Over the past decade, Americans watched in bafflement and rage as one institution after another—from Wall Street to Congress, the Catholic Church to Major League Baseball—imploded under the weight of corruption and incompetence. In the wake of the Fail Decade, the social contract between ordinary citizens and elites lies in tatters. How did we get here? With Twilight of the Elites, Christopher Hayes upends well-worn ideological and partisan categories to offer a radically novel answer. Since the 1960s, as the meritocracy elevated a more diverse group of men and women into power, they learned to embrace the accelerating inequality that had placed them near the very top, leaving a new American elite more prone to failure and corruption and more out of touch with the people they govern. Mixing deft political analysis, timely social commentary, and deep historical understanding, Hayes entirely reorients our perspective on our times by arguing that the public's loss of trust in the federal government, corporate America, and the media has led to a crisis of authority that threatens to engulf not just our politics but our day-to-day lives.