• American Exception

  • Empire and the Deep State
  • By: Aaron Good
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 12 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $32.87

Buy for $32.87

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

American Exception seeks to explain the breakdown of US democracy, in particular to understand the uncanny continuity of American foreign policy, the breakdown of the rule of law, and the extreme concentration of wealth and power into an overworld of the corporate rich.

To trace the evolution of the American state, Aaron Good takes a deep-politics approach. The term “deep state” was badly misappropriated during the Trump era. In the simplest sense, it here refers to all those institutions that collectively exercise undemocratic power over state and society. To trace how we arrived at this point, American Exception explores various deep state institutions and history-making interventions.

Key institutions involve the relationships between the overworld of the corporate rich, the underworld of organized crime, and the national security actors that mediate between them. History-making interventions include the toppling of foreign governments, the launching of aggressive wars, and the political assassinations of the 1960s.

In its long history before World War II, the United States had a deep political system, a system of governance in which decision-making and enforcement were carried out within—and outside of—public institutions. It was a system that always included some degree of secretive collusion and law-breaking. After World War II, US elites decided to pursue global dominance over the international capitalist system. 

Setting aside the liberal rhetoric, this project was pursued in a manner that was by and large imperialistic rather than progressive. To administer this covert empire, US elites created a massive national security state characterized by unprecedented levels of secrecy and lawlessness. The “Global Communist Conspiracy” provided a pretext for exceptionism—an endless “exception” to the rule of law.

What gradually emerged after World War II was a tripartite state system of governance. The open democratic state and the authoritarian security state were both increasingly dominated by an American deep state.

Aaron Good concludes by assessing the prospects for a revival of US democracy.

©2022 Aaron Good (P)2022 Blackstone Publishing
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about American Exception

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An excellent analysis

This book is essential reading for anyone who considers themselves to be a student of history, political, or even "conspiracy theories" about the JFK Assassination. If you've ever wondered how so many elites can commit so many obvious crimes and avoid accountability, this book offers a framework for understanding why this happens.

Aaron Good completed an amazing feat. He convincingly conventional political science conceptions of the state and sovereignty. He does this by pointing out that while connections between criminal and elite elements in society have been endemic throughout history, frameworks within political science, or any widely accepted conception about "how the world works" fails to account for it. Those links are so misunderstood by our public state, that they are invisible and thus, unaccountable, despite them being the essence of how politics actually works.

Good applies that framework to our own country and traces the American deep political system largely by examining major "deep events" - events in our political history involving elite criminality that have dramatically affected our national trajectory.

These events are often controversial and obscured from public understanding and discourse, but are nonetheless significant.

The Kennedy assassination, a major deep event, is often negatively associated with "conspiracy theories" - Good shows how that very term has been used to stigmatize the very inquiry that an honest study of our political system requires.

Good demonstrates that the Kennedy assassination and subsequent coverup is closely linked to both American elites and the criminal underworld, satisfying the interests of both groups. More significantly, he shows that this union has continued to produce events and activities that have shaped US history - most notably Watergate - and solidified its place in US politics by the Reagan Administration.

Aaron's treatment of Watergate may be the most effective thing he does in the book. He goes deep into the conflicting elite interests in play during Nixon's rise, and the civil war that ended with his downfall. He shows that rather than being a singularly criminally minded individual, Nixon actually grew out of America's deep political system rife with regular criminality. When Nixon's presidency went against the interests of the powers that made up this network, his days became numbered.

While much of the material presented in the book will be unfamiliar, even to relatively educated sections of the American public, it is definitely essential reading for anyone trying to grasp the forces that drive history.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Impressive in its scope and analysis

Aaron Good's work provides the reader with a dizzying array of state criminality carried out under the auspices of "democracy" and "freedom". Even though almost every event or chapter in the book could (and should) be its entire book, "American Exception" is an impressively well-articulated overview in which the various strands of deceit and corruption are identified with concision and clarity.

The narration has the unhurried pace and somewhat soporific quality of an old University Professor and takes some acclimation. Once you get on that wavelength, however, it's plain sailing.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Suneil
  • Suneil
  • 07-10-22

Lifting the veil

An eye opening must read, bringing together some our times greater minds
Am interesting reexamination of JFK and predictions for the near future