- Audio CD
- Verlag: Penguin Audio; Auflage: Unabridged (21. März 2006)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0143058444
- ISBN-13: 978-0143058441
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14,7 x 5,1 x 13,4 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2 Kundenrezensionen
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American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21stCentury (Englisch) Audio-CD – Audiobook, 21. März 2006
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A harrowing picture of national danger that no American reader will welcome, but that none should ignore. (The New York Times Book Review)
An indispensable presentation of the case against things as they are. (Time)
Everyone should have access to what American Theocracy so powerfully tells us about our country at this critical time. (Chicago Sun-Times)
The story of the impending end of American supremacy. . . . [Phillips] brings all the strands together and puts them into context. (Salon.com) -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe.
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Kevin Phillips has been a political and economic commentator for more than three decades. A former White House strategist, he is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times and NPR and writes for Harper’s and Time. His books include New York Times bestsellers The Politics of Rich and Poor and Wealth and Democracy.
Phillips identifies three principles areas of concern - the rise of certain elements of religion into the political sphere, the problems of oil as a national addiction (to use the President's own words), and the growing crisis of deficit and economic mismanagement. Phillips is a political commentator with an eye toward history, he makes apt comparisons with empires of the past: the Dutch trading empire, the British colonial empire, and even the Roman empire provide parallels for the United States in the twenty-first century. One thing to note - the period of stability of empires has decreased over the millennia; whereas an empire like Rome might sustain itself for half a millennium, later empires were able to sustain themselves for less and less time. The United States has been the pre-eminent global superpower for less than a century, and is already looking at relative decline.
The problem with oil, according to Phillips, involves problems with both foreign and domestic policy as well as cultural issues. Rather than address growing needs, the Republicans in power have instead adopted a dangerous laissez-faire approach that threatens long-term stability, Phillips notes.
The problem with the deficit and finance is similar to this - the Republican party used to be the party of smaller government and less spending, but in the past twenty five years, it has only been a Democratic administration that has been able to get the budget deficit under control. This is the kind of fiscal management that again jeopardises the long-term for the country.
The problem of radical religion is not a new thing in American politics. While the country might not have been founded on quite the same principles being touted as Founding Fathers Theology today, it is true to say that religion has always had a role in the culture, and hence the politics of the nation. However, the danger is real - Phillips makes very telling comparisons with the ante-bellum situation of the North and South, showing how many issues prior to the Civil War involved religious dimensions, and how the long-term injection of religious radicalism can destabilise the culture (this works on both the Left and the Right, by the way).
In addition to a critique of the Right, Phillips has strong words for the Democratic opposition as well, in that there isn't any kind of consistent vision or organisation being offered in distinction from the incumbents.
This is a worthwhile book for anyone Left, Right or in the muddle (er, middle).
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com
Kevin Phillips has written a thorough book that broadly compares 21st century America with other historical examples of over-reach. He notices eerie similarities. In America today we see the prosecution of wars on several fronts, a nation falling into increasing private and public debt and the rise of religious intolerance. Indeed, although this book was published in 2006, he very presciently anticipates the rise of the tea party movement.
So, can America fail? Well, possibly but not in the short run. A nation of such depth and entrepreneurial spirit will not collapse overnight. But, in the longer run? Well, the jury is still out. Afghanistan looks like a morass, debt will take decades to be repaid unless inflation helps out, and this creates problems of its own. And, as far as religion is concerned, America has made a clear turn to the unenlightened. No other nation in the developed world has such belief in a supernatural god, miracles and an eventual world ending clash between good and evil. The rest of the world is far more rational. Yet, it is not just the fact that Americans are religious. This is not a problem per se. Rather, it is that religion has become so intolerant. Never in living memory has America elected a non-believing President and there are no signs that this is about to change.
Kevin Phillips has done an admirable job documenting modern America. It will not be well received. My fear is that it will be even less heeded.
Phillips deals with these three major problems with well argued prosed, statistics to back up his position and a thorough knowledge of the players involved from the Bushes to the Congress.
A brief survey of what he says about:
1. Oil-Phillips looks at former great powers whose empires declined. Specifically he focuses on Spain and the Dutch Republic relying on wind and water. Great Britain relied on coal and seapower to stay at the apex of power during her Victorian world hegemony. Phillips critically examnes the 21st century US with its heavy reliance on Middle Eastern oil. Phillips views our invasion of Iraq as a disaster. Bush and his team in the White House wanted Iraq to serve as a fueling station. The invasion cost thousands of lives, drove the nation deeper in debt and led to America being viewed with disfavor by our allies. Americans produce fewer cars which are less gas efficient than overseas products. Our heavy industries are running well behind such coming behemoths as China and India. We are a nation of gas guzzlers who have relied too much on the continuing abundance of black gold to fuel our SUV's and heavy pickups.
2. The American economy has led to massive spending and trillions of dollars in debt. Americans are worshippers of the plastic god known as the credit card. Few realize how the economy functions or what are the penalites for wild spending. The Bush adminstration has spent like a drunken sailor. Dire consequences will follow as the American dollar becomes edged out by euros and other foreign currency in the money market global economy. Phillips writes for the layman and presents this gloomy picture of corporate and personal greed.
3.Radical Religion deals with the nexus between the far right and the Republican party. Many evangelicals believe in the world entering its final days due to premillenial rapture theology. Books like the Tim LeHaye bestsellers in the "Left Behind" series dealing with the coming rapture lead many political leaders to be blase about such concerns as world environment and global peace. They do so since they believe will sound end anyway in an apocalyptic day of judgment.
Phillips vision is a grim one. Can we Americans turn it around at this late date? Perhaps our decline as a nation is not inevitable. The election of Barrack Obama is an indication to people waking up to the perils we face.
Phillips style is dry and statistics fill his pages. We read him not for literary beauty but for the facts he presents with years of study of the American electorate and how and why they vote the way they do. The emergence of the Republican party married to big oil and fundamentalist religon is a story every thinking citizen needs to become familiar with.
Kevin Phillips is always worth reading.
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