Book Review: Who Stole the American Dream?

Hedrick SmithI was in High School when I first read Hedrick Smith’s immortal The Power Game. the book remains the definitive guide to how Congress and the White House worked during the Reagan years when the Democrats continued to control the House, while Republicans enjoyed narrow margins in the Senate – however the number of moderate Republicans in the upper chamber made conservative governing difficult. the influence of K Street, and the Tuesday to Thursday culture of Washington DC was all unmasked in that excellent work.

Smith’s work for PBS  on Frontline and other shows meant he took his written subjects like The Power Game and The New Russians to TV in the early 1990’s. These specials gave his books and research an added dimension making them even more indispensable than before.

The latest work from Smith, Who Stole the American Dream? is a comprehensive look at the breakdown of legislating, politics, business and a sense of fair play in the United States since the 1960’s. The book lays out how the New Economy has left millions of Americans behind, how the US hasn’t benefited as much as it could or should from free trade agreements, and the overreach of the financial sector which culminated in the 2008 collapse of the global economy.

Demographics of the United States haven’t adjusted well to the new economy and the political climate in Washington has done little to help this situation. Smith suggests a ten point plan for restoring the American dream.

This is a good book, a fairly quick read though it does jump all over the place. Still like with all of Smith’s other works its indispensable and hits the spot both in its diagnosis and solutions. It’s well worth a read.

One comment

  1. The Power Game and the PBS show The People and the Power Game were great. As you mentioned, it was a defining guide for how Washington worked. I think when I read The New Russians, I didn’t know enough about Russia to truly understand the book. Thanks for the tip on this new one.


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