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  • Insurgency

  • How Republicans Lost Their Party and Got Everything They Ever Wanted
  • By: Jeremy W. Peters
  • Narrated by: Jeremy W. Peters
  • Length: 13 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Insurgency

By: Jeremy W. Peters
Narrated by: Jeremy W. Peters
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Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS’ CHOICE • How did the party of Lincoln become the party of Trump? From an acclaimed political reporter for The New York Times comes the definitive story of the mutiny that shattered American politics.

“A bracing account of how the party of Lincoln and Reagan was hijacked by gadflies and grifters who reshaped their movement into becoming an anti-democratic cancer that attacked the U.S. Capitol.”—Joe Scarborough

An epic narrative chronicling the fracturing of the Republican Party, Jeremy Peters’s Insurgency is the story of a party establishment that believed it could control the dark energy it helped foment—right up until it suddenly couldn’t. How, Peters asks, did conservative values that Republicans claimed to cherish, like small government, fiscal responsibility, and morality in public service, get completely eroded as an unshakable faith in Donald Trump grew to define the party?

The answer is a tale traced across three decades—with new reporting and firsthand accounts from the people who were there—of populist uprisings that destabilized the party. The signs of conflict were plainly evident for anyone who cared to look. After Barack Obama’s election convinced many Republicans that they faced an existential demographics crossroads, many believed the only way to save the party was to create a more inclusive and diverse coalition. But party leaders underestimated the energy and popular appeal of those who would pull the party in the opposite direction. They failed to see how the right-wing media they hailed as truth-telling was warping the reality in which their voters lived. And they did not understand the complicated moral framework by which many conservatives would view Trump, leading evangelicals and one-issue voters to shed Republican orthodoxy if it delivered a Supreme Court that would undo Roe v. Wade.

In this sweeping history, Peters details key junctures and episodes to unfurl the story of a revolution from within. Its architects had little interest in the America of the new century but a deep understanding of the iron will of a shrinking minority. With Trump as their polestar, their gamble paid greater dividends than they’d ever imagined, extending the life of far-right conservatism in United States domestic policy into the next half century.

©2021 Jeremy Peters (P)2021 Random House Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic reviews

“[A] spirited new history . . . The outlines of the Republicans’ hard-right turn are by now largely familiar. What distinguishes Insurgency is its blend of political acuity and behind-the-scenes intrigue. . . . Peters is a fluid and engaging writer, and as the narrative of Insurgency unfolds and Trump inevitably, irresistibly, assumes center stage, you almost can’t help admiring—as Bannon did—the candidate’s raw, demagogic genius.”—The New York Times

Insurgency is persuasive in suggesting that the long-term transformation of the Republican Party is one in which a style of politics has overpowered, and then suffocated, any remnant of its substance.”—The Washington Post 

“Highly readable . . . From 2016 to the Capitol riot, Jeremy Peters delivers a meticulously reported and extremely worrying tale of how and why the U.S. came to this. . . . Peters chronicles how the party of Lincoln and Reagan morphed into Trump’s own fiefdom. He writes with a keen eye and sharp pen. . . . His book is chilling.”—The Guardian 

What listeners say about Insurgency

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Calm Clear Chilling

Excellent history of the slow but sure infection of the Republican party by some kind of madness. Good character portraits.

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  • Linda Blake
  • 18-02-22

Insurgency

This book was filled with the history of trump’s Republican Party. It is well written and the author has a good voice which makes for easy interesting listening. I enjoyed in particular his recitation of John McCain who chose Sarah Palin for a running mate because i chose to vote for Obama because of McCains’ selection. I have voted Democrat because my father said that only Democrats do things that help regular people. I did vote for George Bush the younger. After trump I shall never never vote Republican again!

7 people found this helpful

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  • James Adams
  • 28-02-22

Woodward Worthy

A frank and thorough rundown of the facts and historical details, with loads of insider vignettes. Excellent narration. I missed a tie-it-all-together summary as to what the “everything they ever wanted” actually is, besides the Supreme Court. After such a through diagnosis, I would have enjoyed a few words of prognosis as in, how do we move forward from here? The author leaves that to us to decide.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Dave T.
  • 13-02-22

Truth is even worse than fiction.

I just finished this book after hearing Jaime on Fresh Air. It’s a remarkable book, well-written and researched as you’d expect from Peters. Still, I’m worried, angry, heart broken, and I feel sick. This book sits at the corner of “May you live in interesting times” Road & “Be careful what you wish for” Drive.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Pacer
  • 26-02-22

Encapsulates the period

As a student of history, I was aware of most of the incidents in the book. But do you have them all in order in one place and so well documented was a real treat

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer Joel Gordes
  • 26-02-22

Above the Rest

I have read or listened to numerous books or articles on the Trump campaign but this one is definitely in the higher percentiles for research, writing and delivery. I highly recommend it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Nicola Blake
  • 21-02-22

Essential listening

Recent history well documented - and a tale well told. The remarkably understated way (given the disturbing narrative) that it is narrated by the author really helped me to digest the wealth of information

3 people found this helpful

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  • KathrynVB
  • 17-02-22

Nothing new.

I've read many of the post-2020 election books. Jeremy Peters goes back to Reagan and Palin to give a historical approach to his view.

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  • Shawn N Price
  • 25-02-22

A Welcomed Guide

I have been listening and reflecting on this material for weeks. My thanks to everyone who helped bring these insights and perspectives to the world.

2 people found this helpful

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  • John LMHC
  • 19-02-22

The REAL Story

Jeremy Peter's fact packed road map of the unraveling republican party and the threats to our democracy. His prose is dispassionnat and on point. Highly recommend this book to serious students of democracy.

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  • Lisa Kay Musil
  • 28-02-22

Fair evaluation of 45

A fair and measured explanation of Trump's rise and fall--and how the Republican party is forever changed.

1 person found this helpful