The red and the blue : the 1990s and the birth of political tribalism.

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    • Publication Information:
      First edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "From MSNBC correspondent Steve Kornacki, a lively and sweeping history of the 1990s--one that brings critical new understanding to our current political landscape"-- Provided by publisher.
    • Notes:
      Includes bibliographical references and index.
    • ISBN:
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    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:


Booklist Reviews 2018 September #1

*Starred Review* Obstructionism. Partisan infighting. Special counsels. Capitol Hill gridlock. The country has faced this government-in-free-fall before. The time was the 1990s, during the aftermath of the Reagan-Bush administrations. If Bill Clinton, a young, small-state governor, was the unlikely choice to lead the Democrats back into power, then Newt Gingrich, a brash, come-from-nowhere Georgia congressman, was the equally improbable provocateur who would thwart him at every turn. As Clinton hoped to captain the country on a course of economic growth and social and cultural acceptance, Gingrich's plan was to challenge every initiative with a scrappy, street-fighting demeanor not previously experienced in the once-genteel halls of government. A divide was forming, along with the Reform Party challenge that would include Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan, and, eventually, Donald Trump among its charter members. Reminding readers that Buchanan ran on a "Make America Great Again" slogan and promoted an anti-immigrant wall along our southern border, Kornacki connects the dots between then and now. NBC/MSNBC political numbers cruncher Kornacki is known for his predictive ability to read electoral tea leaves and spot trends. Now his journalistic prowess is on display in this sharp narrative tracking the steps and missteps over the last quarter-century that brought us to today's combative political stasis. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2018 June #1

A national political correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC, Kornacki argues that Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich took advantage of weaknesses in their respective parties to climb to the top, thus paving the way for today's political tribalism. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

LJ Reviews 2018 September #1

NBC News political correspondent Kornacki writes an instructive assessment of the contentious politics of the 1990s, arguing that the intensity of today's partisan climate is rooted in the battles between former U.S. president Bill Clinton and his chief antagonist Newt Gingrich. Kornacki devotes almost 100 pages to the run-up to the 1992 election to offer a revealing account of how Gingrich rose from obscurity to become the leader of the Republican insurgency and then Speaker of the House. While some of his success was owing to luck and fortuitous timing, it was Gingrich's tenacity and eagerness that won him eventual power in Congress. Clinton's rise and fall is equally fascinating. The supporting cast in this book is irresistible: Mario Cuomo's hesitations, Jesse Jackson's impact on the 1988 primaries, and Ross Perot's political movement that gave President Trump his first political opportunity. The brief account of Trump's flirtation with a presidential run in 2000 presents a cautionary tale and foretaste of what was to come 16 years later. VERDICT This work reads like a novel with many footnotes and is ideal for anyone interested in contemporary American politics. [See Prepub Alert, 4/30/18.]—Thomas Karel, Franklin & Marshall Coll. Lib., Lancaster, PA

Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

PW Reviews 2018 August #2

Kornacki, political correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC, delivers a hard-hitting look at 1990s election politics in this engrossing account of two political rivals and the cultural phenomena they shaped. Kornacki's narrative, which covers the period from 1984 to 2000, focuses on the rise of Democrat wild child Bill Clinton and his Republican nemesis Newt Gingrich. But it also includes detailed accounts of congressional gridlock, salacious presidential scandals, and outlier billionaires' third-party presidential runs. Kornacki persuasively argues that this "fateful decade" serves as the precursor to today's "political tribalism." He skillfully resurrects the scenes, culture, and major players of the time, including Pat Buchanan, George H.W. Bush, Al Gore, Jesse Jackson, and Henry Ross Perot. Kornacki switches focus between Clinton and Gingrich, highlighting the growing ideological rifts between the two parties; Clinton's push for universal health coverage and tax increases are set in opposition to Gingrich's disdainful view of government as the breeding ground for the liberal elite and tax hikes. Kornacki credits Gingrich with a major turning point in partisan politics: the 1994 midterm's landslide victory for Republicans in Congress, which further cemented the coming tribalism. With rich detail about '90s pop culture and astute political commentary, Kornacki tells an enlightening tale. (Oct.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.