KPFK Wed. 8/17: Obama and the Limits of Power

ANDREW BACEVICH says even if Obama gets elected in November, he will disappoint us, and won’t be able to achieve his goals. That’s because the imperial presidency has eviscerated democracy; the endless wars have been a catastrophe for the body politic, and consumerism and debt are destroying the economy and the environment. Bacevich’s powerful and frightening new book is THE LIMITS OF POWER: The End of American Exceptionalism.

PLUS: RICK PERLSTEIN, author of NIXONLAND, talks about the tasks facing Obama: if he’s going to change anything in America, he will have to move quickly in the first days of his presidency – that’s the lesson of FDR and LBJ – it’s where the Clintons went wrong. Rick wrote about “The Liberal Shock Doctrine” in The American Prospect.

Also: Americans in Cuba on the eve of the Castro revolution – that’s the setting for RACHEL KUSHNER’s fascinating new novel TELEX FROM CUBA. For the Americans, plantation society in Oriente Province is a paradise – until the rebels come down from the hills.

More stuff to read: my review of Thomas Frank’s The Wrecking Crew, from the LA Times.