America Besieged deals with the underlying forces within U.S. society that deeply affect our lives. Showing how we are being misled and harmed by those who profess to have our interests at heart, Michael Parenti writes: We are indeed a nation besieged, not from without but from within, not subverted from below but from above; the moneyed power exercises a near monopoly influence over our political life, over the economy, the state, and the media. Some Americans are astonished to hear of it. Others have had their suspicions, although they may not be quite sure how it all adds up. This book invites the reader to stop blaming the powerless and poor and, in that good old American phrase, start ‘following the money.’ That is the first and most important step toward lifting the siege and bringing democracy back to life.
Parenti’s . . . voice is sharp and urgent, providing a short but comprehensive course in radical analysis. He ticks off what he feels are America’s problems: a political culture all too ready to worship politicians rather than ask hard questions ([I]t is the essence of democracy, he cautions, that we not trust and not have faith in our leaders); a fundamentally unjust economy in which pollution, like sin, is regularly denounced but vigorously practiced; a state shockingly willing to tolerate the murder of left-wing dissidents from other countries; and a narrow-minded, jingoistic mass media that serves as the handmaid of corporate power (why, he asks, did neo-Nazi–but pro-capitalist–David Duke’s failed Senate bid receive so much more attention than Socialist Bernard Sanders’s victory?). Rather more hyperbolically, he notes that the recent Olympics felt more like Munich 1936 than Atlanta 1996. Opinionated and angry, but also reasonable and sincerely hopeful in the possibility of a better future through collective action, this is a book Joe Hill would have loved. —Publishers Weekly
Michael Parenti, one of America’s most astute and entertaining political analysts, is the author of Against Empire, Dirty Truths, Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism, Democracy for the Few, Land of Idols: Political Mythology in America, and many other books.