The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism

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In this latest demystification of American political life, Thomas Frank shows that populism, far from being the problem of our time, is the cure for what ails us. Tracing the history of this mass democratic movement through the titanic social struggles of the last century, he reveals a force for enlightenment and liberation - indeed, the foundation of American democracy itself, of its promise of a decent life for all.

No less important, Frank dissects the purpose of the elite groups that have opposed populism over the decades - the ones who say "the people, no." Following the arc of anti-populism from the frantic days of the 1890s to just last week, Frank describes how its proponents have repeatedly cast hopeful democratic movements in the same harsh light, demonising them with the same fears, defaming them with the same insults. In a claim that is sure to be controversial, Frank shows how anti-populism has actually changed sides, shifting from a doctrine of conservative wealth in the 1890s to the faith of the liberal elite today.

Rarely does a work of history contain startling implications for the present, but in The People, No Frank pulls off that explosive effect by showing us that everything we think we know about populism is wrong. The People, No sounds a cautionary note for our time, a warning against the pundits who tell us to fear the plain people, to keep to the path of centrist complacency, to let the experts handle our lives and our future.

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St Martin's Press
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Tapa blanda

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