on to win several Audie Awards and eighteen AudioFile Earphones Awards in genres ranging from drama and humor to nonfiction and children’s stories.