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Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace
The American Experiment: The Vineyard of Liberty, The Workshop of Democracy, and The Crosswinds of Freedom
James MacGregor Burns

Gang of Five: Leaders at the Center of the Conservative Ascendacy

Gang of Five: Leaders at the Center of the Conservative Ascendacy - Nina J. Easton When Ralph Reed rolled the stone aside and staggered out of his crypt to launch a direct mail campaign in the 2012 presidential election I vaguely recalled some shenanigans he had been involved in while at UGA. I came across Gang of Five while trying to reconstruct foggy memories of Reed’s exploits with SGA, the Demosthenian's and Red & Black. I enjoyed learning more about Grover Norquist's history and our shared appreciation of Stalin's skills as a political organizer and have been a fan of Clint Bolick's work to shake-up dysfunctional bureaucracies since his successful campaign to break Leeburn’s blockade against direct-mail wine in Georgia. In Gang of Five, Easton mischaracterized the ‘Reagan Revolution’ as an organic event driven by skilled young lawyers and pols and missed the tectonic forces at work as New Deal/Great Society initiatives were subducted by the relentless financial interests for whom the books’ subjects are merely tools. I kept hoping Easton would lift the curtain and explore the role ‘great men’ played identifying, mentoring, promoting and financing Reed, Norquist, Bolick, McIntosh and Kristol. Easton accurately recognized that the conservative counterculture would face its greatest challenge tacking back to govern effectively once the fire brigands they had targeted, mobilized and amalgamated were loosed on the nation.