The inside story of how our political class enabled an era of unaccountable corporate might that left ordinary Americans isolated and powerless—and how we can fight back—from the acclaimed author of The Unbroken Thread
“In Tyranny, Inc., Sohrab Ahmari, one of the leading thinkers of our time, alerts us to one of the greatest threats to freedom.”—Michael Lind, author of The New Class War and Hell to Pay
Over the past two generations, U.S. leaders deregulated big business on the faith that it would yield a better economy and a freer society. But the opposite happened. Americans lost stable, well-paying jobs, Wall Street dominated industry to the detriment of the middle class and local communities, and corporations began to subject us to total surveillance, even dictating what we are, and aren’t, allowed to think. The corporate titans and mega-donors who aligned themselves with this vision knew exactly what they were getting: perfect conditions for what Sohrab Ahmari calls “private tyranny”.
Drawing on original reporting and a growing chorus of experts who are sounding the alarm, Ahmari chronicles how private tyranny has eroded America’s productive economy and the liberties we take for granted—from employment agreements that gag whistleblowers, to Big Finance’s takeover of local fire departments, to the rigging of corporate bankruptcy to deny justice to workers and consumers—illuminating how these and other developments have left millions feeling that our livelihoods are insecure. And he shows how ordinary Americans can fight back, by restoring the economic democracy that empowered and uplifted millions of working-class people in the twentieth century.
Provocative, original, and cutting across partisan lines, Tyranny, Inc. is a revelatory read on the most important political story of our time.
About the Author
Sohrab Ahmari is a founder and editor of Compact. Previously, he spent nearly a decade at News Corp as op-ed editor of the New York Post and as a columnist and editor with The Wall Street Journal opinion pages in New York and London. In addition to those publications, his writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Spectator, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Times Literary Supplement, Commentary, Dissent, and The American Conservative, for which he is a contributing editor.
“Compelling as a work of narrative journalism.”—The Washington Post
“Tyranny, Inc. is a book . . . in the pessimistic spirit of Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed.”—Ross Douthat, The New York Times
“[Ahmari] is a deft storyteller. . . . He highlights genuine injustices, such as the way some firms abuse gag clauses, non-compete agreements, and the arbitration process.”—The Economist
“Ahmari tells a compelling story of the tyranny exercised by unrestrained capitalism.”—Los Angeles Review of Books
“A scathing critique of capitalism.”—Michelle Goldberg, The New York Times
“Ahmari . . . combines anecdote and analysis with the awful ring of truth. It would be exhilarating if the portrait were not so grim.”—James Galbraith, American Affairs
“Well-crafted . . . a convincing portrait of a market economy that is ‘free’ only for those who have the resources and connections to manipulate it to their advantage.”—Michael Kazin, The New Republic
“Tyranny, Inc. will . . . likely serve as a touchstone of the conversation surrounding big business and the future of liberty, with which future commentators must grapple to contribute seriously to the subject.”—Front Porch Republic
“Sohrab Ahmari’s book is a masterpiece of clarity that should be read by everyone who cares about where our societies are moving.”—Slavoj Žižek
“This book is full of truths the ruling class doesn’t want you to hear. Defy them. Read it.”—Senator Josh Hawley
“Ahmari takes us on a devastating tour of the ways in which corporate power ruins lives in the United States.”—Jacobin
“Tyranny, Inc. is a remarkably thorough and entertaining book on the ways that private enterprise dominates the lives of ordinary people. It’s a stinging rebuttal to the right-wing claim that oppression flows from government. It also manages the rare feat of feeling prescient about a problem that’s centuries old. . . . An essential salvo in a very long war.”—Fredrik Deboer, author of The Cult of Smart
“For too long, elite institutions dismissed and minimized America’s working class. From the dystopian warehouses of Amazon to the (seemingly) spotless halls of venture-capital firms, Ahmari’s latest book shows that there is real tyranny at work in too many businesses. Open-minded readers will find a lot to mull over.”—Senator Marco Rubio
“Ahmari’s background, intellect, and fierce independence make him uniquely situated to illuminate the rise of authoritarianism in the United States.” —Glenn Greenwald
“One of our leading thinkers alerts us to one of the greatest threats to freedom today.” —Michael Lind, author of Hell to Pay: How the Suppression of Wages Is Destroying America
“Challenging conservative free marketeers as much as progressive liberals, this book is a compelling inquiry into one of the great dilemmas of our time.” —John Gray, author of False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism
“A trenchant critique of neoliberal capitalism that offers pointed remedies.”—Kirkus Reviews