A good look at four decades of politics
Let Them Eat Tweets: How The Right Rules In An Age of Extreme Inequality
Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, 2020
I recently finished reading Let Them Eat Tweets: How The Right Rules In An Age of Extreme Inequality by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson. This book is the best analysis I've read of political developments in the U.S. over the past 40 years; its an extremely insightful astute book. The authors discuss how extreme inequality (amounting to a plutocracy) has been created and sustained by the politics of outrage and racial division. What makes this book of special interest is the understanding that plutocrats' determination to hang on to their wealth (at all costs) includes a willingness to undermine democratic institutions, a process that started decades ago. The authors make a cogent case that democracy and income inequality of the magnitude that has developed in the U.S. in recent decades cannot coexist for long. Let Them Eat Tweets views Trump as the embodiment of decades long trends in the Republican party: a partnership between a large majority of the wealthiest Americans and white nationalists and white supremacists, an alliance that will continue whatever happens in November.
Some of you may have noticed that Shuggie Bain is on the short list for the National Book Award. Shuggie Bain is one of the best novels ever written about growing up with an alcoholic parent. The novel ( set in Scotland) is gut wrenching, and memorable. I almost quit reading the novel after a few pages because I was reluctant to read such a painful story; but then I found myself rereading pages because the quality of the writing is so exceptional. The better the novel, the slower I read; I read Shuggie Bain with careful attention to every page. The author is Douglas Stuart. Shuggie Bain is his debut novel.
© Dee Wilson