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The Wrecking Crew

Thomas Frank takes on the capitol and a legacy of government as business.

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In 2003, historian-journalist Thomas Frank moved from Kansas to the national capital. In 2004, he published a book about his home state, “What’s the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America.”

It became enormously successful. It thrashed – some say trashed – conservatives and Republicans in the heartland. It was so well done that it drew raves and blurbs from liberals and even George Will, the conservatives’ icon and Washington columnist. Will’s “Kan­­sas” blurb appears on the dust jacket of Frank’s new book, The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule.

“Frank is a formidable controversialist – imagine Michael Moore with a trained brain and an intellectual conscience,” wrote Will. (That is from a column in which Will also calls Frank “silly,” “careless,” and “delusional.” Go figure.)

“The Wrecking Crew” goes after Washington far more ferociously than Frank had on the heartland. Not only the right (“wingers” he calls them) but also moderates and even some liberals. He rounds up the usual suspects for having sucked the blood out of every presidency after Lyndon Johnson’s.

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