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Twilight of the Elites

America After Meritocracy

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Audio Download published by Random House Digital (Random House Digital)

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A powerful and original argument that traces the roots of our present crisis of authority to an unlikely source: the meritocracy.
 
   Over the past decade, Americans watched in bafflement and rage as one institution after another –  from Wall Street to Congress, the Catholic Church to corporate America, even Major League Baseball – imploded under the weight of corruption and incompetence. In the wake of the Fail Decade, Americans have historically low levels of trust in their institutions; the social contract between ordinary citizens and elites lies in tatters.
 
   How did we get here? With Twilight of the Elites, Christopher Hayes offers a radically novel answer. Since the 1960s, as the meritocracy elevated a more diverse group of men and women into power, they learned to embrace the accelerating inequality that had placed them near the very top. Their ascension heightened social distance and spawned a new American elite--one more prone to failure and corruption than any that came before it.
 
   Mixing deft political analysis, timely social commentary, and deep historical understanding, Twilight of the Elites describes how the society we have come to inhabit – utterly forgiving at the top and relentlessly punitive at the bottom – produces leaders who are out of touch with the people they have been trusted to govern. Hayes argues that the public's failure to trust the federal government, corporate America, and the media has led to a crisis of authority that threatens to engulf not just our politics but our day-to-day lives.
 
   Upending well-worn ideological and partisan categories, Hayes entirely reorients our perspective on our times. Twilight of the Elites is the defining work of social criticism for the post-bailout age.
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A powerful and original argument that traces the roots of our present crisis of authority to an unlikely source: the meritocracy.
 
   Over the past decade, Americans watched in bafflement and rage as one institution after another –  from Wall Street to Congress, the Catholic Church to corporate America, even Major League Baseball – imploded under the weight of corruption and incompetence. In the wake of the Fail Decade, Americans have historically low levels of trust in their institutions; the social contract between ordinary citizens and elites lies in tatters.
 
   How did we get here? With Twilight of the Elites, Christopher Hayes offers a radically novel answer. Since the 1960s, as the meritocracy elevated a more diverse group of men and women into power, they learned to embrace the accelerating inequality that had placed them near the very top. Their ascension heightened social distance and spawned a new American elite--one more prone to failure and corruption than any that came before it.
 
   Mixing deft political analysis, timely social commentary, and deep historical understanding, Twilight of the Elites describes how the society we have come to inhabit – utterly forgiving at the top and relentlessly punitive at the bottom – produces leaders who are out of touch with the people they have been trusted to govern. Hayes argues that the public's failure to trust the federal government, corporate America, and the media has led to a crisis of authority that threatens to engulf not just our politics but our day-to-day lives.
 
   Upending well-worn ideological and partisan categories, Hayes entirely reorients our perspective on our times. Twilight of the Elites is the defining work of social criticism for the post-bailout age.
Product Details
Audio Download
Published: July 15, 2012
Publisher: Random House Digital
Imprint: Random House Digital
ISBN: 9780449010068
Other books byChristopher Hayes
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    Money Makeovers
    How Women Can Control Their Financial Destiny
    Find out what thousands of women have learned about achieving wealth Take the money personality test that can change your life Uncover your hidden financial talents Learn to invest without fear Between one third and two thirds of women now aged thirty-five to fifty-five will be impoverished after age sixty-five if they do not immediately start to prepare financially for their later years.  It is Christopher Hayes's mission to change that frightening statistic. Women are less psychologically inclined than men to save on a regular basis.  Women are less likely than men to benefit from Social Security and pension plans.  Women are at increased financial risk because of widowhood and divorce.  For these reasons alone, Money Makeovers provides information no woman can afford to be without. In a book that is at once a wake-up call and a practical guide, Dr.  Christopher L.  Hayes, Founder and Executive Director of the National Center for Women and Retirement Research, teaches women to understand their own "financial personality profile," overcome gender-based resistance, and take charge of their economic security. By addressing the specific links between money attitudes and personality types, Money Makeovers offers targeted advice that speaks to the unique concerns and fears of the individual reader.  Each woman will be able to recognize herself in the specially designed "Women Cents Self-Test," as well as in the anecdotes and case histories throughout the text, and will be empowered to move forward with a practical financial plan. By learning why she has been reluctant or unable to save; by learning how to overcome her own psychological barriers; and by following Hayes's savvy, specific financial advice, each woman will be able to plan her own future, free of economic anxiety. From the Hardcover edition.

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