Mark Leonard's Reviews > Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right

Pity the Billionaire by Thomas Frank
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's review
Mar 06, 2012

liked it
Read from February 24 to March 06, 2012

Thomas Frank frustrates me. I really want to like his books, but I end up feeling lukewarm about them in spite of myself. It's not that I disagree with his agreements or conclusions, it is mostly that he really doesn't give me anything that I didn't already know or feel.

The typical strain in his book, and this one in particular, is to take a quote from some source, make a sweeping generalization about it, and then draw a conclusion. Again, I often agree with the generalization and the conclusion, but the method of reaching it leaves me no more confident in how well-founded our shared beliefs are than when I entered the book.

On the other hand, a pure rhetorical argument has its place. If you agree with Mr. Frank, you will find yourself nodding in agreement but not much to help you understand why.

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02/24/2012 page 33
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