Age of Folly: America Abandons Its Democracy

Category: Book
By (author): Lapham, Lewis H.
Subject:  NON-FICTION / General
  POLITICAL SCIENCE / Commentary & Opinion
  POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
Publisher: Verso Books
Published: October 2016
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 400
Size: 0.00in x 0.00in
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*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."
Review Quote*"Without doubt our greatest satirist-elegant, honorable, learned and fair. I love reading him."
-Kurt Vonnegut

"Lewis Lapham-born of Mark Twain and H. L. Mencken-is the most provocative and engaging essayist in the country."
-George Plimpton

"One of the last liberal thinkers, a man of elegant humor. Should he wander onto the premises of Fox TV, he'd surely be shot down like a dog."
-Liz Smith

"Lapham's indignation is ecumenical, his scorn spread as smoothly as butter from left to right and north to south across the face of contemporary America."
-Boston Globe

"Lapham is a wonderful writer, a connoisseur of the perfect word."
-Business Week

"The combination of Lapham's urbane prose and lethal wit … makes for delightful reading."
Biographical NoteLewis 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.