ISBN is

978-1-4000-7660-4 / 1400076609

Reason: Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America

by Reich, Robert B.

Publisher:Vintage

Edition:Softcover

Language:English

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About the book:

Onto 2004's already crowded political non-fiction bookshelf, comes Reason by former Clinton administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich. It's a call to arms for liberals and progressives against what Reich terms the "Radcons", radical conservatives who combine the aggressive "neoconservative" foreign policy of Richard Perle and Robert Kagan with an insistence on interfering with private morality, all the while eliminating social safety nets. At times, it seems like Reich is trying to have it both ways: he condemns the Radcons for being judgmental and demonizing those with whom they disagree but, in the process, he often does some demonizing of his own in his summarization of their philosophies. Reich's arguments are most persuasive when he takes the approach of the Radcons but turns them around. Yes, he says, morality is crucial to the survival and prosperity of the United States, but instead of worrying about what people do in their own bedrooms, we should focus on public morality, especially as it pertains to overpaid CEOs, corrupt corporations, and the government's tacit approval of them. Despite his long history with the Democrats, or perhaps because of it, Reich saves some of his most pointed criticisms for his own party. He assails the Democrats for ceding the ongoing electoral struggle to the Republicans (and the Radcons, naturally). It's stupid, says Reich, to pursue a centrist approach to capturing the voting blocs necessary to achieve victory in the White House or congress because there is actually no such thing as centrism. Instead, there is a shift in the political dialogue as the right tacks further rightward and drags victory-hungry Democrats with it, thus alienating and ultimately disenfranchising the substantial liberal electorate. Reich ultimately sees good news for liberals on the horizon, however. While he thinks millions of Americans are fed up with the overly cautious Democratic Party that won't stand up for it's progressive principals, they are even wearier of the Radcons and "their intolerance, their mean-spiritedness, their moral righteousness, and their arrogance toward the rest of the world." --John Moe

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