A pertinent study of the possibility of “our next civil war,” which “is stalking us” after the 2020 election chaos and the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
“We believe many who cling to grievances about the 2020 election know, deep down, they are wrong,” write Garrett, chief Washington correspondent for CBS, and Becker, founder of the Center for Election Innovation & Research. “They know lies are masquerading as truths. They rationalize both as tools in a large enterprise—defeating Democrats, reversing socialism, wokeness, radicalism, and the like.” Under the terms of the Trumpian big lie, Republican legislators are doing everything they can to redistrict, gerrymander, suppress, and otherwise alter the vote so that their minority party will always win, which shows which side of the “power or principle” argument they’re on. However, as the authors demonstrate, the big lie is about more than politics; it’s a moneymaking machine, practically a printing press, for Trump and company, who have raised hundreds of millions on the premise that they were wronged but will return. “Every big con needs its bagmen, and the attempted coup had a rogues’ gallery,” they write of Jan. 6 and its aftermath. “Some wore MAGA hats and carried Gadsden flags. Some wore suits or possessed law degrees and, in some cases, worked inside the White House.” The biggest con man of all remains diligent in his attacks on the democratic process and bloviating attempts to maintain his relevance and possibly regain power, even though he’s lost every legal challenge he’s mounted. But as his former aide Mick Mulvaney noted, “When you are taking your legal advice from My Pillow guy, what do you expect?” Unfortunately for the U.S., despite their bright, vigorous narrative, the authors seem to suggest that things are likely to get worse before they get better.
A thoughtful consideration of how and why to protect the vote—and, with it, American democracy.
A second civil war? What once was the plot device of fiction writers now seems all too thinkable. In a deeply reported look at the corrosion of American democracy, Major Garrett and David Becker see a nation on a ‘springboard’ to civil war—and describe what can be done to stop it, before it’s too late. The Big Truth is provocative and sobering, but it’s not hopeless.”
—Susan Page, Washington Bureau chief, USA TODAY, and New York Times bestselling author of Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power
“The Big Truth shows with precision and depth why elections—including those held in 2020 that produced President Biden and sizable down-ballot Republican gains—can and should be believed. And it challenges all political actors to step back from the abyss of election denialism, which spread like wildfire in 2020. Ultimately, The Big Truth poses the grand question we all must ask ourselves as Americans: do we really want to be a democracy, or do we just want our side to win?”
—Chris Krebs, Former United States Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
“The Big Truth provides us with a compass to navigate through the minefield of partisan agendas and hyperbole that permeate our political discourse and equips us with the tools we need to identify and share truthful, trusted information. It is one of the most definitive accounts of what really happened in 2020 and essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the depths and nuances of the challenges facing our American democracy and what we can collectively do to overcome them.”
—Jocelyn Benson, Michigan Secretary of State
“Will America survive as a unified nation until its 300th birthday in 2076? In this urgent, timely and passionate book, Major Garrett and David Becker persuasively argue that the answer will turn on what happens between now and its 250th in 2026. With razor-sharp argument and encyclopedic command of the evidence they dismantle Donald Trump’s wild claims of 2020 fraud and document the full sweep of what they accurately call his ‘attempted coup.’”
—Ron Brownstein, Senior Political Analyst at CNN and New York Times bestselling author of Rock Me on the Water: 1974—The Year Los Angeles Transformed Music, Movies, Television and Politics
“If American democracy has a modern mirror, Major Garrett and David Becker hold it up and brazenly stand behind it. From its very first page, the authors argue the fragility of the American experiment and the need to defend it, connecting the past to our turbulent present. From their posts in journalism and election law, Garrett and Becker narrate the facts of the election and call out the lies perpetrated by the craven grifters seeking to undermine our democracy.”
—Kyung Lah, Senior National Correspondent, CNN
“Concerned that the sanctity of the 2022 midterm elections are at stake, if not democracy itself, Major Garrett, CBS’s Chief Washington Correspondent and elections expert David Becker have written one of the definitive books on the subject. Vivid, doggedly researched, and deeply important, it is a crucial work at an important time. It will be of interest to citizens of all parties and political persuasions alike.”
—Jay Winik, historian and New York Times bestselling author of April 1865: The Month That Saved America and 1944: FDR and the Year That Changed History
“The Big Truth shows how American democracy is threatened, even as everyone claims to be defending and protecting it. This book is a stark warning for every American who thinks that it can’t happen here, that our nation cannot turn against itself. Major Garrett and David Becker show that our union is closer to dissolving than we might think and our democracy is very much at risk. The political project of our time is to rebuild national trust and defend democracy.”
—Jennifer Mercieca, award-winning historian and author of Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump
"A thoughtful consideration of how and why to protect the vote—and, with it, American democracy."
"The story of our times...Essential reading."
—Anderson Cooper, anchor of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360°