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Mad As Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System Hardcover – September 14, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


The unvarnished truth about the movement that is re-making the face of America. ... “Mad As Hell” is more than a ‘must read’—it’s a required read for every tea party loyalist and even those that fear them. (NewsMax)

What makes this new book a must-read ... is the reality that our daily news cycle is in many ways driven by the Tea Party. (Huffington Post)

Useful and balanced book...Readers who think they are in the political class might do well to pay heed. (Foreign Affairs)

Rasmussen and Schoen’s book clarifies much about our contemporary politics and identifies important causes of our current political malaise. It is the best available guide to the politics of 2010. (The Atlantic)

Essential to understanding America in 2010. (The Daily Caller)

What [Rasmussen and Schoen] convincingly show is that economic stagnation and the collapse of equality and opportunity have produced an equally catastrophic decline in confidence in every sort of public institution - including political parties, big business, big labor, the media and mainline organized religion. (Los Angeles Times)

From the Back Cover

The riotous tea parties and angry town hall meetings of the past few years have thrown American politics into turmoil. Americans should have seen this revolt coming: populist movements have always arisen in times of economic hardship and uncertainty. In Mad As Hell, pollsters Scott Rasmussen and Douglas Schoen use extensive and original research to explore the mind and heart of this populist uprising and explain how it is reshaping American politics—whether politicians and elite journalists like it or not.

The Tea Party movement is an authentic grassroots movement of concerned American citizens demanding to be heard by an out-of-touch political establishment. Their concerns are real and their issues are legitimate, the authors maintain; moreover, the new populism is here to stay, and it has already changed our politics for the better.

In Mad As Hell, Rasmussen and Schoen have produced an authoritative guide to the new populism, featuring a combination of proprietary polling data, political analysis, results from online focus groups, and interviews with on-the-ground players. This updated edition includes a new afterword, featuring data and analysis from the November 2010 midterm elections and what we should look for in the 2012 elections. It is a must-read for anyone interested in American electoral politics.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061995231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061995231
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,192,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Rufus James on September 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The authors did a first class job of analyzing a new, dynamic force on the America political scene--the Tea Party movement. They did a masterful job of laying out the historical background of American populism and the populist movements that preceded the Tea Party movement. Moving from history into real time, the authors did an excellent job of analyzing the Tea Parties. Who is active in the movement? What is their motivation? Who are their heroes? Who do they dislike?

The book may be as prescient as "The Emerging Republican Majority" was in its time.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with their conclusions, the data presented in the book is a real eye opener for students of politics. The book is very readable. The tables and graphs are placed conveniently so that readers do not have to keep flipping pages. The book is excellent and I thoroughly recommend it.
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Bob Akimbo on September 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The authors have done America a great service with this very thorough look at the Tea Party movement. They have analyzed vast amounts of polling data and drawn conclusions that have stripped bare the elephant in the room. They have carefully lined up and connected most of the dots, with a couple of glaring exceptions.

It's evident that they were in a rush to get this book to market, but despite very sloppy editing and loads of repetition (there were times when I thought my Kindle had skipped back a couple chapters), the book is a very easy and enjoyable read.

The basic premise is that there is a "widening gulf between the beliefs and attitudes of the political elite and those of mainstream America." The authors point to the Tea Party as the front line in the current struggle of the American mainstream. They also show that the Tea Party movement is broadly based and deeply rooted, and any attempt by the political and media elite to ignore or marginalize it is done so at great peril. You can't write off "teabaggers" as racist, because the vast majority of them are not; and you can't write them off as "crazy" because most of them are quite well versed politically and make very reasonable arguments for their case against an overly intrusive government. The authors' research shows that the Tea Party movement is viewed at least as favorably as Republicans and Democrats (despite being much less known), and that the majority of Americans sympathize with their views. Any time a politician or pundit calls a Tea Party candidate "wing nut" "wack job" "Astroturf" etc., they only add fuel to the fire and further incense that majority. On these points, the authors are spot on, and their conclusions are solidly reinforced with empirical data.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Patti Gettinger on October 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Mad as Hell" is an excellent source of information about the growth of the tea party movement and the motivation behind its development. However, especially in the first few chapters of the book, the writing is a little disjointed and jerky. But don't let that stop you from reading it.
Most tea party insiders will agree with the demographic descriptions of its members, and what will keep the tea party movement alive or destroy it. The authors also make some thought-provoking connections to the support behind Ross Perot in the 1996 presidential elections.
Given the historic significance and impact of the tea party movement on 2010 mid-term elections and beyond, this book is a must-read for tea party leaders, elected officials and candidates for office, concerned citizens and political bystanders.
I intend to buy this book for several friends and family members, and add it to my recommended reading list for tea party participants.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Wallace Cason on September 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is no question of the value of this book's contents, which rates a five. However, the spelling and grammar are consistently atrocious - so atrocious that it is difficult to concentrate on what the authors are saying. So I ask: who edited this book?

For example, on p. 2, second paragraph, the second sentence has no verb; it is not a sentence. On p. 5, two out of three bullet points have no period at the end of the sentences. On p. 20, the first sentence of the third paragraph begins, "This is a very difference picture of America...." At the bottom of p. 20, last sentence, we have: "Since 2008, politics as usual have reined...." The word the authors are looking for is "reigned," not "reined." On p. 24, first paragraph, last sentence, we read: "Washington has become increasingly unresponsive, our politics increasing repulsive...." The word should be "increasingly." On p. 29, the word "delve" is used as a noun to indicate delving. A delve is actually a hollow or cave and is an archaic word, obviously misused by the authors. On p. 30, the word "whose" is used as a contraction for "who is": " a working mother whose probably never even going to be able to hit retirement...."

The thoughts are excellent, and the book is worth buying; but the writing is so poor as to make any educated reader quite irritated. There is needless repetition, as with the mention of Andy Stern's visits to the White House on p. 22 and again on p. 27. The ideas are jumbled at times. Any average newspaper editor could do a better job of editing. The authors could have done a better job of polishing themselves, no doubt; perhaps they were rushed by a deadline.

I do not fault the authors. I fault the editor of the book. HarperCollins is a major publishing house. I am astonished that they lowered the quality of a truly important work by allowing such an extreme lack of polish in one of their books.
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