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9781541757004

Left Behind The Democrats’ Failed Attempt to Solve Inequality

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781541757004

  • ISBN10:

    1541757009

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2022-03-01
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
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Summary

The 40-year history of how Democrats chose political convenience over addressing inequality--and how the poor have paid the price.

For decades, the Republican party has been known as the party of the rich: arguing for "business-friendly" policies like deregulation and tax cuts. But as our national and global economy confronts a crisis of inequality, the truth is that Democrats have been unwilling to take risks that would help eliminate poverty.

In this incisive new book, political historian Lily Geismer shows how the Democratic party of the 80s and 90s -- particularly during the height of the Clinton years -- peddled policy ideas that centered on helping the poor without asking the rich to make any sacrifices: doing well by doing good. Micro-lending became a big business, and private programs to promote democracy and equality abroad grew trendy. But as social programs in the private sector boomed, the structure of the government began to weaken, contributing to a crisis that has now fully arrived.

Geismer makes her case through artful storytelling and a savvy eye, conjuring in meticulous detail the political moments that led to these fateful decisions. We've seen skyrocketing income inequality, huge discrepancies between the haves and have-nots, and growing poverty in America. This is the story of how we got ourselves into this mess, and where we can go from here.

Author Biography

Lily Geismer is an associate professor of history at Claremont McKenna College, where she teaches courses on recent urban and political history. She has earned fellowships from the Carnegie Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Charles Warren Center at Harvard University. She is also a member of the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians.
Her previous book is Don’t Blame Us: Suburban Liberals and the Transformation of the Democratic Party. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, New Republic, Jacobin, Democracy, Los Angeles Review of Books and she has appeared on NPR’s 1A with Joshua Johnson, the Sam Seder Show, WBUR’s Here and Now, and other podcasts.
 

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