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Please welcome William Greider, author of Come Home America, in the comments — jh

Bill Greider has played an important part in progressive politics for as far back as I can remember.  He left a career at the Washington Post to become the political editor for Rolling Stone, and his political writing was a feature there for the next 17 years.  Earlier this year, his important piece at the Nation — which sounded the alarm about the efforts to cut Social Security benefits — played an important part in keeping those efforts in check (though they are far from over). 

His new Book, Come Home America, confronts the the history of the modern financial crisis, and couldn’t come at a better time.  From the AIG bonuses to the rule of the banking oligarchs, Greider’s book is an autopsy of a system in need of true systemic reform.

As he says in the book:

Think of America at this point as a muscular teenager, full of talent, adolescent energy, and youth’s over-reaching impulses. This is a critical stage in human development and for our nation it could go either way. Some nations that acted like willful children when they were young formed balanced societies when they became adults. Other nations have never really grown up.

The question, I think is whether-we-the people who proudly call ourselves Americans – can mature as a society. The country can develop a deeper sense of what matters most in life and what doesn’t. It can shed some self-destructive reflexes and acquire a wiser sense of national self-interest that is anchored in the nation’s ideals. Wisdom tempers egotism. This is true for both people and nations.

Or, the United States can plunge ahead self-indulgently, repeating destructive habits, acting out reckless ambitions, and getting into deeper trouble. We all know children who, for whatever reason, got older but never found themselves. This is possible for nations too, especially ones that refuse to reconcile themselves to new realities.

I am betting we will grow into our maturity and hoping that lots of Americans agree.”

Please welcome Bill Greider, whom Bill Moyers recently called "America’s leading chronicler of money, power and politics."