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Pity the Billionaire


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A wonderfully insightful and infectiously furious look at why the worst collapse since the 1930s has brought about the revival of conservatism.

About the Author

Thomas Frank is the author of The Wrecking Crew, What's the Matter with America?, and One Market Under God. A former opinion columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Frank is the founding editor of the Baffler and a monthly columnist for Harper's. He lives outside Washington, D.C.


"No one fools Thomas Frank, who is the sharpest, funniest, most intellectually voracious political commentator on the scene. In Pity the Billionaire he has written a brilliant expose of the most breath-taking ruse in American political history: how the right turned the biggest capitalist breakdown since 1929 into an opportunity for themselves." -- Barbara Ehrenreich
"Brisk and searing and deeply informed by the lessons of history (shocking notion!), Frank's latest guide for the perplexed is nothing less than a precious gift to us. Read it, and finally--You. Will. Understand." * Rick Perlstein *
"Frank is one of the best leftwing writers America has produced" -- Nick Cohen * Observer *
"Trenchant and witty" -- Alexandra Frean * The Times *

Frank (columnist, Harper's magazine; What's the Matter with Kansas?) continues his investigation of our country's rightward turn. The 2008 financial meltdown gave rise to the grassroots Tea Party movement: How could a major failure of unbridled capitalism result in a movement supporting...more capitalism? Frank examines this phenomenon by combing through the websites, publications, and TV shows popular with Tea Partiers and tries, sometimes desperately, to find coherence among their grievances. He pays much attention to former Fox News host Glenn Beck, whose combination of conspiracy theorizing, boyish charm, and old-fashioned hucksterism has made him a superstar to this crowd. The resurgent popularity of the late libertarian author Ayn Rand, whose novels and philosophical writings have influenced more politicians today (e.g., Ron Paul, Paul Ryan) than at any other time since their original publication, also merits attention from Frank. VERDICT This is a smart, thorough, and funny examination of the political mood of the Obama era and the future implications of this peculiar episode in American history. Politically liberal readers looking to arm themselves with useful information for the upcoming election season will enjoy this book. [See Prepub Alert, 7/18/11.]-Brett Rohlwing, Milwaukee P.L. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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