Age of Folly: America Abandons Its Democracy (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


I was drawn in by Lapham's legendary rapier wit but became utterly engrossed by his no less estimable and rare command of the facts. This is a bold, bracing, and supremely informed account of our troubled recent history.

— Ian

Description


America's leading essayist on the frantic retreat of democracy, in the fire and smoke of the war on terror
In twenty-five years of imperial adventure, America has laid waste to its principles of democracy. The self-glorifying march of folly steps off at the end of the Cold War, in an era when delusions of omnipotence allowed the market to climb to virtual heights, while society was divided between the selfish and frightened rich and the increasingly debt-ridden and angry poor. The new millennium saw the democratic election of an American president nullified by the Supreme Court, and the pretender launching a wasteful, vainglorious and never-ending war on terror, doomed to end in defeat and the loss of America's prestige abroad.
All this culminates in the sunset swamp of the 2016 election--a farce dominated by Donald Trump, a self-glorifying photo-op bursting star-spangled bombast in air. This spectacle would be familiar to Aristotle, whose portrayal of the "prosperous fool" describes a class of people who "consider themselves worthy to hold public office, for they already have the things that give them a claim to office.

About the Author


Lewis H. Lapham is the founding Editor of Lapham's Quarterly and the Editor Emeritus of Harper's. His columns received the National Magazine Award in 1995 for exhibiting "an exhilarating point of view in an age of conformity," and, in 2002, the Thomas Paine Journalism Award. He was inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors' Hall of Fame in 2007. His other books include Money and Class in America, Fortune's Child, Imperial Masquerade, The Wish for Kings, Hotel America, Waiting for the Barbarians, Theater of War, The Agony of Mammon, Gag Rule, and Pretensions to Empire.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781784787110
ISBN-10: 1784787116
Publisher: Verso
Publication Date: October 11th, 2016
Pages: 400
Language: English