- Hardcover: 264 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (January 2, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199832633
- ISBN-13: 978-0199832637
- Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.9 x 6.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 64 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#855,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #722 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Elections & Political Process > Political Parties
- #1018 in Books > Textbooks > Social Sciences > Political Science > Political Ideologies
- #1398 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Ideologies & Doctrines > Democracy
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The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism 1st Edition
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Shortly after the election of Barack Obama in 2008, grassroots activism by conservatives spawned the Tea Party, which two years later quashed any hopes that the Democrats were about to take firm hold of government. Political-science scholars Skocpol and Williamson examine how the Tea Party has been able to take command of the political landscape and influence decisions by Republicans and Democrats. They start by studying the election of Scott Brown, with Tea Party support, to replace liberal icon Ted Kennedy and then move on to closely examine the demographics, aspirations, and strategies of Tea Party groups in Virginia and Arizona. Beyond the typical demographics (white male, middle age, middle class, churchgoer), the authors profile the individuals attracted to the movement, including a sizable number of women. The range is from libertarians to social conservatives, from benign believers in less government to extremists who don’t eschew violence in getting their point across. They also examine the opposing views and internal conflicts within the party on issues from abortion to drug laws to gay marriage. An interesting look at an influential political movement. --Vanessa Bush
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It also details how political campaigns and advocacy groups operate under existing laws. It’s a must read of current US political books.
That said, I thought this was an enthralling analysis and well researched book that gives us a well rounded background of the Tea Party as well as a fascinating picture of the growth and traction of movements in general; that is, the inception of the tea party movement and how momentum can be built and fueled (even fabricated?) by media and special interest groups-- as well as the role of democratic participation and political process that are intertwined as a result. Skocpol leaves us asking very thoughtful questions and the need for further research on the conundrum, which she asks--- on the one hand civic engagement and active participation in our political system is a good thing, but how good is it if it is driven by completely false assumptions and inciting propaganda? While Skocpol's leanings are pretty clear, the depiction of the genuine Tea Party folks were balanced, and felt myself able to better empathize with the well intentions of the movement, rather than the caricature impression I have always had.
My only criticism is that I only wish there was an epilogue of some sort, to have Skocpol's analysis on the aftermath of the 2012 election rather than end where it had ended.
While I have a better understanding of the movement, the book didn't answer the questions I was especially interested in. Why do these educated and concerned citizens hate President Obama so much -- and not merely disagree with him? Whey do they devoutly believe so many things that clearly are not so? The authors developed a respectful relationship with some activists, which could have helped them explore these questions. The main takeaway of the book is that tea partiers are "ultra" conservative, but I still don't know why.