Tuesday, November 06, 2012

From Hua Hsu's 'Clotted Cream'

a review of 'Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy' by Christopher Hayes:
"Our leaders have been called worse names than “ metrosexual black Abe Lincoln.” But seldom have they come to stand in for the entire possibility of hope, change, progress, a bold reboot of the status quo—rarely do we have the opportunity to feel profoundly, soul-crushingly disappointed by them. Such a feeling now clusters around Barack Obama, the first black president and, just as recently as 2008, proof that the American meritocracy might still work. But four years feels like lifetimes ago. Back then you were in a field with millions of other true believers, waving your hands and thinking there’s nothing more beautiful-sounding than the harmony of strangers; now you’re trying to peel a sticker off the bumper of your Volvo. Better, perhaps, never to have hoped at all.
Do you believe that the political system has compromised Obama, or that he, like anyone who might scale such heights, was merely an accessory all along? Your answer traces the circumference of your imagination. This question is at the heart of Christopher Hayes’Twilight of the Elites, an attempt by the Nation editor and MSNBC host to reckon with our mounting restlessness toward the elite class, from politicians to titans of industry, spiritual leaders to baseball idols."

Will be it be any different this time?
Other reviews of 'Twilight of Elites' at The Atlantic, at Crooked Timber, Inside Higher Education and Wikipedia.

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