American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump

American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump

Politico Magazine’s chief political correspondent provides a rollicking insider’s look at the making of the modern Republican Party—how a decade of cultural upheaval, populist outrage, and ideological warfare made the GOP vulnerable to a hostile takeover from the unlikeliest of insurgents: Donald J. Trump.

The 2016 election was a watershed for the United States. But, as Tim Alberta explains in American Carnage, to understand Trump’s victory is to view him not as the creator of this era of polarization and bruising partisanship, but rather as its most manifest consequence.

American Carnage is the story of a president’s rise based on a country’s evolution and a party’s collapse. As George W. Bush left office with record-low approval ratings and Barack Obama led a Democratic takeover of Washington, Republicans faced a moment of reckoning: They had no vision, no generation of new leaders, and no energy in the party’s base. Yet Obama’s forceful pursuit of his progressive agenda, coupled with the nation’s rapidly changing societal and demographic identity, lit a fire under the right, returning Republicans to power and inviting a bloody struggle for the party’s identity in the post-Bush era. The factions that emerged—one led by absolutists like Jim Jordan and Ted Cruz, the other led by pragmatists like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell—engaged in a series of devastating internecine clashes and attempted coups for control. With the GOP’s internal fissures rendering it legislatively impotent, and that impotence fueling a growing resentment toward the political class and its institutions, the stage was set for an outsider to crash the party. When Trump descended a gilded escalator to announce his run in the summer of 2015, the candidate had met the moment.

Only by viewing Trump as the culmination of a decade-long civil war inside the GOP—and of the parallel sense of cultural, socioeconomic, and technological disruption during that period—can we appreciate how he won the White House and consider the fundamental questions at the center of America’s current turmoil. How did a party once obsessed with national insolvency come to champion trillion-dollar deficits? How did the party of compassionate conservatism become the party of Muslim bans and family separation? How did the party of family values elect a thrice-married philanderer? And, most important, how long can such a party survive?

Loaded with explosive original reporting and based off hundreds of exclusive interviews—including with key players such as President Trump, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Jim DeMint, and Reince Priebus, among many others—American Carnage takes us behind the scenes of this tumultuous period as we’ve never seen it before and establishes Tim Alberta as the premier chronicler of this political era.

Title:American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump
ISBN:9780062896445
Format Type:

    American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump Reviews

  • Gary  Beauregard Bottomley

    There was absolutely nothing new in this book that a regular reader of the New York Times and reader of political blogs and twitter would not have already known. I stopped this book near the half way ...

  • Jill Meyer

    The latest entry in books looking at Donald Trump and his presidency is "American Carnage", by Politico author Tim Alberta. He takes a slightly different tack than many books about Trump in that he ex...

  • Miracle Jones

    A fairly comprehensive yet painfully lifeless and mediocre history of the....present? The only thing here that hasn't been reported better elsewhere by reporters less interested in flattering Republi...

  • Kay

    Why read a book recounting major things that happened in the Republican party over the last 12 years? Especially when you're someone like me, who spent that time editing coverage of the Republican par...

  • BookTrib.com

    POLITICO’s Tim Alberta, author of American Carnage (Harper), asked a “blissfully retired” John Boehner over lunch whether he believed that the Republican Party “could survive Trumpism.”Boehn...

  • Adam Schrecengost

    This is an odd book. There's nothing really new, and I'm struck that Alberta decided to structure it similar to how events played out in the public eye instead of what was really going on behind the s...

  • Trey Grayson

    It’s long. But worth it.I forgive him for calling me MM’s hand-picked candidate instead of my actual name. :)...

  • Robert P. Hoffman

    This is an outstanding book. The author does an extraordinary job of telling what happened in the Republican party over the last ten years and what happened to our political world during that time per...

  • Misfit

    Meh. Not what I expected. Returning to library and moving on....

  • Stewart Sternberg

    This is surprisingly long. But it is worth a read, especially for people twenty years from now as they wonder how they got where they are.How did the right wing grow so strong in the US? Why do we hav...