When Callahan set out to write a book on the new upper class, he expected to profile a greedy and reactionary elite—the robber barons of a second Gilded Age. Instead, he discovered something else. While many of the rich still back a GOP that stands against taxes and regulation, liberalism is spreading fast among the wealthy.
In Fortunes of Change, we meet an upper class increasingly filled with super-educated professionals and entrepreneurs who work in “knowledge” industries and live in the bluest parts of America. This cosmopolitan elite takes for granted such key liberal ideas as multiculturalism and active government, and have ever less in common with an extremist GOP based in small-town America and dominated by Tea Party activists and the likes of Sarah Palin.
With groundbreaking research and profiles of key wealthy liberals, Callahan explains why the ranks of the liberal rich will keep growing, thanks to ongoing changes in the economy and the liberalism of elite educational institutions, and why this group will become ever more powerful. In the process, he busts myths, slays sacred cows, and topples the conventional wisdom about who really runs America and what they think.
Fortunes of Change will cause heated debate as many Republicans find their biases confirmed and debate how to recapture an upper class that used to side squarely with the GOP. Liberal activists will read the book with excitement, but also apprehension, as they grapple with new allies who may care more about polar bears than janitors, or more about legalizing gay marriage than controlling CEO pay.
Packed with surprising facts and behind-the-scene stories, Fortunes of Change is a must-read book if you want to understand how America’s politics and culture are changing—and what the future may hold.
DAVID CALLAHAN is a cofounder of the think tank Demos, where he is now a senior fellow. He is the author of several books, including The Cheating Culture. His articles have been published in such places as USA Today, the New York Times, the Nation, and the Washington Monthly.