Salvos of sane and humorous dissent from the worship of the almighty market.For a magazine dedicated to debunking the nation's business culture, the final years of the twentieth century overflowed with bounty. "It was the most spectacular outbreak of mass delirium that we are likely to see in our lifetimes," wrote the editors of The Baffler. What was for others the dawn of a "New Economy" was for The Baffler a cornucopia of absurdity the costliest political and financial hustle in living memory. Reporting from places far from the white-hot centers of the libertarian revolution, Baffler writers were the people of whom it was fashionable to say they just don't get it. While New Democrats turned somersaults for Wall Street and economic commentary became puffery, these bold, talented, and very funny writers observed the crescendo of folly with which the century turned. Here their best writings are selected, updated, and reaffirmed, to sharpen our wits and inoculate us against follies yet to come.
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Thomas Frank is the author of One Market Under God and The Conquest of Cool.
David Mulcahey is managing editor of The Baffler.
The editors of the Baffler, a magazine dedicated to debunking the nation's business culture, present a collection of their best articles that challenge the powerful corporate interests in society. The "new economy" of the 1990s is described as a cornucopia of absurdity fueled by a deadly failure of critical intelligence. World-renowned business journalism was frequently a hoax with its groundswell of favorable commentary on companies such as Enron and WorldCom. The hype dissolved with the destruction of $4 trillion of NASDAQ value, and famous pundits as well as ordinary reporters denied responsibility for their coverage of what turned out to be systemic financial abuse. The book's essays include topics such as Volvo's extravagant press junkets to influence reporting; a quaint Irish pub in Chicago (which is the marketing brainchild of Guinness Brewing); the supposed truth about Al Capp and his famous comic strip, Lil Abner; a "Dream Night" with Amway; and many more^B critiques of corporate power. Mary Whaley
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