Wealth and Democracy. By Kevin Phillips. (New York: Broadway Books, c. 2002. Pp.
vii, 422. ISBN 0-7679-0533-4. ) Wealth and Democracy clearly illustrates and emphasizes the importance of Democracy being endangered. The author Kevin Phillips, America's leading political analyst since 1968 and a graduate of Harvard Law School appears very informed and credible. Wealth and Democracy outlines and explains the politics of the second half of the 20 th century. In this book Phillips primarily explores how the rich and politically powerful often work together to create and continue to take advantages at the expense of the national interest, the middle class, and the lower class.
The book contains several interesting chapters on history and an analysis of present-day America that reveals the dangerous politics that go with the concentration of wealth. Finally, Phillips gives warnings of new radicalism and argues that the corruptions of wealth and power are destructing the United States. Wealth and Democracy examines the history of Britain and other leading world economic powers to point out the symptoms that signaled their declines such as speculative finance, increasing international debt, record wealth, income and unsatisfying politics. Many of the signs that led to the decline of Britain were noticeable signs in America as it entered the twenty-first century.
One might be surprised at the way Phillips emphasizes the despiteful practices of the rich considering his republican background. However, due to Phillips increased knowledge of the GOP (Grand Old Party; the first Republicans) He has concluded Republicans economic polices and biases of the 1990 s and early 2000 s betray the legacy of who He considers the two greatest Republican presidents, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. Wealth and Democracy performs a splendid job of convincing one that democracy is endangered and that the practices of the rich and those in power can be deceitful. For the most part the book is easy to follow, fairly organized and has an exceptionally good index.
However Phillips could have done better when making references to his previous works because they are confusing and unclear. Wealth and Democracy appears to be very well researched and cites over 100 books. Phillips is a very skilled writer with the exception that He loves to repeat himself. Clearly, anyone who reads Wealth and Democracy should be able to visualize the dangers that Democracy faces in comparison to historical facts.
One should also understand that the practices of the rich and politically powerful work together to take advantage of everyone else.