In Fortunes of Change, David Callahan contends that something big is happening among the rich in America: they’re drifting to the left. When Callahan set out to write a book on the new upper class, he expected to profile a greedy and reactionary elite—the robber barons of a second Gilded Age. Instead, he discovered something else. While many of the rich still back a GOP that stands against taxes and regulation, liberalism is spreading fast among the wealthy.
In Fortunes of Change, we meet an upper class increasingly filled with super-educated professionals and entrepreneurs who work in “knowledge” industries and live in the bluest parts of America. This cosmopolitan elite takes for granted such key liberal ideas as multiculturalism and active government, and have ever less in common with an extremist GOP based in small-town America and dominated by Tea Party activists and the likes of Sarah Palin. Fortunes of Change explores:
Why some of America’s wealthiest people backed Barack Obama’s presidential bid and are pouring record sums into the Democratic Party and liberal organizations, even though they stand to see their taxes go up.
How a few big donors have spent millions to create the modern gay rights movement and how environmental activists have tapped a river of new liberal cash.
Why Hollywood, rolling in new profits thanks to globalization, has more money than ever to back Democratic candidates and push politics to the left.
Why Silicon Valley is turning more liberal and how tech money—including Bill Gates’s vast fortune—is funding a growing array of liberal groups and politicians.
How the upper class is likely to get more liberal as young heirs are inculcated with liberal ideas in America’s most elite prep schools and universities.
David Callahan is a co-founder of the think tank Demos, where he is now a senior fellow. He is author of the Cheating Culture, among other books, and his articles have appeared in such places as USA Today, the New York Times, the Nation, and the Washington Monthly.