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Barack Obama swept into the White House in January 2009 still floating–or so it appeared to millions of his admirers–high above the crude realities of contemporary American political life. Old-fashioned landmarks–party loyalty, ideology, campaign fundraising, patronage, corruption, even race–seemed hopelessly outdated as points of reference for understanding what was trumpeted as a new phenomenon in the nation’s civic history. But Obama was soon forced to confront a system that proves nearly impossible to change in any meaningful way.
Looking closely at Congress, elections, and money in politics, and sparing neither side of the political spectrum, MacArthur delivers a devastating exposé of the entrenched interests and elites that make change in America so impossible. Surveying local activists fighting again moneyed interests, he finds much the same as what’s going on in Washington.
First released in September 2008, MacArthur’s book was the first book to criticize Obama from the Left. It is presented here in a new package; it’s also fully revised and contains a new introduction discussing Obama’s first years in office.
“Written with a personal, engrossing style, MacArthur draws your attention page after page with enraging and motivating stories of conditions on the ground in America.” –Ralph Nader, candidate for president, 2000, 2004, 2008
“This book lays bare the malfunctions of our democracy and the solutions in a superb literary style and a convincing manner.”–George McGovern, Democratic candidate for President, 1972
“A chapter-by-chapter postmortem of cherished American ideals. . . MacArthur’s tone is wry-enraged, but he includes serious anecdotal discussion, looking at the startling numbers behind election-year pomp and following the end result of our politics to America’s economically depressed, hollowed-out small cities.”–Time Out Chicago