This is the first writing by Thomas Frank that I have had the pleasure of reading. This collection of essays is beautifully assembled and a delight to read. Frank has a wonderful capability of distilling issues into the essential arguments, and then illustrating them with an extraordinary turn of phrase. His recounting of events and past deeds of various villains, from George W to the education hucksters, prepares the foundation for his more global observations of how the world has arrived at its present state. This book will not give you reason for much optimism, but it is refreshing to know that someone of great intelligence is paying attention, and reminding those of us who care to know, that there is a reason for everything.