Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall of Our Country.

William Greider. (2009)

Contents in 14 chapters:

Chapter, Title

1          Fair Warning

2          The Other America

3          The Walls Closing In

4          The 'Winner's Complex'

5          The Politics of "Hard Money."

6          Blinded by Faith

7          Second Thoughts

8          The Next War

9          Why not victory?

10       The End of the Conservative Era

11       America the Possible

12       Machine Politics

13       The Reckoning

14       The Underground River



Chapter 1.

"We live in a country where telling the hard truth with clarity has become a taboo."

p. 1.

Chapter 2.

". . . a reflexive faith in a bright future. . . ." contrasted with The Other America

p. 10.

Chapter 3.

"The mass culture–marinates Americans in self-congratulation and triumphalism. We hear the same message from everywhere around us–politics, movies, talk radio, commercial advertising."

p. 15.

Chapter 4.

"remain true to the idea of an invincible America."

p. 25.

Chapter 5.

"The panicky crisis that enveloped the US financial system in the early months of 2008 put the country on the brink of a historic catastrophe."

p. 37.

Key provision

"the explosive inflation of financial wealth." Federal Reserve policy


Chapter 6. Blinded by Faith

"The USA is ensnared in a perverse symbiosis with China." richest relies on poor

p. 62.

Debtor nation"

p. 65.

Chapter 7, Second Thoughts.

"Roughly speaking, previous eras of industrial revolution have ended in one or more of these ways."  Economic breakdowns, social unrest, popular rebellions. 

p. 93.


"From being a vigilant defender to being an adventurous aggressor in search of enemies."

p. 117.

Chapter 8, The Next War.


"Ignorance has been a hallmark of modern American war making for decades.

p. 150.


Chapter 9, Why Not Victory?


". . . arrived at a critical political juncture that seems confusing and threatening, but also hints of promising changes to come. The conservative economic doctrine that has governed the country for a generation and reshaped society's collapsing."

p. 173.

Chapter 10, The End of Conservative.


"America is in much deeper trouble than is generally realized and that restoring national well-being will require profound change—a historic transformation in how we live and work, as well as in how we are governed."

p. 197.

Chapter 11, America the Possible.


"an agenda of deep reform." Blocked by corporate and urban machines.

p. 219.

Chapter 12, Machine Politics.


"what the US faces today is roughly the economic equivalent of WW II."

p. 248.

"the good times are gone."

p 265.


Chapter 13, The Reckoning.


"Democracy begins in human conversation. The simplest, least threatening investment any citizen may  make in democratic renewal is to begin talking to other people."

p. 270.


Chapter 14, The Underground River.


"Official America is like a family member who is suffering from debilitating addictions. Our democracy is desperately in need of dramatic intervention by its sovereign citizens."

p. 299.


The Politics of hard money

Commercial banks, hybrid megabanks, investment houses, related financial firms (brokerages), unregulated hedge funds


"Our immaturity as a nation–is reflected in the Federal Reserves peculiar status and expressed bluntly by the central bank's growing domination of elected representatives. The unaccountable Federal Reserve governs our lives as assuredly as the politicians in Congress or the White House do, but without the inconvenience of facing elections."

p. 59.

"citizens are treated like children who are not to be trusted."


Fed- "wants to act as father figure in this family."


"The sweep of events over the last thirty years ought to make it clear that this is not true."



Chapter 7

Second Thoughts

US affluent teenagers dependent on exploited foreign teenage workers


"International labor rights are central to reforming the global system."


"Cheaper prices can destroy innocent lives, quite literally."


". . . reforms to defend justice in the global system."



"If the wage incomes keep sloping downward, thanks to the race to the bottom, who in the world will have the wherewithal to buy all this stuff?"


"a more patient version of progress."
"building a global floor for wage levels."


following the policies EU pursued with respect to poorer EU nations to close the gap.


"to promote the convergence of Eurpes rich and poor economies."



Chapter 8

The Next War

"This newly aggressive U.S."        the QDR        "the Long War" Pentagon plan"


military "encirclement of Russia," and China


"The pentagon is a machine running out of control without a reliable brake—no one will say no to its expansive plans."


"Given the nation's weakened financial condition, the Pentagon is headed for an ugly collision with citizens over its relentless calls for larger military budgets."


"accepted wisdom that does not make any sense."

"people would rather have someone who is strong and wrong, than someone who is weak and right."          

Quotes Clinton on Bush's Iraq war 2002-2008


"They do not sign up to waste their lives for mindless militarism."


he served in the military

before Viet Nam and of the Viet Nam War he learned

"The government sometimes lies to the people." "I was shocked to know this."


"Generals  . . .fight the last war, because that is what they know."

p. 134.

Pentagon's plan for the Long War reveals that very weakness.

"Confusion over China is a breathtaking example."


"by 2009 US military spending will exceed the Cold War average by 23 percent."

p. 143.

China's military spending is 1/10 the amount the US spends,


Greenspan's memoirs acknowledging that the "Iraq War was largely about oil."



Bush speech in September 2007

"Did 'everyone' know that oil was the real cause of the War?"


Blood for Oil creates a diabolical set of consequences for the nation. thus "the United state must undertake a profound industrial transition."

p. 148.


All references:

Edward R. Murrow, Harvest of Shame

Rose, Social Stratification in the US

Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death                             

Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others                                 

Greider, Come Home, America                           

George Lakoff, The Political Mind


Fox, precise use of language

Bowers, political ideology of just relations

Bullard, environmental justice, ethnicity and race

Overseas, or Foreign Press a sampling

USA print media, daily newspapers