Starred Review. With this intelligent and expansive book, Los Angeles Times political correspondent and columnist Brownstein dissects the hyperpartisanship that he believes has unnecessarily inflamed our differences and impeded progress against our most pressing challenges. The first half of the book examines the roots of this hyperpartisanship, beginning with the 1896 election of William McKinley, which the author argues ushered in four decades of fierce partisan division. The 1938 resurgence of the Republican Party marked the start of the age of bargaining, with presidents and legislators crossing party lines to govern through consensus. The author believes both parties became more ideologically consistent during the 1960s, resulting in a sorting out of the electorate that eventually led to today's partisan divisiveness. This thorough history lays the groundwork for Brownstein's incisive analysis of the contemporary Republican and Democratic parties. He resists blaming any one party or president for the state of contemporary American politics, instead attributing partisan divisions to interest groups, changes in congressional rules and practices and the realignment of the parties and electorate. This sophisticated though lengthy book lays out a complex history with lucid precision, painting a damning portrait of contemporary politics that's sure to provoke and captivate readers interested in American politics and history. (Nov. 1)
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Brownstein knows what hes talking about.
Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
Allan Brinkley, The New York Times Book Review
[From] one of Americas best political journalists . . . a sparkling new book.
The Economist --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
It's wrenching to read this authentic account of accelerating gridlock in American politics and realize that Brownstein's definitive work was written back in 2007 . . . Read morePublished 21 months ago by David
This book is definitely too smart for me, but after reading the same paragraph 5 times, I feel like a more educated person. Read morePublished on January 18, 2013 by Charles Dewey
Politics and History--
This is a well written book, well thought out and thoroughly researched. Read more
Brownstein's book provides a wealth of detail and some really interesting US political history for a little over a century. Read morePublished on April 13, 2008 by Wanderer
Ron Brownstein provides an excellent historical context for how we have come full circle to again embrace extreme polarization in our political system. Read morePublished on March 24, 2008 by Stephen T. Conway
i have to say that this book is extremely well documented. it is well written. it offers hope and pragmatic possible solutions for many of the problems our nation faces in the... Read morePublished on March 5, 2008 by Robert W. Smith
A great book that is rather right down the middle. It does a great job of covering the history of politics back to the early 1900s while still focusing on the recent dynamics. Read morePublished on February 21, 2008 by rsquared76