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Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America [Bargain Price] [Hardcover]

Kate Zernike
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 14, 2010 0805093486 First Edition

A surprising and revealing look inside the Tea Party movement—where it came from, what it stands for, and what it means for the future of American politics

They burst on the scene at the height of the Great Recession—angry voters gathering by the thousands to rail against bailouts and big government. Evoking the Founding Fathers, they called themselves the Tea Party. Within the year, they had changed the terms of debate in Washington, emboldening Republicans and confounding a new administration's ability to get things done.

Boiling Mad is Kate Zernike's eye-opening look inside the Tea Party, introducing us to a cast of unlikely activists and the philosophy that animates them. She shows how the Tea Party movement emerged from an unusual alliance of young Internet-savvy conservatives and older people alarmed at a country they no longer recognize. The movement is the latest manifestation of a long history of conservative discontent in America, breeding on a distrust of government that is older than the nation itself. But the Tea Partiers' grievances are rooted in the present, a response to the election of the nation's first black president and to the far-reaching government intervention that followed the economic crisis of 2008-2009. Though they are better educated and better off than most other Americans, they remain deeply pessimistic about the economy and the direction of the country.

Zernike introduces us to the first Tea Partier, a nose-pierced young teacher who lives in Seattle with her fiancé, an Obama supporter. We listen in on what Tea Partiers learn about the Constitution, which they embrace as the backbone of their political philosophy. We see how young conservatives, who model their organization on the Grateful Dead, mobilize a new set of activists several decades their elder. And we watch as suburban mothers, who draw their inspiration from MoveOn and other icons of the Left, plot to upend the Republican Party in a swing district outside Philadelphia.

The Tea Party movement has energized a lot of voters, but it has polarized the electorate, too. Agree or disagree, we must understand this movement to understand American politics in 2010 and beyond.


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Required reading for anyone who wants to understand the Tea Party movement.”—Gail Collins, The New York Times
 
“Illuminating… a picture of how different some Tea Partiers are from the Republican establishment’s view of the movement.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“[Zernike’s] concise, elegantly written book is a refreshing reminder of what traditional journalism — so often despised and discounted these days — can contribute to the public conversation. . . . A convincing portrait of the [tea party] movement’s most ardent activists.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“A brisk chronicle of the people who have streamed to the protests [and] flocked to the polls.”—The New Republic
 
“The most informative and readable.”—The Hill
 
“The beauty of Boiling Mad is that it’s room-temperature calm. With fresh and surprising reporting, Kate Zernike cuts through the hype on both sides to show the Tea Party as it really is, not as partisans depict it. It’s a complete, balanced, incisive and important account of a reactionary movement that’s changing the country.”—Jonathan Alter, author of The Promise: President Obama, Year One

About the Author

Kate Zernike is a national correspondent for The New York Times and was a member of the team that shared the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. She has covered education, Congress, and four national elections for the Times and was previously a reporter for The Boston Globe. She lives with her family outside New York City.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Times Books; First Edition edition (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805093486
  • ASIN: B0055X6QVO
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,426,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
(18)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inside the Tea Party(s) December 27, 2010
Format:Hardcover
The Tea Party: is it a ragtag group of Birchers and birthers, a band of Joes-the-Plumber, a nation of whiners, the silent majority, or politics as usual? Journalist Kate Zernike's timely book argues that there is no single defining phrase that can inscribe the Tea Party movement, because it is hardly a single unified "movement" at all: rather, it is a diverse conglomeration of movements and various political ideals that has taken hold of many Americans, who are "fed up" over government spending, the bailout(s), taxes, (the) health care (law), among other things.

In a sense, the Tea Party is (or was? I am uncertain whether or not to use the past tense) as federalized as it would like to see the United States. It has its origins in Seattle, Chicago, Boston and wherever else a group of neighbors decided to gather and discuss how they would subvert federal spending, health care, and the Republican Party status quo, etc. The Tea Party focuses primarily on economic issues: supporters fervently oppose illegal immigration, they seek the repealing of the health care law, they are infuriated by what they see as reckless federal spending and an ever increasing and looming budget deficit and national debt. Most are in favor of the free market, which they see as 100% American. Many tea partiers get their inspiration from Bastait, Hayek, von Mises, and Ayn Rand; one tea partier argued that (I quote from memory) "we all know that Keyensian economics has been proved wrong. It wasn't FDR's New Deal policies that saved the economy from the Great Depression, it was WWII." (This shows the extent of many a tea partiers' "reasearch".
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18 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great inside look! September 22, 2010
Format:Hardcover
A comprehensive look inside Tea Party America. This book takes you person by person, story by story into the Tea Party. A great read for anyone interested in today's political climate. Zernike writes in a way that is easy to understand. It's obvious that this journalist has a passion for getting "the people's story" to the public.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Strong Journalistic Account November 23, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I should no longer be surprised by journalistic accounts. They always have the same strengths—and there are some in this book—and weaknesses which are also present here. Kate Zernike’s "Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America" epitomizes well journalistic strengths and weaknesses. First the strengths; it is a well-written account that humanizes the people associated with the Tea Party. We learn quite a lot about several key organizers at the grass roots level, how they came to focus on this arena, and engage in the political activism engendered in the 2009-2010 time frame. We also learn that the Tea Party is much more than an Astroturf organization ginned up by well-funded organizations. Those organizations were present, of course, but they were tapping into a broad discontent with the American culture and seeking to channel it to their agenda, which they succeeded in doing only to a certain extent.

Zernike emphasizes people who had usually not been politically active previously but were distressed by what they saw happening around them. Keli Carender, for example, came out of liberal household in Seattle to become a spark plug in the movement. Zernike also profiles Diana Reimer from a suburb of Philadelphia who had a mortgage under water and had been stretched economically to the point where the middle class lifestyle she expected was at risk. There are many other ordinary Americans mentioned in this book and what we see to the last one is that they are not crazed racists, radicals, or right wing nutcases. They were reacting, and to some extend continue to react to a set of issues that they see crippling them personally and society as a whole. The result was an emotional and almost primal opposition to what they saw as the status quo.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
"Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America" is Kate Zernike's fascinating look inside the American social phenomenon known as the Tea Party, introducing us to a cast of extraordinarily colorful characters and the ideas that motivate them.

What is America's Tea Party: a "constitutionalist" libertarian surgence? The reactionary rump of the GOP, struggling to remake itself after it's dreadful performance in the 2008 general election? A mass movement of angry white traditionalists resentful of every socially progressive notion from racial and gender equality to religious tolerance? A gaggle of decerebrate "Birthers" irremediably dedicated to the notion that our forty-fourth President is a Sumatran orang-utan, and worse, a Muslim to boot? Is it some of these, or all of these?

Whatever else it may be, the Tea Party is 'sui generis,' wholly in a class by itself: it is the first large-scale political movement of the twenty-first century and, along with the struggle for democratization in the Mideast, it along with the epochal the movement for an "Arab Spring" may set the tone for national and international political life for years to come.

The Tea Party burst on the scene at the height of the Great Recession and on the eve of the election of the first Black man to the highest office in the land: angry, white voters gathering by the hundreds of thousands to protest bank bailouts and big government. Evoking the Partisans of the Revolutionary War and the framers of the Constitution, they called themselves the Tea Party.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two bucks?
For two bucks this must be a popular read. I bet the extreme lefties love because they love the diatribe for a fellow, lying, racist lefty. Read more
Published 8 months ago by P. M Palmer
3.0 out of 5 stars Bought book for liberal co-worker
Sadly, I have not read this book but I did buy it for a liberal looney co-worker and she said that it is full of crap....This tells me that the book would be a good read for me. Read more
Published 11 months ago by LARRY
5.0 out of 5 stars A JOURNALIST PORTRAYS THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT FROM "INSIDE"
The author (a national correspondent for The New York Times) wrote in the first chapter of this 2010 book, "Its critics dismissed the Tea Party as 'Astroturf'" (i.e. Read more
Published on April 3, 2012 by Steven H. Propp
3.0 out of 5 stars Who's The Audience
I bought this book for a friend who is an avid Democrat. I thought that they would find it informative. They refuse to read it.
Published on February 13, 2012 by J. Hack
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh yeah, better inject some background...
The book rambles on with profiles of people from different parts of the country (none of whom are terribly interesting) and from time to time, almost as an afterthought, tosses in... Read more
Published on August 19, 2011 by Jason Jones
1.0 out of 5 stars Ah not a very good factual book
The Billionaire's Tea Party should be the title and it is born of the Kochs Libertarian party who have their own think tanks and have even went so far as buying a couple of... Read more
Published on May 27, 2011 by Kevin Cody
5.0 out of 5 stars Educational for Those New to Politics
This book is very entertaining and is educational for those of us new to politics. I've learned more from this book than I could watching the news for a year. Read more
Published on May 21, 2011 by Girl Next Door
1.0 out of 5 stars Kate Zernike has it all wrong
Wow is this the state of journalism today? The reporter supposedly won a Pulitzer Prize. But she missed one HUGE glaring fact in her report about the tea party. Read more
Published on March 17, 2011 by The Widow
5.0 out of 5 stars Any who would understand the history and influences of the Tea Party...
BOILING MAD: INSIDE TEA PARTY AMERICA offers the first definitive account of a misunderstood movement from a New York Times reporter who has covered the Tea Party more than any... Read more
Published on January 16, 2011 by Midwest Book Review
1.0 out of 5 stars i would guess not too good
reference this book? It is not helpful-

Ms Zernike seems to be of the same ilk as Jill Lepore, Tucker Carlson and Dick Armey, all o f whom were on a the panel from the... Read more
Published on October 30, 2010 by David Eberhardt
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