"This fucking rocks."
"[Kendzior's] book documents Trump's 'decades-long erosion of American stability, integrity, and democracy.' I recommend it, especially if you have any doubt about what's at stake in this year's presidential election."
—Connie Schultz, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author of forthcoming novel The Daughters of Erietown
"Sarah Kendzior, in her brilliant new book, is one of the few journalists who grasps what is happening. Kendzior is a student of autocracy... she has been warning from the get-go that Trump is working to turn America into one."
—David Cay Johnston, New York Times bestselling author of It's Even Worse Than You Think and Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist
"An amazing book about our current political situation and how we got here."
“It’s brilliant and also terrifying. You can’t look away.”
—Alex George, author of The Paris Hours
"[Hiding in Plain Sight] outlines how Trump's rise coincided with what ]Kendzior[ believes is the degradation of the American political system and the continual erosion of civil liberties in the country by foreign powers, revealing just how fragile American democracy is right now."
—International Business Times, Top 10 Best Books About Donald Trump in 2020
"A chilling account of how the media, government, and public have failed to hold Trump accountable, and how this has significantly impacted U.S. democracy."
—Library Journal Review
"Hiding in Plain Sight isn’t just about Trump, but about how crumbling democracies intent on rolling back the freedoms of its citizens create perfect conditions for the rise of dangerous autocrats."
—Bitch Magazine, 2020 Nonfiction Preview
—The Chicago Daily Herald
"Impeccably researched...This comprehensive, page-turning account presents a stark and uncompromising indictment of the Trump presidency as the culmination of a 'decades-long erosion of American stability, integrity, and democracy." —Publishers Weekly
"If you only read one journalistic account of Donald Trump’s America make sure it is Sarah Kendzior’s Hiding in Plain Sight."
—The Socialist Review
"A scathing indictment of Donald Trump...Kendzior offers fresh views based on her experiences living in the declining economy of the Midwest and on observations as an academic researcher studying dictatorships in the former Soviet Union..... A passionate call for immediate action against the 'transnational crime syndicate' that has supplanted the U.S. government." —Kirkus
"Her highly readable and well-documented new narrative explains the development of an elite criminal network in America, how digital media has shaped repression and protest, and how globalization has allowed the proliferation of organized crime."
—National Review of Books
"Sarah Kendzior brings her unique perspective to bear in her engaging new book." —The Arts Fuse
"This is about our country. Irrelevant of whether you consider yourself to be on the right or the left.... Sarah has blown the whistle. The rich have gotten richer, the government has been stripped and the powerful are ever more so. You want to believe someone is on your page. That there’s someone to listen to, to inspire you... That’s Sarah Kendzior."
—Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter
"An elegantly written, unforgiving, trenchant bit of political analysis."
"Sarah Kendzior’s Hiding in Plain Sight should be required reading prior to the 2020 election. It shows the decline of American politics into the corruption that inhabits the Oval Office today.... By giving us a clear eyed view of what we’re up against, Sarah Kendzior has given us cause to continue the fight."
Praise for The View from Flyover Country
A New York Times Bestseller
An NPR Best Book of the Year 2018
"Both prescient and honest...seeing the roots of the arguments that now dominate cable news is both fascinating and a little bit haunting in retrospect." —NPR
"Kendzior’s prose is sharp and consistent whether the essay is data dense or an opinion piece. She maneuvers through big issues with a pace and clarity that makes unpalatable topics fascinating, and unfortunately, relatable." — Hyperallergic
“The defining journalistic account of Trump’s America does complain, but it isn’t best-selling gossip fodder like Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury or James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty. It’s the book from the Midwestern journalist who barely mentions the president’s name.”
"Sharply written pieces about life and inequality in middle America."
—Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 85 Books for Summer Reading
An academic, Midwesterner and firebrand, Kendzior crafts work that looks unflinchingly at what ails the country." —Shelf Awareness, starred review
"It’s a call to arms, highlighting the struggles of disenfranchised, overworked, and underpaid Americans, and urging our elected officials to recognize and address the inequalities that have become even more pronounced since when she originally wrote the essays." —The Village Voice
"The View From Flyover Country is well worth reading....Here is a thoughtful critic who knows how to sound the alarm." —The Arts Fuse
"Kendzior’s essays bring to light social injustice and economic inequality in Middle America from a voice that lives there." —Medium
“The talented Kendzior…writes intelligently and with great empathy about problems faced by the Midwest.” —New York Post
“Kendzior’s writing, while often concise and clever like this, is just as often backed by statistics, attributions or an illustrative profile…Though her message is alarming, it is softened with compassion.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“An astonishment and a challenge to convention for all sorts of reasons…[One of the] books devoted to where we really were not very long ago, where we are now and where we might well be going. They don’t mess around. They play rough. But then the truth almost always does.” —Buffalo News
"From Russia to flyover country, Sarah Kendzior might be the voice we need." — Columbia Journalism Review
"Hers is a crystalline voice of reason and appraisal in a world that shifts further into unrecognizable territory minute-by-minute." — Carol Haggas, Booklist
"A collection of sharp-edged, humanistic pieces about the American heartland...Passionate pieces that repeatedly assail the inability of many to empathize and to humanize." — Kirkus
“Authoritarianism does not happen in a vacuum. Kendzior gives us valuable information about conditions in the forgotten parts of our country, which provided fertile ground for the rise of Trump.” —AMY SISKIND, AUTHOR OF THE LIST
“Urgent and beautifully expressed . . . What makes Kendzior’s writing so truly important [is that] it documents where the problem lies, by somebody who lives there. Read her.” —THE WIRE
“Kendzior is no psychic. She’s just whip-smart and an expert on authoritarian governments. She’s also that rare writer with an analyst’s brain and an empath’s heart… Though the essays are topical and political…one senses they’ll stand the test of time, just for the beauty of the prose and the soundness of the philosophy.” —STEFENE RUSSELL, ST. LOUIS MAGAZINE
Journalist Kendzior (The View from Flyover Country) charts nearly five decades of impropriety, shady business practices, and alleged crimes perpetuated by Donald Trump in this impeccably researched chronicle. Arguing that Trump is a “media-savvy con man” bent on dictatorship, Kendzior explores his protégé relationship with disgraced attorney Roy Cohn and his early dealings with the Soviet Union. She tracks Trump’s friendship with convicted underage sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, noting that in 2016 one of Epstein’s victims accused Trump of rape (her lawsuit has since been dropped), and contends that Trump Tower has “effectively functioned as a dorm for the Russian mafia” since Soviet Army veteran and mob figure David Bogatin attempted to launder $6 million by buying five luxury condos in the building in 1984. Kendzior weaves autobiographical sketches and broad overviews of American culture and geopolitical events into her narrative; in many cases, these digressions create a more comprehensive picture, while others, including an extended thread on tabloid “voyeurism,” feel like tangents. Political junkies will be familiar with much of Kendzior’s claims, but she offers a few surprises and many valuable insights into the president’s psychological motivations and methods of manipulation. This comprehensive, page-turning account presents a stark and uncompromising indictment of the Trump presidency as the culmination of a “decades-long erosion of American stability, integrity, and democracy.” (Apr.)
A scholar of authoritarian regimes and an experienced reporter, Kendzior (The View from Flyover Country) predicted Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential election, as well as the current crisis of U.S. democracy. The author argues that the Trump administration's authoritarian tendencies that initially took many by surprise were preceded by larger political shifts that have eroded democratic policies and civil liberties since the 1980s. The narrative moves through important events and people in Trump's life during the 1980s through 2019, such as his Russian-connected real-estate deals and time on the reality TV show the Apprentice, while also focusing on the role that corruption and the media played in building his public profile. Similar to her previous works, Kendzior's latest maintains that Trump is a media-savvy, white-collar criminal. She links the changing landscape of media with Trump's political rise. VERDICT A chilling account of how the media, government, and public have failed to hold Trump accountable, and how this has significantly impacted U.S. democracy. Recommended for readers curious about the intersection of politics and media.—Rebekah Kati, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
A scathing indictment of Donald Trump and the "wider movement of white supremacists and international kleptocrats seeking to dismantle Western democracy."
In a follow-up to The View From Flyover Country (2018), St. Louis-based Globe and Mail op-ed columnist Kendzior elaborates on her argument that a decadeslong "erosion of American institutions and social trust" paved the way for the present "autocracy, wrapped in a tabloid veneer." Although she reiterates points made by David Cay Johnston and others, Kendzior offers fresh views based on her experiences living in the declining economy of the Midwest and on observations as an academic researcher studying dictatorships in the former Soviet Union. In St. Louis, she watched the growth of increasingly harsh social and economic conditions from 2008 onward, foreshadowing national decline; in Uzbekistan, she witnessed the rise of dictator Islam Karimov, who sought to "make Uzbekistan great again," called independent media "the enemy of the people," persecuted marginalized groups, and abused executive power to enhance his personal wealth. Given those perspectives, the author has been tireless in sounding her dark alarm over the Trump presidency, in both her writing and public appearances. She explores White House nepotism, including the rise of the "rich, connected and unqualified"; Trump's "stripping America down for parts and selling those parts to the highest bidder"; and his close relationship to political operative Roy Cohn, who, since the early 1970s, taught Trump to "counterattack, lie, threaten, sue, and never back down." For decades, Trump "relied on oligarchs and mobsters from the former USSR for support" after being blacklisted by Wall Street following his 1990s bankruptcies. Kendzior also blames the "timid and plodding" Mueller investigation as well as the mainstream news media, "an industry for elites" reluctant to upset social peers.
A passionate call for immediate action against the "transnational crime syndicate" that has supplanted the U.S.