The Great Deformation

  • by David Stockman
  • Narrated by William Hughes
  • 36 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A coruscating, brilliantly insightful exegesis of where capitalism went wrong, how it was corrupted, and how it might be restored, by outspoken former Reagan budget director and best-selling author David Stockman.
David Stockman was the architect of the Reagan Revolution that was meant to restore sound money principles to the United States government. It failed, derailed by politics, special interests, welfare, and warfare. In The Great Deformation, Stockman describes how the working of free markets and democracy has long been under threat in America and provides a surprising, nonpartisan catalog of the corrupters and defenders. His analysis overturns the assumptions of Keynesians and monetarists alike, showing how both liberal and neoconservative interference in markets has proved damaging and often dangerous. Over time, crony capitalism has made fools of us all, transforming Republican treasury secretaries into big-government interventionists and populist Democrat presidents into industry-wrecking internationalists. Today’s national debt stands at nearly $16 trillion. Divided equally among taxpayers, each of us is $52,000 in debt. This book explains how we got here—and why this warped crony capitalism has betrayed so many of our hopes and dreams.

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What the Critics Say

"Stockman performs a real service when he debunks the myths that have been associated with Reagan’s conservatism and promotes Eisenhower’s fiscal and military conservatism…Stockman forcefully conveys enormous amounts of knowledge." (Kirkus Reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Loads of Information but problematic writing

This is an excellently supported book that goes into extraordinary detail of the US economy from the period leading up to the great depression to the present. This is not a quick or easy listen. The author may be an expert in economics but he is not an expert writer. The book is very long and filled with annoying mixed metaphors (that are sometimes so bad they are funny), cliches repeated ad nauseam, and jumps wildly between temporally distant causes and effects and from one subject to another. Thus I can’t say this was a pleasure of a listen. Nevertheless the author makes quite a few really excellent points. The author shows extreme political independence casting blame and praise regardless of party. The book is also quite a downer, filled with doom and gloom with almost no way out. This book is filled with facts and statistics that are key to understanding our economic past and future. I did not agree with everything the author proposes (the gold standard), but I was surprised by how much I found quite convincing. Clearly this tomb is not for everyone. This is more than a bit dry and detailed oriented, yet I found it a very rational alternative view of modern economics,
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- Michael

Why Isn't the American Economy Working?

What made the experience of listening to The Great Deformation the most enjoyable?

If you have any interest in what is going on in the United States economically, and why things are not working out as the "talking heads" from the Obama Administration to CNBC keep promising us they are, then you need to listen to this book.

We know something is wrong. And it is not as simple as Democrats versus Republicans.


Which scene was your favorite?

Chapters 32 and beyond tie up all the loose strings and takes a look at where we are today, why things are worse than we believe, and what, if anything can be done to change our direction.

Not to be pessimistic, but it will take a seismic shift to change things for the United States, and that shift will not be painless.

But it will be less painful that what we have coming if we just do nothing.


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I have been a student of the economy for many decades. But I was never able to tie the role of government malfeasance together with what was happening beyond the last one or two administrations.

Stockman makes it perfectly clear. This is not and has not been a Democratic or a Republican created crisis. Instead, it is a crisis of meddlers in an economic system called Capitalism, and they have meddled with it without grasping what they were doing.

We have sacrificed long term gain for short-term jumps in consumption over and over again, with no regard for how we are going to replace that consumption that we pulled from the future into today's market.

And we have sacrificed a solid money supply for one of fiat money, where budgets do not matter(Thank you Richard Nixon).

Meanwhile we approach $20 trillion in deficits with artificially low interest rates, which have encouraged even more borrowing. Thank you Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke.


Any additional comments?

If you think the rules of the the United States economy have changed and you think the rules of investing have changed, you are right.

Stockman goes back to the roots of this rotten tree and explains in very good detail how we got here, and why we are dying economically, even though we are told over and over and over again that the economy is turning the corner. It isn't.

This book is long, but well worth the listening time to complete. Our future economic success has been placed into the hands of just a few single points of failure.

It's important you know why it's failing, so that you can prepare for what is certainly coming in the not too distant future for the United States.

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- Ernest J. Moosa Jr.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-02-2013
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.