The Unwinding

An Inner History of the New America

Author: George Packer

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 0374534608

Category: Political Science

Page: 448

View: 9752

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Paints a picture of the last thirty years of life in America by following several citizens, including the son of tobacco farmers in the rural south, a Washington insider who denies his idealism for riches, and a Silicon Valley billionaire.

Blood of the Liberals

Author: George Packer

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 0374251428

Category: History

Page: 405

View: 6254

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The author discusses how such issues as the New Deal and the New Left influenced his grandfather's and father's political activism, and how both figures affected his own personal and political life.

The Assassins' Gate

America in Iraq

Author: George Packer

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 9780374705329

Category: Political Science

Page: 480

View: 2433

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THE ASSASSINS' GATE: AMERICA IN IRAQ recounts how the United States set about changing the history of the Middle East and became ensnared in a guerilla war in Iraq. It brings to life the people and ideas that created the Bush administration's war policy and led America to the Assassins' Gate—the main point of entry into the American zone in Baghdad. The consequences of that policy are shown in the author's brilliant reporting on the ground in Iraq, where he made four tours on assignment for The New Yorker. We see up close the struggles of American soldiers and civilians and Iraqis from all backgrounds, thrown together by a war that followed none of the preconceived scripts. The Assassins' Gate also describes the place of the war in American life: the ideological battles in Washington that led to chaos in Iraq, the ordeal of a fallen soldier's family, and the political culture of a country too bitterly polarized to realize such a vast and morally complex undertaking. George Packer's first-person narrative combines the scope of an epic history with the depth and intimacy of a novel, creating a masterful account of America's most controversial foreign venture since Vietnam.

The Payoff

Why Wall Street Always Wins

Author: Jeff Connaughton

Publisher: Easton Studio Press, LLC

ISBN: 1935212974

Category: Political Science

Page: 224

View: 8002

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Lobbyist, White House Lawyer, and Senate Aide on the Power of America’s Plutocracy to Avoid Prosecution and Subvert Financial Reform Beginning in January 2009, THE PAYOFF lays bare Washington’s culture of power and plutocracy. It’s the story of the twenty-month struggle by Senator Ted Kaufman and Jeff Connaughton, his chief of staff, to hold Wall Street executives accountable for securities fraud, to stop stock manipulation by high-frequency traders, and to break up too-big-to-fail megabanks. This book takes us inside their dogged crusade against institutional inertia and industry influence as they encounter an outright reluctance by the Obama administration, the Justice Department, and the Securities and Exchange Commission to treat Wall Street crimes with the gravity they deserve. On financial reforms, Connaughton criticizes Democrats for relying on the very Wall Street technocrats who had failed to prevent the crisis and Republicans for staunchly opposing real reforms primarily to enjoy a golden opportunity to siphon fundraising dollars from the Wall Street executives who had raised millions to elect Barack Obama president. Connaughton, a former lawyer in the Clinton White House, illuminates the pivotal moments and key decisions in the fight for financial reform that have gone largely unreported. His arch, nonpartisan account chronicles the reasons why Wall Street’s worst offenses were left unpunished, and why it’s likely that the 2008 debacle will happen again.

Summary and Analysis of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America

Based on the Book by George Packer

Author: Worth Books

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 1504046455

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 30

View: 4595

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So much to read, so little time? This brief overview of The Unwinding tells you what you need to know—before or after you read George Packer’s book. Crafted and edited with care, Worth Books set the standard for quality and give you the tools you need to be a well-informed reader. This short summary and analysis of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America includes: Historical context Chapter-by-chapter overviews Profiles of the main characters Detailed timeline of key events Important quotes Fascinating trivia Glossary of terms Supporting material to enhance your understanding of the original work About The Unwinding by George Packer: Detailing the United States’ decline in the latter half of the twentieth century, journalist George Packer’s The Unwinding reads like a memoir but contains the hard-hitting facts of an exposé. Packer’s history of America looks at a cast of interesting figures—from community organizers to laborers, Democratic Party staffers to small business owners—including household names such as Oprah Winfrey, Colin Powell, Raymond Carver, Jay-Z, and Elizabeth Warren, to produce a stunning portrait of what the United States has become and where it’s headed next. The Unwinding won the National Book Award, was a National Book Circle Award finalist, and was named by the New York Times as one of the best books to read to understand the Trump presidency. The summary and analysis in this ebook are intended to complement your reading experience and bring you closer to a great work of nonfiction.

The Good Lord Bird

Author: James McBride

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101616180

Category: Fiction

Page: 480

View: 6550

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Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction Soon to be a major motion picture starring Liev Schreiber and Jaden Smith A Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Oprah Magazine Top 10 Book of the Year “A magnificent new novel by the best-selling author James McBride.” –cover review of The New York Times Book Review “Outrageously entertaining.” –USA Today “James McBride delivers another tour de force” –Essence “So imaginative, you’ll race to the finish.” –NPR.org “Wildly entertaining.”—4-star People lead review "A boisterous, highly entertaining, altogether original novel.” – Washington Post From the bestselling author of The Color of Water, Song Yet Sung, and Kill 'Em and Leave, a James Brown biography, comes the story of a young boy born a slave who joins John Brown’s antislavery crusade—and who must pass as a girl to survive. Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry’s master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town—with Brown, who believes he’s a girl. Over the ensuing months, Henry—whom Brown nicknames Little Onion—conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive. Eventually Little Onion finds himself with Brown at the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859—one of the great catalysts for the Civil War. An absorbing mixture of history and imagination, and told with McBride’s meticulous eye for detail and character, The Good Lord Bird is both a rousing adventure and a moving exploration of identity and survival. From the Trade Paperback edition.

What's the Matter with Kansas?

How Conservatives Won the Heart of America

Author: Thomas Frank

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 9781429900324

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 4214

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One of "our most insightful social observers"* cracks the great political mystery of our time: how conservatism, once a marker of class privilege, became the creed of millions of ordinary Americans With his acclaimed wit and acuity, Thomas Frank turns his eye on what he calls the "thirty-year backlash"—the populist revolt against a supposedly liberal establishment. The high point of that backlash is the Republican Party's success in building the most unnatural of alliances: between blue-collar Midwesterners and Wall Street business interests, workers and bosses, populists and right-wingers. In asking "what 's the matter with Kansas?"—how a place famous for its radicalism became one of the most conservative states in the union—Frank, a native Kansan and onetime Republican, seeks to answer some broader American riddles: Why do so many of us vote against our economic interests? Where's the outrage at corporate manipulators? And whatever happened to middle-American progressivism? The questions are urgent as well as provocative. Frank answers them by examining pop conservatism—the bestsellers, the radio talk shows, the vicious political combat—and showing how our long culture wars have left us with an electorate far more concerned with their leaders' "values" and down-home qualities than with their stands on hard questions of policy. A brilliant analysis—and funny to boot—What's the Matter with Kansas? presents a critical assessment of who we are, while telling a remarkable story of how a group of frat boys, lawyers, and CEOs came to convince a nation that they spoke on behalf of the People. *Los Angeles Times

Interesting Times

Writings from a Turbulent Decade

Author: George Packer

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 9781429935814

Category: Political Science

Page: 432

View: 9823

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Throughout his career as a journalist, George Packer has always been attuned to the voices and stories of individuals caught up in the big ideas and events of contemporary history. Interesting Times unites brilliant investigative pieces such as "Betrayed," about Iraqi interpreters, with personal essays and detailed narratives of travels through war zones and failed states. Spanning a decade that includes the September 11 attacks and the election of Barack Obama, Packer brings insight and passion to his accounts of the war on terror,Iraq, political writers, and the 2008 election. Across these varied subjects a few keythemes recur: the temptations and dangers of idealism; the moral complexities of war and politics; the American capacity for self-blinding and self-renewal. Whether exploring American policies in the wake of September 11, tracking a used T-shirt from New York to Uganda, or describing the ambivalent response in Appalachia to Obama, these essays hold a mirror up to our own troubled times and showcase Packer's unmistakable perspective, which is at once both wide-angled and humane.

The Half Man

Author: George Packer

Publisher: Random House Incorporated

ISBN: N.A

Category: Fiction

Page: 306

View: 6270

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Covering the civil war on an island nation off the coast of Asia, ambitious journalist Daniel Levin abandons his visting American fiancee to interview the leader of the guerilla movement and becomes an unwitting player in the political events

Boardwalk of Dreams

Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America

Author: Bryant Simon

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198037446

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 311

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During the first half of the twentieth century, Atlantic City was the nation's most popular middle-class resort--the home of the famed Boardwalk, the Miss America Pageant, and the board game Monopoly. By the late 1960s, it had become a symbol of urban decay and blight, compared by journalists to bombed-out Dresden and war-torn Beirut. Several decades and a dozen casinos later, Atlantic City is again one of America's most popular tourist spots, with thirty-five million visitors a year. Yet most stay for a mere six hours, and the highway has replaced the Boardwalk as the city's most important thoroughfare. Today the city doesn't have a single movie theater and its one supermarket is a virtual fortress protected by metal detectors and security guards. In this wide-ranging book, Bryant Simon does far more than tell a nostalgic tale of Atlantic City's rise, near death, and reincarnation. He turns the depiction of middle-class vacationers into a revealing discussion of the boundaries of public space in urban America. In the past, he argues, the public was never really about democracy, but about exclusion. During Atlantic City's heyday, African Americans were kept off the Boardwalk and away from the beaches. The overly boisterous or improperly dressed were kept out of theaters and hotel lobbies by uniformed ushers and police. The creation of Atlantic City as the "Nation's Playground" was dependent on keeping undesirables out of view unless they were pushing tourists down the Boardwalk on rickshaw-like rolling chairs or shimmying in smoky nightclubs. Desegregation overturned this racial balance in the mid-1960s, making the city's public spaces more open and democratic, too open and democratic for many middle-class Americans, who fled to suburbs and suburban-style resorts like Disneyworld. With the opening of the first casino in 1978, the urban balance once again shifted, creating twelve separate, heavily guarded, glittering casinos worlds walled off from the dilapidated houses, boarded-up businesses, and lots razed for redevelopment that never came. Tourists are deliberately kept away from the city's grim reality and its predominantly poor African American residents. Despite ten of thousands of buses and cars rolling into every day, gambling has not saved Atlantic City or returned it to its glory days. Simon's moving narrative of Atlantic City's past points to the troubling fate of urban America and the nation's cultural trajectory in the twentieth century, with broad implications for those interested in urban studies, sociology, planning, architecture, and history.

If We Can Put a Man on the Moon--

Getting Big Things Done in Government

Author: William D. Eggers,John O'Leary

Publisher: Harvard Business Press

ISBN: 1422166368

Category: Political Science

Page: 296

View: 2130

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The American people are frustrated with their government-dismayed by a series of high-profile failures (Iraq, Katrina, the financial meltdown) that seems to just keep getting longer. Yet the US has a proud history of great achievements: victory in World War II, the national highway system, welfare reform, the moon landing. The US need more successes like these to reclaim the government's legacy of competence. In If We Can Put a Man on the Moon, William Eggers and John O'Leary explain how to do it. The key? Understand-and avoid-the common pitfalls that trip up public-sector leaders during the journey from idea to results. The authors recount surprisingly entertaining stories of public policy initiatives that succeeded beyond all imagination, including the Marshall Plan, the 1996 welfare reform and London’s Congestion Charge. They also find lessons in failures, including Boston’s Big Dig and the Challenger disaster. If We Can Put a Man on the Moonshows how government really works with an optimistic and non-partisan look at the kinds of large government endeavors that have shaped US history and that are unfolding in the news right now. Ultimately, however, the authors show us that good ideas are just the beginning of a successful initiative. With proper design, commitment, implementation and re-evaluation, our leaders can once again accomplish big things. The authors identify pitfalls including: The Partial Map Trap: Fumbling handoffs throughout project execution The Tolstoy Syndrome: Seeing only the possibilities you want to see Design-Free Design: Designing policies for passage through the legislature, not for implementation The Overconfidence Trap: Creating unrealistic budgets and timelines The Complacency Trap: Failing to recognize that a program needs change At a time of unprecedented challenges, this book, with its abundant examples and hands-on advice, is the essential guide to making government work better. A must-read for every public official, this book will be of interest to anyone who cares about the future of democracy.

Mother Jones

The Most Dangerous Woman in America

Author: Elliott J. Gorn

Publisher: Hill and Wang

ISBN: 1466894008

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 3450

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Her rallying cry was famous: "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living." A century ago, Mother Jones was a celebrated organizer and agitator, the very soul of the modern American labor movement. At coal strikes, steel strikes, railroad, textile, and brewery strikes, Mother Jones was always there, stirring the workers to action and enraging the powerful. In this first biography of "the most dangerous woman in America," Elliott J. Gorn proves why, in the words of Eugene V. Debs, Mother Jones "has won her way into the hearts of the nation's toilers, and . . . will be lovingly remembered by their children and their children's children forever."

The Global New Deal

Economic and Social Human Rights in World Politics

Author: William F. Felice

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN: 9780742567283

Category: Political Science

Page: 364

View: 9742

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This powerful and empowering text offers a way forward out of global human suffering, presenting a realistic roadmap for practical, workable solutions to mass poverty. Now fully updated, including entirely new chapters, The Global New Deal investigates key areas central to the achievement of economic and social human rights: international political economy, U.N. policies and programs, environmental sustainability, racial bias, gender equality, military spending, and the U.S. approach to poverty alleviation. Felice then introduces what he calls the "global new deal," a set of international policy proposals designed to protect the vulnerable and end needless suffering. These structural reforms provide a viable means by which to safeguard social and economic human rights for all.

The Fractured Republic

Renewing America's Social Contract in the Age of Individualism

Author: Yuval Levin

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465093256

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 2444

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Americans today are frustrated and anxious. Our economy is sluggish, and leaves workers insecure. Income inequality, cultural divisions, and political polarization increasingly pull us apart. Our governing institutions often seem paralyzed. And our politics has failed to rise to these challenges. No wonder, then, that Americans--and the politicians who represent them--are overwhelmingly nostalgic for a better time. The Left looks back to the middle of the twentieth century, when unions were strong, large public programs promised to solve pressing social problems, and the movements for racial integration and sexual equality were advancing. The Right looks back to the Reagan Era, when deregulation and lower taxes spurred the economy, cultural traditionalism seemed resurgent, and America was confident and optimistic. Each side thinks returning to its golden age could solve America's problems. In The Fractured Republic, Yuval Levin argues that this politics of nostalgia is failing twenty-first-century Americans. Both parties are blind to how America has changed over the past half century--as the large, consolidated institutions that once dominated our economy, politics, and culture have fragmented and become smaller, more diverse, and personalized. Individualism, dynamism, and liberalization have come at the cost of dwindling solidarity, cohesion, and social order. This has left us with more choices in every realm of life but less security, stability, and national unity. Both our strengths and our weaknesses are therefore consequences of these changes. And the dysfunctions of our fragmented national life will need to be answered by the strengths of our decentralized, diverse, dynamic nation. Levin argues that this calls for a modernizing politics that avoids both radical individualism and a centralizing statism and instead revives the middle layers of society-families and communities, schools and churches, charities and associations, local governments and markets. Through them, we can achieve not a single solution to the problems of our age, but multiple and tailored answers fitted to the daunting range of challenges we face and suited to enable an American revival.

The Land of Enterprise

A Business History of the United States

Author: Benjamin C. Waterhouse

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476766673

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 288

View: 7965

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This groundbreaking account of the development of American business from the colonial period to the present explains that the history of the United States can best be understood not as a search for freedom—but as a search for wealth and prosperity. The Land of Enterprise charts the development of American business from the colonial period to the present. It explores the nation’s evolving economic, social, and political landscape by examining how different types of enterprising activities rose and fell, how new labor and production technologies supplanted old ones—and at what costs—and how Americans of all stripes responded to the tumultuous world of business. In particular, historian Benjamin Waterhouse highlights the changes in business practices, the development of different industries and sectors, and the complex relationship between business and national politics. From executives and bankers to farmers and sailors, from union leaders to politicians to slaves, business history is American history, and Waterhouse pays tribute to the unnamed millions who traded their labor (sometimes by choice, often not) or decided what products to consume (sometimes informed, often not). Their story includes those who fought against what they saw as an oppressive system of exploitation as well as those who defended free markets from any outside intervention. The Land of Enterprise is not only a comprehensive look into our past achievements, but offers clues as to how to confront the challenges of today’s world: globalization, income inequality, and technological change.

Janesville

An American Story

Author: Amy Goldstein

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1501102281

Category: Political Science

Page: 368

View: 6265

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* Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year * Winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize​ * 800-CEO-READ Business Book of the Year * A New York Times Notable Book * A Washington Post Notable Book * An NPR Best Book of 2017 * A Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2017 * An Economist Best Book of 2017 * A Business Insider Best Book of 2017 * “A gripping story of psychological defeat and resilience” (Bob Woodward, The Washington Post)—an intimate account of the fallout from the closing of a General Motors assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, and a larger story of the hollowing of the American middle class. This is the story of what happens to an industrial town in the American heartland when its main factory shuts down—but it’s not the familiar tale. Most observers record the immediate shock of vanished jobs, but few stay around long enough to notice what happens next when a community with a can-do spirit tries to pick itself up. Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter Amy Goldstein spent years immersed in Janesville, Wisconsin, where the nation’s oldest operating General Motors assembly plant shut down in the midst of the Great Recession. Now, with intelligence, sympathy, and insight into what connects and divides people in an era of economic upheaval, Goldstein shows the consequences of one of America’s biggest political issues. Her reporting takes the reader deep into the lives of autoworkers, educators, bankers, politicians, and job re-trainers to show why it’s so hard in the twenty-first century to recreate a healthy, prosperous working class. “Moving and magnificently well-researched...Janesville joins a growing family of books about the evisceration of the working class in the United States. What sets it apart is the sophistication of its storytelling and analysis” (Jennifer Senior, The New York Times). “Anyone tempted to generalize about the American working class ought to meet the people in Janesville. The reporting behind this book is extraordinary and the story—a stark, heartbreaking reminder that political ideologies have real consequences—is told with rare sympathy and insight” (Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Soul of a New Machine).

The Village of Waiting

Author: George Packer

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 1466894490

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 336

View: 9889

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Now restored to print with a new Foreword by Philip Gourevitch and an Afterword by the author, this book is a frank, moving, and vivid account of contemporary life in West Africa. Stationed as a Peace Corps instructor in the village of Lavié (the name means "wait a little more") in tiny and underdeveloped Togo, Packer reveals his own schooling at the hands of an unforgettable array of townspeople--peasants, chiefs, charlatans, children, market women, cripples, crazies, and those who, having lost or given up much of their traditional identity and fastened their hopes on "development," find themselves trapped between the familiar repetitions of rural life and the chafing monotony of waiting for change.

American Prospects

Author: Joel Sternfeld,Kerry Brougher,Andy Grundberg,Anne Tucker

Publisher: Steidl / Edition7L

ISBN: 9783882439151

Category: Photography

Page: 136

View: 5939

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This is the definitive edition of Joel Sternfelds seminal American Prospects made from new printing plates and technology that did not exist at the time of the 2003 Steidl edition. The book is otherwise unchanged, except for the addition of one new image. The subjects of American Prospects include a fireman picking out a pumpkin at a farm stand while a classic American house burns in the background, a lone basketball hoop in a vast Southwestern desert reminiscent of the Creation, and whales beached in Oregon seemingly symbolic of ecological failure to come. These and other narrative pictures, helped open the gates for a new type of photography now practised by Gregory Crewdson, Rineke Dijkstra, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth, and Jeff Wall, among many others By corrupting the purity of photography, Sternfeld played a pivotal role in moving the medium forward. (Kerry Brougher, Chief Curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.) A major figure in the photography world, Joel Sternfeld was born in New York City in 1944. He has received numerous awards including two Guggenheim fellowships, a Prix de Rome and the Citibank Photography Award. Sternfelds books published by Steidl include American Prospects (2003), Sweet Earth (2006), Oxbow Archive (2008), First Pictures (2011) and On This Site (2012).

Detroit

An American Autopsy

Author: Charlie LeDuff

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 110160588X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 304

View: 1679

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An explosive exposé of America’s lost prosperity—from Pulitzer Prize­–winning journalist Charlie LeDuff Back in his broken hometown, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charlie LeDuff searches the ruins of Detroit for clues to his family’s troubled past. Having led us on the way up, Detroit now seems to be leading us on the way down. Once the richest city in America, Detroit is now the nation’s poorest. Once the vanguard of America’s machine age—mass-production, blue-collar jobs, and automobiles—Detroit is now America’s capital for unemployment, illiteracy, dropouts, and foreclosures. With the steel-eyed reportage that has become his trademark, and the righteous indignation only a native son possesses, LeDuff sets out to uncover what destroyed his city. He beats on the doors of union bosses and homeless squatters, powerful businessmen and struggling homeowners and the ordinary people holding the city together by sheer determination. Detroit: An American Autopsy is an unbelievable story of a hard town in a rough time filled with some of the strangest and strongest people our country has to offer.

The Populist Explosion

How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics

Author: John Judis

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780997126440

Category: Political Science

Page: 128

View: 663

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Populism is on its biggest run since the Second World War, in the United States (Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump); France (National Front); Britain (United Kingdom Independence Party); Finland (Finns Party), Denmark (People's Party) and more on the right; Spain (Podemus), Italy (Five Star Movement), Greece (Syriza) and others on the left. These movements and candidates are an early warning sign of the breakup of the political consensus that has reigned in the U.S. and Europe since the 1980s. How did the Great Recession help reawaken such a disparate but powerful framework of political appeal all across the Atlantic? Veteran political reporter John Judis offers a coherent big picture of how we got here that every reader of politics no matter their party affiliation will need to read.