Between 1920 and 1950 America saw an unprecedented expansion of wealth and power underwritten by technological innovation, cultural confidence, and victory in war. American elites won World War II, rebuilt the world order with America at its head, inaugurated the jet age and put a man on the moon. The boom led to a larger, richer middle that confirmed America’s best ideals. By the early 1970s that ended. Since then, American elites have captured a disproportionate share of the social and economic rewards over the last 50 years during which time the middle class has shrunk in size and become economically insecure, owning a smaller share of national wealth than at any time in our history despite most households having two income earners versus the single income household that characterized the period of shared prosperity. At the same time, technological innovation that improves people’s standard of living has dramatically slowed. This undermines the basic premise behind the broad acceptance of a meritocratic elite, whose rule is predicated on the belief that if the best rise to the top, their talent and energy will create a rising tide that lifts all the boats. We had that once. We can have it again. This book is the story of how American elites won, lost, and can win again.