Democrats received a mighty "shellacking"—in President Obama's words—in the 2010 midterm election. The Republican Party gained 680 seats in state legislative races and retook control of the House, gaining a net 63 seats from Democrats. Pelosi's out as Speaker, Boehner's in, and 138 members of Congress rode to victory with Tea Party support.
Where does that leave the upcoming crop of political books? Can we expect manifestos from Nikki Haley and Rand Paul? In good time. For now, the resurgence of the GOP has revitalized the old guard. Folks who slunk away except for periodic cameos on Fox News are in full force (Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee, Karl Rove), offering their action plans for the future and looking back at the past.
Against All Odds: My Life of Hardships, Fast Breaks, and Second Chances
Scott Brown. Harper, $27.99 ISBN 978-0-06-201554-9; Feb.
Brown recounts surviving a childhood of savage abuse and neglect—and his path to his surprise victory over the putative Democratic shoo-in Martha Coakley. "Scott Brown's greatest win did not occur on a cold January election night in 2010 when he came from behind to capture the U.S. Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy for nearly 50 years," writes Brown's publisher. "It began when he survived a savage beating at the drunken, dirty-fingernail hands of a stepfather when he was barely six years old, while trying to protect his mother."
A Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need from Washington (and a Trillion That We Don't!)
Mike Huckabee. Sentinel, $26.95 ISBN 978-1-59523-073-7; Feb.
The former governor of Arkansas and erstwhile candidate for the Republican ticket in 2008, is back and ready to wrangle with "Obamacare" with a 12-point action plan—perhaps just in time to announce his presidential campaign?
Known and Unknown: A Memoir
Donald Rumsfeld. Sentinel, $36 ISBN 978-1-59523-0676; Feb.
The former defense secretary—who curiously holds the record for being both the youngest and oldest person appointed to the post (he first took the position under Gerald Ford)—defends his long career in a weighty (832 pages) memoir. The book purportedly contains declassified documents to be released in conjunction with the book's publication.
Deconstructing Obama: The Life, Loves, and Letters of America's First Postmodern President
Jack Cashill. Threshold, $25 ISBN 978-1-4516-1111-3; Feb.
For sheer weirdness, nothing bests "citizen journalist" Cashill's claim that President Obama's memoirs Dreams of My Father and The Audacity of Hope were secretly ghostwritten by Bill Ayers.
Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
Andrew Breitbart. Grand Central, $27.99 ISBN 978-0-446-57282-8; Apr.
Political commentator Breitbart (whose very controversial editing of Sherry Sherrod's speech led to her firing from the U.S. Department of Agriculture) writes about joining the Tea Party, facing off against the "liberal media," and his early years working with Matt Drudge and the Huffington Post.
Liberty Defined: The 50 Urgent Issues That Affect Our Freedom
Ron Paul. Grand Central, $22.99 ISBN 978-1-4555-0145-8; Apr
Congressman Ron Paul (papa of Tea Party phenom and current senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul) expounds on 50 topics arranged from A (for Abortion) to Z (Zionism), tying them to his very idiosyncratic conception of American liberty: "the spontaneous order that emerges when the state does not intervene in human volition and human cooperation."
American Individualism: How a New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican Party
Margaret Hoover. Crown, $24.99 ISBN 978-0-307-71815-0; July
Not resting on the Republican laurels, political commentator and strategist Margaret Hoover (great-granddaughter of Herbert) offers her prescriptions for strengthening the base by renewing Republican commitment to its central tenets: individual freedom, fiscal responsibility, and national defense.
63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read
Jesse Ventura with Dick Russell. Skyhorse, $24.95 ISBN 978-1-61608-226-0; Apr.
Former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura can be hard to pin down politically. A self-professed "nonpartisan truth-seeker," he's critical of both parties—and especially dismissive of the Bush administration. He's consistent on his attraction to conspiracy theories, though—he hosts a television show Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura, and his latest book features 47 documents and alleged government coverups of a dengue fever epidemic and threats to our food supply.