despite the grand sounding title (i wish it were named differently) this is not a self-righteous liberal diatribe.
it re-examines how 'radcons' (think rush limbaugh, ann coulter, pat buchanan, etc) have been redefining liberalism as the spectre of the largely defunct sixties far-left, and discusses where all the true liberals have got to. it explains the radcons in terms of a simplistic view of 'us-against-them' and a looming evil which lurks in our loins and outside our borders. radcons are right about morality, he holds, except that they have misplaced the emphasis on private morality rather than public morality (for instance, going after pre-marital sex instead of corporate fraud and 'flim-flamming', which i read as the not-quite-illegal-but-still-wrong tax shelters, avoidance, and general aquisitive tomfoolery which are rampant).
it analyzes the current economic situation, including how numbers like the GDP and average wages can be misleading, and makes a good case for rejecting supply-side, trickle-down economics. continually relating our current situation back to historical phenomenon such as robber barons, the gilded age, and the great depression, he makes a case for investing in our human capital instead of capital in the traditional sense - in other words, spend our money on educating our kids instead of letting the very very rich keep it - where it is just as likely to trickle out as it is to trickle down in today's very global economy.
he quotes those numbers that i always wish i could remember - the ones about how 1% of the american people hold 95% of the wealth (one of the largest disparaties in history) and what the ramifications of that are. to that purpose, he even quotes very interesting studies on humans and monkeys that reveal our innate desire to be treated fairly...
this book is a call for a return to real liberalism - a calm, tolerant, broad-minded view which fights tyranny and injustice, and is not afraid to put big, new plans (NOT big, new government) into action to solve problems. it is a call for a return to the liberalism that works for the progression and wellbeing of all humanity and refuses to fall into simplistic, black and white us/them dichotomies.
it also exposes the radcons for what they really are: radical fundamentalists (not necessarily religious) reacting to a shift in the social and economic foundation of the country; not conservative at all, the movement is fed by a vicious circle of wealth concentrating power, which concentrates more wealth, ad infinitum.
it also, of course, addresses the 'war on terror': how the radcons are looking at it wrong, what it will mean to 'win', and what it will take. it emphasizes positive patriotism and the concept of equal sacrifice, which is also used to argue for graduated taxes and a stop to the tax-breaks for rich people.
it is a very, very good book.
i would really like to get a bunch of money, rename the thing something that won't turn off republicans who will really find themselves liberals by this book's definition, and leave it in hotels like the gideon bibles.