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The Bluest State: How Democrats Created the Massachusetts Blueprint for American Political Disaster Hardcover – September 4, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (September 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312368313
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312368319
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,398,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In a state long enamored of progressive liberalism and Kennedy family lore, the dreaminess of liberal policies has run smack up against the harsh realities of dwindling job opportunities and deteriorating quality of life, scolds Keller, who has covered Massachusetts politics for nearly 30 years. Calling his state the "Brigadoon of 1960s liberalism," Keller castigates the self-satisfaction of aging baby boom Democrats who have taken the party's dominance for granted. Despite promises of social equality, the working class suffers under an exorbitant cost of living; despite promises of racial equality, segregation is still rampant and a black man only recently reached the office of governor; despite talk of educational reform, schools are still in decline. Keller details how the state with so much promise, under long control of idealistic liberals with a virtual blank check, has fallen so far from the mark. A member of the generation and privilege he criticizes, Keller writes with passion as well as long and deep knowledge of the politics of Massachusetts and its once proud heritage in national politics. Bush, Vanessa

Review

Advance Praise for "The Bluest State"
"California and Texas, the 1st and 2nd largest states, have produced more serious presidential candidates than any other states. In third place is Massachusetts, the 13th largest state. Jon Keller has kept his gimlet eye on the politics of this state for many years, and The Bluest State explains how and why the Bay State keeps inflicting its politics on us."--Michael Barone, A Senior Writer for U.S. News & World Report and Co-author of The Almanac of American Politics

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. C Sheehy on October 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Having watched Jon Keller for a number of years and read his articles I find this book does the same fine job of hitting the political establishment where it lies. For those who aren't familiar with Mr. Keller's full body of work, I would be hard pressed to describe him as a conservative or Republican. Rather, he turns a spotlight on those political hacks who choose to put their own partisan interests above the self interests of those who elect them. Mr. Keller could have written this book about Texas or Kansas and come up with the same results.

Of greatest interest to me in this job is the example he uses of politicians who buck the trend and receive ample criticism from their party for it. This book clearly shows that without a strong two party system then an arrogant majority will run the government with no concern for anything other than their own well being. Sadly, this is the truth of politics in Massachusetts where the sleaze graft and corruption remind one of the old Will Rogers quote that the 99 percent of corrupt politicans give all the other ones a bad name.

I recommend this book as very enjoyable and should not be taken as staking a political viewpoint.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Eve on September 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am a liberal and I love this book because it rings so true and is a pleasure to read. The anecdotes will make you laugh out loud. The book is getting a lot of attention in conservative media circles, but it's also for liberals. Jon is a broken-hearted baby boomer who wants Democrats to wake up and get back on course. He's not a conservative per say, but rather a very sharp independent thinker who isn't afraid to speak truth to power. I hope that the Democratic candidates will read this book and take note!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ken on September 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Having grown up in Massachusetts and having spent a lot of time working in politics, I read this book with great anticipation. And my high expectations were exceeded! Mr. Keller's knowledge of the intricacies of Mass. political history is awesome. He uses this knowledge to entertainingly critique the excesses of the Mass. Democratic party's liberal establishment. Along the way, I gained facinating insights regarding the Kennedy family, John Kerry, former Boston Mayor and political living legand Kevin White, former Massachusetts Governor and current presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and so many more of the political personalities that make this study of Bay State politics so interesting.

As a life-long Democrat, I found Keller's critique instuctive. And as another reviewer suggested, I too hope that Democratic candidates read this book and take note.

Finally, I give Mr. Keller credit from weaving some of his own personal history into this book, because ultimately it's Mr. Keller's personal passion for politics and, in addition, his passion for the plight and diginity of the economic have-nots of Massachusetts that comes shining through.

Enjoy this book! I did.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By scout on September 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have been following Jon Keller for years here in Massachusetts, starting with his weekly coverage of all things political at the alternative newspaper, The Boston Phoenix. When he moved to TV, he continued to develop an ability to root out the rats in state government. For twenty years, he has been the voice of truth about what makes the voters tick in this bluest of states, and it's now a pleasure to see his voice back on the pages of this book. Part serious, part hilarious satire, I can't wait for the next installment. Kudos!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. Kirby on October 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Having been born and lived for most of my life in Massachusetts, it's refreshing to read the other side of the Boston Globe. Too bad that the "boomers" won't get the message.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"I was in Dorchester not long ago," Mitt Romney said in his closing statement in the fall of 1994 debate for Senator against incumbent Ted Kennedy, "Someone said, `This is Kennedy country,' . . . . "And I looked around and I saw boarded-up buildings, and I saw jobs leaving, and I said, `It looks like it.'"
To Jon Keller in his recent book entitled "The Bluest State How the Democrats Created the Massachusetts Blueprint for American Political Disaster," this was an epochal moment in modern Massachusetts politics.
"Mitt Romney had entered the den of American liberalism and urinated on the shag carpet by singling out the defining symbol of an entire political culture's self-esteem and pronouncing it a failure," writes Keller.
So what is the Massachusetts Blueprint for American Political Disaster?
Keller begins his book noting the national influence of the thirteenth largest state: "four of the last seven presidential elections have had a Massachusetts horse in the race. Only Texas has produced more candidates during that time."
According to the author, the Massachusetts Blueprint has at its center "its most important vow - of a government in touch with and devoted to the working classes and the poor, delivering on its commitment to improve their lives and enhance their opportunities." The problem is that it "has turned out to be a broken promise." As Keller observes, "more than a decade after Mitt Romney gave his caustic take on the Kennedy legacy, the North Dorchester neighborhood where he was heckled by Kennedy partisans is still plagued by abandoned buildings and joblessness. Drug abuse and its criminal side effects are rampant. . . . violent street crime is once again soaring in North Dorchester and other poor city neighborhoods. . . . The Democrats . . .
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