American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump (Paperback)

American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump By Tim Alberta Cover Image
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New York Times Bestseller

“Not a conventional Trump-era book. It is less about the daily mayhem in the White House than about the unprecedented capitulation of a political party. This book will endure for helping us understand not what is happening but why it happened…. [An] indispensable work.”—Washington Post

Politico Magazine’s chief political correspondent provides a rollicking insider’s look at the making of the modern Republican Party—how a decade of cultural upheaval, populist outrage, and ideological warfare made the GOP vulnerable to a hostile takeover from the unlikeliest of insurgents: Donald J. Trump.

As George W. Bush left office with record-low approval ratings and Barack Obama led a Democratic takeover of Washington, Republicans faced a moment of reckoning: they had no vision, no generation of new leaders, and no energy in the party’s base. Yet Obama’s progressive agenda, coupled with the nation’s rapidly changing cultural identity, lit a fire under the right. Republicans regained power in Congress but spent that time fighting among themselves. With these struggles weakening the party’s defenses, and with more and more Americans losing faith in the political class, the stage was set for an outsider to crash the party. When Trump descended a gilded escalator to launch his campaign in the summer of 2015, the candidate had met the moment. Only by viewing Trump as the culmination of a decade-long civil war inside the GOP can we appreciate how he won the White House and consider the fundamental questions at the center of America’s current turmoil.

Loaded with explosive original reporting and based on hundreds of exclusive interviews—including with key players such as President Trump, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, John Boehner, and Mitch McConnell—American Carnage takes us behind the scenes of this tumultuous period and establishes Tim Alberta as the premier chronicler of a political era.

About the Author


Tim Alberta is a staff writer for The Atlantic, the former chief political correspondent for Politico, and has written for dozens of other publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, and Vanity Fair. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump. He co-moderated the final Democratic presidential debate of 2019 and frequently appears as a commentator on television programs in the U.S. and around the world. He lives in Michigan with his wife and three sons.

Praise For…


American Carnage is not a conventional Trump-era book. It is less about the daily mayhem in the White House than about the unprecedented capitulation of a political party. This book will endure for helping us understand not what is happening but why it happened….[an] indispensable work.” — Carlos Lozada, Washington Post

“A masterful must-read. Alberta has written a compelling, alarming and scoop-heavy history of the fall of the party of Lincoln. American Carnage is filled with scoop. It is an exercise in a pulling back the curtain, not breathlessness.” — The Guardian

“A fascinating look at a Republican Party that initially scoffed at the incursion of a philandering reality-TV star with zero political experience and now readily accommodates him. [Alberta] brings more than a decade of reporting and a real understanding of the conservative movement to American Carnage.” — New York Times Book Review

“Alberta offers something more ambitious than a tale of palace intrigue.... The abiding theme of the book is that almost every influential figure in the Party has come to accept or submit to the President. Although Alberta is clearly not an admirer of the President, he is not unsympathetic to the voters who have embraced him and their feelings of resentment toward what they see as an increasingly liberal culture.” — The New Yorker

“One of the deepest and most fascinating reads about the transformation of the Republican Party over the last 15 or so years.” — Politico

“Mandatory reading for anyone who genuinely desires to know how we got to this point. It’s not a shooting civil war within the GOP or within the country at large. It’s not even 1968 or remotely close to the divisions that cleaved the nation during the Vietnam War and Watergate. But it is a serious divide.” — Washington Post

“Alberta argues that Trump won the presidency by channeling anxious Americans’ indignation and darker impulses. Trump’s challenge now, Alberta writes, is to turn a “freakish if not fluky” victory into a transformational redefinition of the GOP.” — Axios

“Now comes Tim Alberta, one of the best political reporters we have, especially on the internecine bloodletting on the political right, with a new book that details not only how the president stomped to the Republican nomination, but also the sordid calculations that allowed the GOP to make its peace with him.” — Esquire

American Carnage isn’t an all-about-Trump book. It’s a book that reaches into the depths of the Republican Party and their relationship with the president.” — USA Today

“In this new book, American Carnage, by Tim Alberta, we are reminded about how so many who staked their reputation on principle caved to political convenience in this administration.” — CNN

“An eyes-wide-open analysis of right-wing populism.” — New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice

“A deeply reported account of internal Republican deliberations over the past decade. Alberta is admirably merciless as he shows his subjects abandoning their putative principles and falling in line behind Trump. (And the reporting is truly impressive — the scenes he reconstructs are both far more numerous and far more interesting than those in almost any “behind-the-scenes” reported political book I can recall.)” — New York

“An excellent book where Alberta uses the depth of his reporting to really bring the receipts and show the extent to which, until [Trump] beat Hillary Clinton, many of the people who are now his most loyal allies were deeply skeptical of his fitness for office.” — Vox

“Drawing on extensive interviews with politicians and pundits, Alberta’s engrossing narrative is full of sharp intrigues and vivid personalities....Incorporating trenchant analysis and a wealth of detail in stylish prose, Alberta highlights the broad currents beneath the chaos of recent politics.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Alberta brings the receipts, and if nothing else, it’s a helluva portrait of how principles are traded for power.” — The Ezra Klein Show, Vox

“In American Carnage, his fascinating and exhaustive account of the path of the Republican Party in the past decade, Tim Alberta of Politico explains how the party’s leadership got so out of touch with its voters at the end of George W. Bush’s administration and in the early years of Barack Obama’s.” — Wall Street Journal



Product Details
ISBN: 9780062896353
ISBN-10: 0062896350
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Publication Date: March 24th, 2020
Pages: 704
Language: English