An earlier edition of this extraordinarily prescient, elegantly written book created a sensation among Washington media insiders when it was published more than five years ago under the title Demosclerosis. In it, Jonathan Rauch, a former correspondent for The Economist and a columnist for National Journal, showed with startling clarity the reasons why America's political system (and, in fact, other political systems as well) was becoming increasingly ineffective. Today, as Rauch's predictions continue to manifest themselves in a national politics of "sound and fury" and little effective legislation, and in increasing voter cynicism, this book has achieved renown as the classic and essential work on why politics and government don't work.In Government's End, Rauch has completely rewritten and updated his earlier work to reassess his theory, analyze the political stalemate of the last few years, and explain why sweeping reform efforts of the kind led by Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Newt Gingrich aren't the answers. He also looks ahead at what is likely to happenor not happennext, and proposes ideas for what we must do to fix the system.For anyone who cares about the health of American democracyand indeed of international security Government's End is a fascinating, disturbing, and vitally important book.
About the Author
Acclaimed as the smartest young political journalist in Washington, Jonathan Rauch writes a bi-weekly column for National Journal and contributes widely to other magazines and journals. A graduate of Yale University, he lives in Washington, D.C.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A good book that reduces Washington to many groups of people who fight for their piece of the pie. Whoever can make the best argument gets a bigger slice. Rauch points out how seemingly every single occupation is represented by a special interest group. In the old days you had a few people (rich people) with influence inside the Beltway. Now, everyone has a voice. They are lobbyists.Rauch points out the failures of Reagan, Clinton, and Gingrich and just exactly what it takes to change things. Any radical swing in either direction is comparable to disturbing an ant bed. Lobbyists and activists mobilize to restore the status quo. All in all, it was an interesting perspective on Washington and why change is best done in slow, small increments.
I get so sick of politics so easily--but really enjoyed Rauch's critique of America. This book puts contemporary political struggles in a totally new perspective. It's refreshing, yet depressing.