The Limousine Liberal: How an Incendiary Image United the Right and Fractured America


Product Details

$27.50  $25.58
Basic Books
Publish Date
6.4 X 1.3 X 9.3 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author

Steve Fraser is the author of Every Man a Speculator and Wall Street, among other books, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and The Nation. He lives in New York City.


"An incisive history of a right-wing metaphor and its effects."--New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
"[Fraser] writes wonderfully, and his text is studded with insights...[he] has produced a timely tour de force to remind us that limousine liberals are still very much with us--as are the politicians and pundits who portray them as such bogeymen."--Wall Street Journal
"As the historian Steve Fraser demonstrates in his wide-ranging new book, the idea of the 'limousine liberal' has a long and messy history all its own."--New York Times Book Review
"Fraser provides a brisk and entertaining history of limousine liberalism in all its linguistic manifestations, and his book is worth reading for that alone."--New Republic
"Popular history is littered with the corpses of bloated books, written where an essay would have sufficed. Not The Limousine Liberal. There is some wrinkle on every page, and it is essential to anybody, especially those on the left, who does not understand how the populist energies they believe are rightfully theirs have been so completely captured by bigots and strivers."
"This brilliant and mordant book is a useful guide to a much reviled native species, and given the state of today's Democratic Party, its appearance could not be more timely. The author recognizes that there really are limousine liberals--though lately we seem to be paying a lot more attention to a limousine populist--but his larger interest is in demonstrating how rabble rousers for much of our history have used the concept to incite the working classes against progressive change. They did this even before Mario Procaccino coined the term in his unsuccessful 1969 campaign to become mayor of New York City. Fraser is a nimble writer and thinker in whose company there's never a dull or uninformative moment."--Newsday
"A bracing and extremely timely exploration of the roots of right-wing populism, especially relevant in the glare of Donald Trump's unexpected rise."--Booklist
"[A] rich, incisive book...Fraser conveys the ferocity of America's culture wars in his sharp observations, which often cut uncomfortably close to the bone."--Kirkus
"This lucid, often entertaining, genealogy of right-wing populism is necessary background reading for anyone seeking to understand--or just endure--2016."--Barbara Ehrenreich, bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed
"Steve Fraser has produced a fascinating history of the ways liberal elites have been demonized by conservatives seeking to make inroads among white working class voters. Fraser's book is crucial to understanding a dominant theme in American politics that has shaped the conservative movement and has most recently fueled the campaign tactics of Donald Trump."--Thomas Edsall, Columnist, New York Times
"Steve Fraser's writing blends the depth and complexity of a scholar, the lively prose of a journalist, and the moral seriousness of a critic. The Limousine Liberal is a penetrating analysis of the resentments aroused by the efforts of affluent liberals to help the disadvantaged, sometimes at the expense of those in the middle. As Fraser brilliantly demonstrates, the resulting ideological backlash explains a great deal about the sorry state of contemporary American politics."--George Scialabba, author of What Are Intellectuals Good For? and For the Republic
"Steve Fraser's The Limousine Liberal is a brilliant analysis of how elites, using both parties, have stunted the kind of real economic democracy and broad prosperity that America needs."--Robert Kuttner, Co-Editor, The American Prospect; Professor, Brandeis University