The Great Deformation by David A. Stockman
The Corruption of Capitalism in America

59%

7 Critic Reviews

Stockman forcefully conveys enormous amounts of knowledge, but some assertions will be found to be contentious.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A New York Times bestseller

The Great Deformation is a searing look at Washington’s craven response to the recent myriad of financial crises and fiscal cliffs. It counters conventional wisdom with an eighty-year revisionist history of how the American state—especially the Federal Reserve—has fallen prey to the politics of crony capitalism and the ideologies of fiscal stimulus, monetary central planning, and financial bailouts. These forces have left the public sector teetering on the edge of political dysfunction and fiscal collapse and have caused America’s private enterprise foundation to morph into a speculative casino that swindles the masses and enriches the few.

Defying right- and left-wing boxes, David Stockman provides a catalogue of corrupters and defenders of sound money, fiscal rectitude, and free markets. The former includes Franklin Roosevelt, who fathered crony capitalism; Richard Nixon, who destroyed national financial discipline and the Bretton Woods gold-backed dollar; Fed chairmen Greenspan and Bernanke, who fostered our present scourge of bubble finance and addiction to debt and speculation; George W. Bush, who repudiated fiscal rectitude and ballooned the warfare state via senseless wars; and Barack Obama, who revived failed Keynesian “borrow and spend” policies that have driven the national debt to perilous heights. By contrast, the book also traces a parade of statesmen who championed balanced budgets and financial market discipline including Carter Glass, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Simon, Paul Volcker, Bill Clinton, and Sheila Bair.

Stockman’s analysis skewers Keynesian spenders and GOP tax-cutters alike, showing how they converged to bloat the welfare state, perpetuate the military-industrial complex, and deplete the revenue base—even as the Fed’s massive money printing allowed politicians to enjoy “deficits without tears.” But these policies have also fueled new financial bubbles and favored Wall Street with cheap money and rigged stock and bond markets, while crushing Main Street savers and punishing family budgets with soaring food and energy costs. The Great Deformation explains how we got here and why these warped, crony capitalist policies are an epochal threat to free market prosperity and American political democracy.
 

About David A. Stockman

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David A. Stockman was elected as a Michigan congressman in 1976 and joined the Reagan White House in 1981. Serving as budget director, he was one of the key architects of the Reagan Revolution plan to reduce taxes, cut spending, and shrink the role of government. He joined Salomon Brothers in 1985 and later became one of the early partners of the Blackstone Group. During nearly two decades at Blackstone and at a firm he founded, Stockman was a private equity investor. Stockman attended Michigan State University and Harvard Divinity School and then went to Washington as a congressional aide in 1970. He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed.
 
Published April 2, 2013 by PublicAffairs. 770 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Apr 21 2013
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Great Deformation
All: 7 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 5

Kirkus

Above average
on Feb 27 2013

Stockman forcefully conveys enormous amounts of knowledge, but some assertions will be found to be contentious.

Read Full Review of The Great Deformation: The Co... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Apr 01 2013

Since Stockman convinced us the problems are nearly insoluble, a more balanced presentation would make this a more functional document.

Read Full Review of The Great Deformation: The Co... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by STEPHEN MOORE on Apr 17 2013

Mr. Stockman is a former divinity student, and his tone is that of a sermon as well as a rant.

Read Full Review of The Great Deformation: The Co... | See more reviews from WSJ online

The Economist

Below average
on Jun 01 2013

Reading “The Great Deformation” is like being yelled at by a humourless and rather fanatical street-corner preacher brandishing a well-thumbed thesaurus.

Read Full Review of The Great Deformation: The Co... | See more reviews from The Economist

The Washington Post

Above average
on Mar 29 2013

What Stockman has written is a book that makes clear we are that future generation of the past, inheritors of all the wishful thinking, simple illogic and flawed compromises...

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The Washington Post

Above average
on Mar 29 2013

...a kaleidoscopic rant against people, institutions and practices he knows well. He attacks, upends, eviscerates, mocks and denigrates them all, usually with some justification, always in the brutalist prose of a manifesto.

Read Full Review of The Great Deformation: The Co...

Zimbio

Good
on Apr 01 2013

Defying right- and left-wing boxes, David Stockman provides a catalogue of corrupters and defenders of sound money, fiscal rectitude, and free markets.

Read Full Review of The Great Deformation: The Co...

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