cover image Code Red: How Progressives and Moderates Can Unite to Save Our Country

Code Red: How Progressives and Moderates Can Unite to Save Our Country

E.J. Dionne, Jr. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-250-25647-8

Washington Post columnist Dionne (One Nation After Trump) calls on the progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic Party to find common ground in this fair-minded and optimistic assessment of American politics in the run-up to the 2020 elections. Arguing that the backlash to President Trump has given Democrats the chance to build a New Deal–style coalition that can fight climate change, shrink income inequality, expand health-care coverage, and improve public education, Dionne points to the 2018 midterms, when centrists and leftists combined to flip 43 seats in the House of Representatives, as a model for what can be achieved in 2020. He incisively details the factors that led to Trumpism, including Ronald Reagan’s adherence to Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy of pandering to white voters’ racial anxieties and the “serious social and economic imbalances” left behind by the Clinton and Obama presidencies. Dionne’s eagerness to drill down into voter demographics and look at the 2018 and 2016 electorates from so many statistical angles may cause some readers to lose the thread of his central arguments, and his gradualist approach is more pragmatic than inspiring. Still, Democrats closely following the early stages of the 2020 presidential race will find this reasonable, evidence-based account to be a valuable source of information. (Feb.)