When Governor Terry McAuliffe hung up the phone on the afternoon of the violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, he was sure Donald Trump would do the right thing as president: condemn the white supremacists who’d descended on the college town and who’d caused McAuliffe to declare a state of emergency that morning. He didn’t. Instead Trump declared there was “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” Trump was condemned from many sides himself, even by many Republicans, but the damage was done. He’d excused and thus egged on the terrorists at the moment when he could have stopped them in their tracks.
In Beyond Charlottesville, McAuliffe looks at the forces and events that led to the tragedy in Charlottesville, including the vicious murder of Heather Heyer and the death of two state troopers in a helicopter accident. He doesn’t whitewash Virginia history and discusses a KKK protest over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. He takes a hard real-time behind-the-scenes look at the actions of everyone on that fateful August 12, including himself, to see what could have been done. He lays out what was done afterwards to prevent future Charlottesvilles—and what still needs to be done as America in general and Virginia in particular continue to grapple with their history of racism.
Beyond Charlottesville will be the definitive account of an infamous chapter in our history, seared indelibly into memory, sure to be cited for years as a crucial reference point in the long struggle to fight racism, extremism and hate.
Carl Hulse has spent more than thirty years covering the machinations of the beltway. In Out of Order he tells the story of this history-making battle to control the Supreme Court through exclusive interviews with McConnell, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, and other top officials, Trump campaign operatives, court activists, and legal scholars, as well as never-before-reported details and developments.
Richly textured and deeply informative, Out of Order provides much-needed context, revisiting the judicial wars of the past two decades to show how those conflicts have led to our current polarization. He examines the politicization of the federal bench and the implications for public confidence in the courts, and takes us behind the scenes to explore how many long-held democratic norms and entrenched, bipartisan procedures have been erased across all three branches of government.
“Joy Reid masterfully combines the immediacy of news reporting, the intimacy of memoir, and the sweep of a history book—from the anti-immigrant Know Nothing Party of the 1850s to Nelson Mandela's post-apartheid attempt at ‘reconciliation.’ The Man Who Sold America delivers a compelling account of how we got to Trumpism and what will happen next.” –Lawrence O'Donnell, host of MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell
To answer these questions, Paul Peterson sets forth two theories of federalism: functional and legislative. Functional theory is optimistic. It says that each level of the federal system is well designed to carry out the tasks for which it is mainly responsible. State and local governments assume responsibility for their area's physical and social development; the national government cares for the needy and reduces economic inequities. Legislative theory, in contrast, is pessimistic: it says that national political leaders, responding to electoral pressures, misuse their power. They shift unpopular burdens to lower levels of government while spending national dollars on popular government programs for which they can claim credit.
Both theories are used to explain different aspects of American federalism. Legislative theory explains why federal grants have never been used to equalize public services. Elected officials cannot easily justify to their constituents a vote to shift funds away from the geographic area they represent. The overall direction that American federalism has taken in recent years is better explained by functional theory. As the costs of transportation and communication have declined, labor and capital have become increasingly mobile, placing states and localities in greater competition with one another. State and local governments are responding to these changes by overlooking the needs of the poor, focusing instead on economic development. As a further consequence, older, big cities of the Rust Belt, inefficient in their operations and burdened by social responsibilities, are losing jobs and population to the suburban communities that surround them.
Peterson recommends that the national government adopt policies that take into account the economic realities identified by functional theory. The national government should give states and localities responsibility for most transportation, education, crime control, and other basic governmental programs. Welfare, food stamps, the delivery of medical services, and other social policies should become the primary responsibility of the national government.
—President Bill Clinton
"No one knows more about American politics than Terry McAuliffe. He gives
us some remarkable insights and knows how to make his accounts both humorous
—President Jimmy Carter
"I've often said Terry's energy could light up a city, and readers of this book will know why. Terry's excitement for politics—and life—is evident on every page."
—Senator Hillary Clinton
For more than twenty-five years, Terry McAuliffe has been at the epicenter of American politics. Just out of Catholic University in Washington, Terry took a position with the Carter-Mondale campaign and quickly became one of the campaign's chief fund-raisers—and hasn't looked back since. The list of Terry ́s former mentors, friends, and close associates in the nation's capital reads like a who's who of legendary Democrats: Tip O'Neill. Jimmy Carter. Dick Gephardt. Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton. Al Gore. The list goes on and on. Terry has fought hard for the Democratic Party his entire life and, as Bill Clinton reveals here for the first time, he was the first one in the party to see opportunity in the Republican gains in the 1994 Congressional elections.
Without question the most successful fund-raiser in political history, Terry established himself as a heavyweight Democratic strategist and leader who was George W. Bush ́s most vocal and persistent critic during the first four years of the Bush 43 presidency. He earned rave reviews even from former critics for his groundbreaking work as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005, pulling the DNC out of debt for the first time in its history. Terry has served as a confidant and adviser to President Clinton and countless presidential candidates, a mediator among party leaders, the chairman of a national convention and presidential inaugural, and a forceful spokesman for the party—all without losing his reputation as a colorful, fun-loving character liked and respected even by his Republican adversaries.
What a Party! is a fascinating, hilarious, and provocative look at the life of one of Washington's legendary figures. From wrestling an alligator to running the Democratic National Committee to his friendship with President Clinton, Terry McAuliffe's wonderful memoir covers it all and is, without doubt, the political book of the year.
Once described by the Washington Post as “the most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of,” Pete Buttigieg, the thirty-seven-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has now emerged as one of the nation’s most visionary politicians. With soaring prose that celebrates a resurgent American Midwest, Shortest Way Home narrates the heroic transformation of a “dying city” (Newsweek) into nothing less than a shining model of urban reinvention.
Interweaving two narratives—that of a young man coming of age and a town regaining its economic vitality—Buttigieg recounts growing up in a Rust Belt city, amid decayed factory buildings and the steady soundtrack of rumbling freight trains passing through on their long journey to Chicagoland. Inspired by John F. Kennedy’s legacy, Buttigieg first left northern Indiana for red-bricked Harvard and then studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, before joining McKinsey, where he trained as a consultant—becoming, of all things, an expert in grocery pricing. Then, Buttigieg defied the expectations that came with his pedigree, choosing to return home to Indiana and responding to the ultimate challenge of how to revive a once-great industrial city and help steer its future in the twenty-first century.
Elected at twenty-nine as the nation’s youngest mayor, Pete Buttigieg immediately recognized that “great cities, and even great nations, are built though attention to the everyday.” As Shortest Way Home recalls, the challenges were daunting—whether confronting gun violence, renaming a street in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., or attracting tech companies to a city that had appealed more to junk bond scavengers than serious investors. None of this is underscored more than Buttigieg’s audacious campaign to reclaim 1,000 houses, many of them abandoned, in 1,000 days and then, even as a sitting mayor, deploying to serve in Afghanistan as a Navy officer. Yet the most personal challenge still awaited Buttigieg, who came out in a South Bend Tribune editorial, just before being reelected with 78 percent of the vote, and then finding Chasten Glezman, a middle-school teacher, who would become his partner for life.
While Washington reels with scandal, Shortest Way Home, with its graceful, often humorous, language, challenges our perception of the typical American politician. In chronicling two once-unthinkable stories—that of an Afghanistan veteran who came out and found love and acceptance, all while in office, and that of a revitalized Rust Belt city no longer regarded as “flyover country”—Buttigieg provides a new vision for America’s shortest way home.
"The election happened," remembers Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, then deputy secretary of the Department of Energy. "And then there was radio silence." Across all departments, similar stories were playing out: Trump appointees were few and far between; those that did show up were shockingly uninformed about the functions of their new workplace. Some even threw away the briefing books that had been prepared for them.
Michael Lewis’s brilliant narrative takes us into the engine rooms of a government under attack by its own leaders. In Agriculture the funding of vital programs like food stamps and school lunches is being slashed. The Commerce Department may not have enough staff to conduct the 2020 Census properly. Over at Energy, where international nuclear risk is managed, it’s not clear there will be enough inspectors to track and locate black market uranium before terrorists do.
Willful ignorance plays a role in these looming disasters. If your ambition is to maximize short-term gains without regard to the long-term cost, you are better off not knowing those costs. If you want to preserve your personal immunity to the hard problems, it’s better never to really understand those problems. There is upside to ignorance, and downside to knowledge. Knowledge makes life messier. It makes it a bit more difficult for a person who wishes to shrink the world to a worldview.
If there are dangerous fools in this book, there are also heroes, unsung, of course. They are the linchpins of the system—those public servants whose knowledge, dedication, and proactivity keep the machinery running. Michael Lewis finds them, and he asks them what keeps them up at night.