The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics

Salena Zito and Brad Todd. Crown Forum, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-1-5247-6368-8
Zito, a New York Post journalist, and Todd, a Republican strategist, argue that the 2016 election of Donald Trump indicates that “this new fusion of populism with conservatism is a remaking of the American political axis” in an enthusiastic but repetitive book that draws broad conclusions from an examination of a narrow slice of voters. The authors interview Trump voters—mostly white, middle-aged (and older), straight, and Christian, whom they describe as “largely forgotten people”—from five states that flipped Republican in 2016. Multiple interviewees reference feeling like “part of something bigger than just me” and say that their values had been ignored by previous candidates. The authors pair these interviews with data from surveys conducted for this book to identify seven archetypes of Trump voter (such as “Red-Blooded and Blue-Collared,” “Rotary Reliables,” and “Silent Suburban Moms”). Glib prose (at one point, “Republican mega-donors” are described as “suffering with post-traumatic stress syndrome from Romney’s loss”) does the argument no favors. Partisan language and framing—“For nearly a century, American politics has put the New Deal coalition of government takers on one side, opposed by the fusion of affluence and evangelicalism of the modern Republican Party”—signal that the book’s intended readership is fellow conservatives. The representation of Trump supporters as misunderstood victims steeped in Americana will likely play well with that audience. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/21/2018
Release date: 05/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-525-63765-3
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-5247-6370-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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