The Wrecking Crew

The Wrecking Crew

How Conservatives Rule

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
Rate this:
From the author of the landmark bestseller What's the Matter with Kansas? , a jaw-dropping investigation of the decades of deliberate-and lucrative-conservative misrule In his previous book, Thomas Frank explained why working America votes for politicians who reserve their favors for the rich. Now, in The Wrecking Crew , Frank examines the blundering and corrupt Washington those politicians have given us.Casting back to the early days of the conservative revolution, Frank describes the rise of a ruling coalition dedicated to dismantling government. But rather than cutting down the big government they claim to hate, conservatives have simply sold it off, deregulating some industries, defunding others, but always turning public policy into a private-sector bidding war. Washington itself has been remade into a golden landscape of super-wealthy suburbs and gleaming lobbyist headquarters-thewages of government-by-entrepreneurship practiced so outrageously by figures such as Jack Abramoff.It is no coincidence, Frank argues, that the same politicians who guffaw at the idea of effective government have installed a regime in which incompetence is the rule. Nor will the country easily shake off the consequences of deliberate misgovernment through the usual election remedies. Obsessed with achieving a lasting victory, conservatives have taken pains to enshrine the free market as the permanent creed of state.Stamped with Thomas Frank's audacity, analytic brilliance, and wit, The Wrecking Crew is his most revelatory work yet-and his most important.
Publisher: New York : Metropolitan Books, 2008.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780805079883
Branch Call Number: 973.92 FRA
Characteristics: x, 369 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: How conservatives rule


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Apr 04, 2018

This book explicates governing methods that Republicans have adopted during a 30-year period prior to 2008. It covers the influence peddling and profiteering, which conservative blogger Matt K Lewis calls the Con$ervative movement. In a Harper's Magazine essay (April 2018), Frank cites criticism of The Wrecking Crew as ""unacceptably radical" and "a Manichaean-minded screed against conservatives." In the Trump era, this statement (page 154) seems prophetic: "Putting federal operations under the direction of people who are hostile to those operations’ existence is the second main tactic of conservative governance. When some aspect of the state is of no conceivable use to the conservative movement—when all the business community wants it to do is die—the standard method of dealing with it is to put the department in question under the control of someone who is either spectacularly ill-suited for the job or vocally opposed to that department’s mission." I suggest reading this book and making your own comparisons between then and now.

Jul 04, 2011

To get an idea about just how much work there is for the new Obama Administration to confront, this is an excellent read. Frank provides a laundry list of examples of corruption, cronyism and bad governance that has been at the heart of a conservative revolution over the last few decades.

Aug 07, 2010

This diatribe on the modern conservative movement was exactly that--a diatribe. The book is not without interest, but it would have been much more valuable, not to mention enjoyable to read, if the author had taken a more objective tone of voice.

carknerdy Aug 06, 2009

Quite a good book, and relevant if you want to understand the baffling behavior of government parties.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at HPL

To Top