An eye-opening account of populism, the most important - and misunderstood - movement of our time.
Everything we think we know about populism is wrong.
Today, populism is seen as a frightening thing, a term pundits use to describe the racist philosophy of Donald Trump and European extremists. But this is a mistake.
The real story of populism is an account of enlightenment and liberation; it is the story of democracy itself, of its ever-widening promise of a decent life for all. Taking us from the tumultuous 1890s, when the radical left-wing US Populist Party fought plutocrats, to the triumphs of reformers under Roosevelt and Truman, Frank reminds us how much we owe to the populist ethos.
Frank also shows that elitist groups have reliably detested populism, lashing out at working-class concerns; today's moral panic in liberal circles is only the latest expression. Frank pummels the elites, revisits the movement's provocative politics, and declares true populism to be the language of promise and optimism. People Without Power is a ringing affirmation of a movement that, Frank shows us, is not the problem of our times, but the solution.
With his usual verve, Frank skewers the elite voices of condescension that vilify the egalitarian and democratic strivings of working people. In so doing, he offers a passionate defence of populism, which he reveals as a deep and wide political tradition that remains as essential as ever for the hopes of a more just and equitable society. -Charles Postel, author of Equality- an American dilemma, 1866-1896 Political commentator Frank (Rendezvous with Oblivion) urges liberals to reclaim the high ground of populism in this fervent and acerbically witty call to action ... Frank blends diligent research with well-placed snark to keep readers turning the pages. Liberals will be outraged, enlightened, and entertained. -Publishers Weekly The author of What's the Matter with Kansas? returns with a study of populism ... H e argues that historically populism has been focused on expanding opportunities for all, and he sees anti-populist sentiment today as being anti-working class. That will stir debate. -Library Journal