The Wrecking Crew by Thomas Frank
How Conservatives Rule

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 7 Critic Reviews



From the author of the landmark bestseller What's the Matter with Kansas?, a jaw-dropping investigation of the decades of deliberate--and lucrative--conservative misrule

In his previous book, Thomas Frank explained why working America votes for politicians who reserve their favors for the rich. Now, in The Wrecking Crew, Frank examines the blundering and corrupt Washington those politicians have given us.

Casting back to the early days of the conservative revolution, Frank describes the rise of a ruling coalition dedicated to dismantling government. But rather than cutting down the big government they claim to hate, conservatives have simply sold it off, deregulating some industries, defunding others, but always turning public policy into a private-sector bidding war. Washington itself has been remade into a golden landscape of super-wealthy suburbs and gleaming lobbyist headquarters--the wages of government-by-entrepreneurship practiced so outrageously by figures such as Jack Abramoff.

It is no coincidence, Frank argues, that the same politicians who guffaw at the idea of effective government have installed a regime in which incompetence is the rule. Nor will the country easily shake off the consequences of deliberate misgovernment through the usual election remedies. Obsessed with achieving a lasting victory, conservatives have taken pains to enshrine the free market as the permanent creed of state.

Stamped with Thomas Frank's audacity, analytic brilliance, and wit, The Wrecking Crew is his most revelatory work yet--and his most important.


About Thomas Frank

See more books from this Author
Thomas Frank is the author of Pity the Billionaire, The Wrecking Crew, What's the Matter with Kansas?, and One Market Under God. A former opinion columnist for The Wall Street Journal, Frank is the founding editor of The Baffler and a monthly columnist for Harper's. He lives outside Washington, D.C.
Published August 5, 2008 by Metropolitan Books. 400 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, History, Religion & Spirituality, Travel, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Wrecking Crew

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Frank’s look at how conservatism mimics its enemies—the federal government is now bigger, not smaller—is hilariously spooky, as is his chapter on lobbyists, “City of Bought Men.” Clear-eyed and occasionally sarcastic, he offers examples of such howlers as conservatives’ rationalization of aparthe...

Jun 01 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wrecking Crew: How Conser...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

In his incisive 2004 best seller, “What’s the Matter With Kansas?,” Thomas Frank argued that red-state America is made up of two groups — business and blue-collar interests, which “should be at each other’s throats” — but that conservative leaders, dedicated to their own big-business agenda, cons...

Aug 18 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wrecking Crew: How Conser...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

In “The Wrecking Crew,” the liberal journalist Thomas Frank tells the story of free-market ideologues who came to Washington to start a revolution and built a lucrative lobbying empire instead.

Aug 15 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wrecking Crew: How Conser...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Frank paints a complex and conspiracy-ridden picture that illuminates the sinister and controversial practices of the Republican party in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Sep 29 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wrecking Crew: How Conser...


Near the beginning of The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule, Thomas Frank describes Washington in the ‘30s as the home of competent New Dealers determined to create “a first-rate bureaucracy” to rescue the nation from the excesses of business and industry that brought about the Great Depression.

Sep 08 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wrecking Crew: How Conser...


But the book does feature some entertaining anecdotes about the life of a journeyman musician, and one authentic success story: Glen Campbell, who went from being one of the best Wrecking Crew guitarists to becoming an actual star on his own—with help, of course, from Wrecking Crew players like K...

Mar 23 2012 | Read Full Review of The Wrecking Crew: How Conser...

Charleston City Paper

While Frank is right to point out the many flaws of the conservative movement, he is wrong to claim they are principles of conservatism.

Sep 10 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wrecking Crew: How Conser...

Reader Rating for The Wrecking Crew

An aggregated and normalized score based on 121 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review