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The Backlash: Right-Wing Radicals, High-Def Hucksters, and Paranoid Politics in the Age of Obama
     

The Backlash: Right-Wing Radicals, High-Def Hucksters, and Paranoid Politics in the Age of Obama

by Will Bunch
 

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In The Backlash, Liberal columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning political reporter Will Bunch goes behind the scenes of America’s new extreme right-wing minority to explore how their campaign of misinformation, their distortion of President Obama, and their collective fear of the future combine to pose a very real threat to our democratic system. From

Overview

In The Backlash, Liberal columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning political reporter Will Bunch goes behind the scenes of America’s new extreme right-wing minority to explore how their campaign of misinformation, their distortion of President Obama, and their collective fear of the future combine to pose a very real threat to our democratic system. From health care reform to immigration policies, The Backlash is a gripping investigation into the emerging voice of the dangerous American right wing.

Editorial Reviews

Philadelphia Inquirer
“A read on the wild side...[The Backlash is] an often revealing and scarily sobering midterm report that provokes a prime question: If political extremism and paranoia become more pronounced, will the ideological and partisan pendulum continue to swing - and never stop to solve the nation’s problems?”
Slate
“The Backlash is not an attack on the movement. It’s a plea for the people inside the movement to realize they’re being taken advantage of...it identifies the “pyramid of hucksters” and “needless anxieties” that distort economic angst into a crisis of faith in government and the press.
Booklist
“An insightful close-up look at the individuals and social forces that promise to churn American politics in the face of huge social and demographic changes. ”
Los Angeles Times
“Chart(s) the darker fringes of the populist extreme that have acquired a new energy since the election of Barack Obama...a sobering account.”
Truthout.org
“Extraordinarily readable, vividly real-to-life and broad-in-scope view of the Tea Party movement - this book could have been a movie.”
Michiko Kakutani
“Persuasive…compelling.”
David Sirota
“An exquisitely written expose of a frightening political force that is shaping our elections, our society and our world.”
David Brock
“Always compelling, but often disturbing, The Backlash is an essential contribution to our understanding of what’s happening right now on the political scene and what we might expect in the years to come.”
Publishers Weekly
While it was no secret that Americans on the far right of the political spectrum were unenthusiastic about Obama's victory, the immediacy and intensity of the backlash went well beyond what anyone expected. In this exhaustive investigation of the Tea Party movement and its loudest mouthpieces, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, Bunch seeks to help liberal and moderate America understand the rage of the right, where they see the nation headed, and how legitimate grievances are being manipulated by opportunists hawking fear to make millions off of working class people. While Bunch's own biases are apparent from page one, he is careful to try to present the far right in an honest light and, according to Bunch, without challenging their perspectives. Maturity in political discourse would be refreshing if Bunch were writing political discourse; he's not. This is investigative reporting. Bunch's primary issue seems to be Beck's opportunism, but his targeting of the only person he doesn't interview will likely make conservatives avoid his book, something Bunch clearly expects. But for liberals or moderates seeking to understand current far right events, the book will fascinate, and likely frighten. (Sept.)
Library Journal
In this timely work, Bunch (senior writer, Philadelphia Daily News; Tear Down This Myth) surveys today's extreme conservatives, including movements and groups that have formed since Barack Obama's presidency, and since the economic downturn, including the Tea Party and the Oath Keepers. Bunch argues that paranoia and fear, channeled through backlash-espousing websites and media outlets like Fox television, fuel the many unemployed supporters of the backlash to speak out against big government and spending. On the scene at various events and gatherings in several different states, Bunch provides an eye-opening, journalistic account of the activities and political views of the backlash, which he defines as staunchly anti-immigration, anti-gun-control, and anti-health care. VERDICT An entertaining and engaging read for a general audience interested in current events and American politics. Also recommended for political science researchers.—Karen Okamoto, John Jay Coll. of Criminal Justice Lib., New York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061991721
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/13/2011
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
934,375
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are Saying About This

David Sirota
“An exquisitely written expose of a frightening political force that is shaping our elections, our society and our world.”
Michiko Kakutani
“Persuasive…compelling.”
David Brock
“Always compelling, but often disturbing, The Backlash is an essential contribution to our understanding of what’s happening right now on the political scene and what we might expect in the years to come.”

Meet the Author

Career journalist Will Bunch is a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News and a senior fellow at Media Matters for America. His blog, Attytood, is one of the most successful political sites on the Web.

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