Fantasyland: Or, Rich Guy Slams America
THIS WEEK we highlight a new book trashing America by establishment trashmeister Kurt Andersen, Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History.
One doesn’t have to read the book– the text is in the title. The title is all you need to know about what’s contained in the pages.
Mr. Andersen is getting a splash of publicity c/o his publisher, with laudatory reviews.
“A frighteningly convincing and sometimes uproarious picture of a country in steep, perhaps terminal decline–” -The Guardian
Kurt Andersen’s publisher is Penguin Random House, a multinational company, part of one of the “Big Five” publishing conglomerates which dominate the trade. Their headquarters is in New York City. They’d better hope the nation isn’t in terminal decline!
“Reading a great revisionist history of America is the bookish way to feel what it’s like to be born again.” -Hanna Rosin, New York Times
Andersen himself, curiously, is an Insider’s Insider; a Capitalist’s Capitalist. One of the Elect: Harvard grad married to a Harvard grad. From his bio:
“He was named by New York magazine as one of the “100 People Who Changed New York,” and by Forbes as one of the “25 Most Influential Liberals in the U.S. Media.” And he was named the 2014 arts Medalist by Harvard College’s Signet Society.”
In his career Andersen has founded start-ups and sold them for huge sums of money. See the negotiations for one of his companies as related by Ken Auletta:
“”I don’t believe that anyone is going to give the company more money,’ Cramer remembers telling Andersen.”
He took the best deal. Cashed in. Sitting pretty. Yet Kurt Andersen isn’t happy. You would think he’d be kicking back smoking a big cigar saying, “Isn’t America great?” There’s no disdain for Harvard or venture capitalists (those he knows) in his book, one can wager. Instead, he takes aim at the American people themselves– for their populist ethos and political choices, all of which makes Kurt Andersen’s life, if not unprofitable, at least discomfiting. (2016 was the first time since 1984 that a Harvard-or-Yale grad was NOT elected to the Presidency, and in Andersen’s lofty milieu, that is simply outrageous.)
Yes, trash America’s 500-year history– and make yet more money in the process. Open the door for Dostoevsky’s Demons. Who cares? The French aristocrats who sparked revolution in 1789 were consumed by what they sparked. What does that have to do with aristocrats today?
Meanwhile, we have a question for our readers. How would you describe Kurt Andersen’s expression in the photograph below? Smug? Pompous? Arrogant? Or does the facial smirk represent something else? Indigestion? Complacency? Constipation?
Hatred of his own country?
Let us know. Thanks!