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While it was no secret that Americans on the far right of the political spectrum were unenthusiastic about Obama's victory, the immediacy and intensity of the backlash went well beyond what anyone expected. In this exhaustive investigation of the Tea Party movement and its loudest mouthpieces, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, Bunch seeks to help liberal and moderate America understand the rage of the right, where they see the nation headed, and how legitimate grievances are being manipulated by opportunists hawking fear to make millions off of working class people. While Bunch's own biases are apparent from page one, he is careful to try to present the far right in an honest light and, according to Bunch, without challenging their perspectives. Maturity in political discourse would be refreshing if Bunch were writing political discourse; he's not. This is investigative reporting. Bunch's primary issue seems to be Beck's opportunism, but his targeting of the only person he doesn't interview will likely make conservatives avoid his book, something Bunch clearly expects. But for liberals or moderates seeking to understand current far right events, the book will fascinate, and likely frighten.
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Already fretting over the U.S. Census Bureau prediction that by 2050 whites will no longer be in the majority in the U.S. and worried by the loss of jobs and home equity, a certain element of the white population has been unhinged by the election of the nation’s first black president, argues Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Bunch. Thus, the Tea Party, Birthers, Oath Keepers, the 9.12 Project, and other right-wing radicals are on the rise, spurred by television and Internet hustlers, most prominently Glenn Beck. Bunch traveled the circuit from Delaware to Arizona, attending anti-immigration meetings and shooting rallies, to record the astonishing anger, fear, and discontent that has formed into a backlash against President Obama, alleging that he is not a U.S. citizen, that he means to take away guns from private citizens, and that he is directing FEMA to set up internment camps, all of which Bunch debunks. Bunch also profiles the cynical hustlers making money on this visceral fear, comparing Beck to Elmer Gantry as he morphs from evoker of the Founding Fathers and defender of the Constitution to evoker of God the father and defender of Christian morality, all the while hawking gold and survival food packets through Glen Beck, Inc. Despite writing in a sometimes awkward second-person voice, Bunch has rendered an insightful close-up look at the individuals and social forces that promise to churn American politics in the face of huge social and demographic changes. --Vanessa BushSee all Editorial Reviews
In reading this book, I came to the conclusion that all of the people that the author interviewed had one thing in common. These people cannot handle change. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Frederick S. Goethel
This book traces the roots of the Tea Party movement and right wing extremist racism. The author manages to identify several key events which served as catalysts for this movement. Read morePublished on August 26, 2013 by C. Smith
Will Bunch wrote a great book on Reagan and followed it up with this portrait of the delusional Tea Party.Published on August 26, 2013 by Joseph G. Williams
Anyone who lives in a democratic society and wishes to continue living it should read this book and the potential threat from a hate based section of the media which is clearly... Read morePublished on May 20, 2013 by RR
Exactly. The republicans are reduced to having support in sparser areas the country, the gun-worshipping states, the racist, and the extreme views of the narcissistic right wing... Read morePublished on February 24, 2013 by smj
This is a terrific book. A worthy companion to Charles Pierce's Idiot America.
We are in the midst of a war on expertise, facts, and equality.
This well-written review is presented in the format of factual opinion. I am waiting with bated breath to read Will Bunch's expose' of the Occupy phenomena and its accompanying... Read morePublished on January 16, 2012 by Feline Friend
In the light of the Occupy movement's disdain of political parties, the history of the Tea Party seems very tied to the GOP. Read morePublished on November 25, 2011 by John T. Earl
I had just finished reading a non-bias book about the backlash that was based on facts. I was expecting this book to be just as informative, instead it was nothing but his opinion... Read morePublished on June 25, 2011 by ldr