One Market Under God: Extreme Capitalism, Market Populism, and the End of Economic Democracy by Thomas Frank.
One Market Under God is a cogent, fiercely entertaining, and often scathing assault on the
institutions and pretensions of the new capitalist order and the tyranny of the almighty market.
At no other moment in American history have the values of business and the corporation been more
nakedly and arrogantly in the ascendant. In One Market Under God, social critic Thomas Frank
examines the morphing of the language of American democracy into the cant and jargon of the
marketplace. Combining popular intellectual history with a survey of recent business culture, Frank
traces an idea he calls "market populism"-the notion that markets are, in some transcendent way,
identifiable with democracy and the will of the people. The belief that any criticism of things as they
are is elitist can be seen in management literature, where downsizing and ceaseless, chaotic change
are celebrated as victories for democracy; in advertising, where an endless array of brands seek to
position themselves as symbols of authenticity and rebellion; on Wall Street, where the stock market
is identified as the domain of the small investor and common man; in newspaper publishing, where
the vogue for focus-group-guided "civic journalism" is eroding journalistic independence and
initiative; and in the right-wing politics of the 1990s and the popular social theories of George Gilder,
Lester Thurow, and Thomas Friedman.
Frank's counterattack against the onslaught of market propaganda is mounted with the weapons of
common sense, a genius for useful ridicule, and the older American values of economic justice and
political democracy. Lucid and intellectually probing, One Market Under God is tinged with
anger, betrayal, and a certain hope for the future.
From the Back Cover:
Praise for One Market Under God:
"Tom Frank is a brilliant pain in the ass. While you may not agree with all he says herein (I threw the
book across the room eleven times), his style is always engaging and very frequently funny, and his
message-his violent and merciless destruction of the myths of the New Economy-blasts through our
willing ignorance and thus must be heard."
"Tom Frank's powerful, incisive, and witty critique of the smug gasbag rhetoric of New Economy
gurus like Tom Peters is a work worthy of Mencken and Dwight Macdonald. He doesn't
pontificate, he investigates, and his investigation of the link between ad agency 'intellectuals' and 'cult
studs' academics, for instance, is a comic tour de force."
"Thomas Frank has cracked the market wide open, laying bare the perversion of reality and abuse
of language that corporations, stockbrokers, and much of the academy use to hold the nation in
thrall. Read this book. Find out what ails us."
"One Market Under God does for the latter-day market worshippers, cyber-hustlers, and New
Economy bubble-blowers what Sinclair Lewis did for the Babbitts and Zenith Chambers of
Commerce of the Roaring Twenties."
"At last, a brave, witty dissent from the hype and cant of the so-called New Economy! Thomas
Frank's One Market Under God is an astonishingly well-written argument on behalf of American
workers who have seen their jobs disappear, their benefits cut, and their incomes reduced in the
name of the great global marketplace... One Market Under God tells us what we won't read in
our glossy personal finance magazines, or hear on our all-business channels: our economic elites
finally are getting their revenge for the New Deal, and have replaced our sense of community with
the values of one market, under God."
"How is it that our gilded age permitted the shining ideal of the yeoman farmer to be replaced by the
grubby reality of the day trader? Thomas Frank is the first historian to try to tell the hard story of
how the metaphor of the marketplace has vanquished every domain of modernity."
"This great book is like a roaring new version of Thomas Carlyle, with a dash of Tom Wolfe: only
the bonfire here is on a much higher flame. As Frank shows, American business has been stripping
us of our language in a way that makes CortÚs and the conquistadores look like crude amateurs. His
new book is an exciting dare to all of us to take the language back."
About the Author:
Thomas Frank is a founding editor of The Baffler, a magazine of cultural criticism. He holds a Ph.D.
in American history from the University of Chicago and is the author of The Conquest of Cool and
coeditor of Commodify Your Dissent: Salvos from The Baffler. He has regularly been quoted by,
appeared on, or written for National Public Radio, ABC's World News Tonight, The Wall Street
Journal, Harper's, The Nation, and many other outlets.
Voice, and The Baffler.