The Demise of Virtue in Virtual America: The Moral Origins of the Great Recession (Front Porch Republic Books)
"The gross financial inequalities recently enumerated by Thomas Piketty are not the only worrisome signs that our economic system has gone dangerously awry, for that system has also been corrupting our nation’s character in ways that are even more destructive to our way of life. This co-opting of the American experiment by and for strictly monetary motives has been a gradual story, and the one that David Bosworth powerfully narrates in The Demise of Virtue in Virtual America: The Moral Origins of the Great Recession, his sweeping history of the forces driving ethical, political, and economic change over the last sixty years. Here, Bosworth traces how the commercialization of both public spaces and electronic information has created a new and enclosed American place. Chapter by chapter, he shows how the materialist values of this Virtual America have suffused our everyday lives, tainting alike the themes of our narratives, the planks of our parties, the prac!
tice of medicine, the profession of art, and the most intimate aspects of our personal lives, including our beliefs about God, marriage, and childcare. From Ronald Reagan and Disneyland to psychopharmacology and “prosperity theology,” from the phony conservatism of Wall Street to the faux rebellion of “transgressive” art, Bosworth’s alternative story of American life since 1950 relentlessly challenges today’s dominant narratives—narratives that, as he reveals, made both the calamitous invasion of Iraq and the economic collapse of 2008 all too likely."