The Demise of Virtue in Virtual America: The Moral Origins of the Great Recession
By David Bosworth
Although the financial disaster of 2008 proved devastatingly quick, the evolution of the bad faith that drove the collapse is a more gradual story, and one that David Bosworth powerfully narrates in The Demise of Virtue in Virtual America: The Moral Origins of the Great Recession, his sweeping history of the forces driving ethical, political, and economic change over the last sixty years. Here, Bosworth traces how the commercialization of public spaces and electronic information has created a new and enclosed American place. Chapter by chapter, he then shows how the materialist values of this Virtual America have suffused our everyday lives, co-opting the themes of our narratives, the planks of our parties, the practices of our professions, and the most intimate aspects of our personal lives, including our beliefs about God, marriage, and childcare. From Ronald Reagan and Disneyland to modern pharmacology and "prosperity theology," from the phony conservatism of Wall Street to the faux rebellion of "transgressive" art, Bosworth's alternative story of American life since 1950 relentlessly challenges today's dominant narratives--narratives that, as he reveals, made both the calamitous invasion of Iraq and the economic collapse of 2008 all too likely.
Read the Preface.