Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and Now Threatens the American Republic

Jay Cost. HC/Broadside, $26.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-204115-9
According to conservative Weekly Standard columnist Cost, clientelism is “the exchange of votes for governmental favors between a faction and a party,” and Democrats have signed on so many hungry mouths that demands for “gimme” have overwhelmed the public interest. In this revisionist history, Cost convincingly argues that, in striving to revive the national economy, FDR’s administration created a “Tammany on the Potomac,” which attracted elements of the ruling coalition to “the private benefits they enjoyed from the party’s benevolent protections.” Ironically, Cost says, although Andrew Jackson founded the Democratic Party in 1828 in reaction to rampant government corruption, modern Democrats evoke nothing so much as the venal Republicans of the Gilded Age, and they are “no longer capable of governing for the public good.” Cost suggests that the party has “become a threat to the American republic itself.” The book raises timely concerns in an election year. Agent: Byrd Leavell, Waxman Literary Agency. (May)
Reviewed on: 02/06/2012
Release date: 05/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-204116-6
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-06-204117-3
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