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Boiling Mad

Behind the Lines in Tea Party America

Kate Zernike

St. Martin's Griffin

"Concise [and] elegantly written. . . . A convincing portrait of the movement's most ardent activists."—Los Angeles Times

They burst on the scene at the height of the Great Recession—thousands of angry voters railing against bailouts and big government—and within the year, the Tea Party had changed the terms of debate in Washington. This new populist movement set the agenda for the 2010 midterm elections, propelling a historic shift of power in Congress and capturing the mood of an anxious country. By election day, a remarkable four in ten voters called themselves Tea Party supporters.

Boiling Mad is Kate Zernike's eye-opening look inside the Tea Party, introducing us to its cast of unlikely activists and the philosophy and zeal that animate them. She shows how the movement emerged from an unusual alliance of young, Internet-savvy conservatives and older people who came to the movement out of fear and frustration. She takes us behind the scenes as well-connected groups in Washington move to mobilize the grassroots energy, and inside the campaign that best showed the movement's power and its contradictions. Putting the Tea Party in the context of other conservative revolts, Zernike shows us how the movement reflects important philosophical and cultural strains that have long been a feature of American politics.

"Concise [and] elegantly written. . . . A convincing portrait of the movement's most ardent activists."—Los Angeles Times

They burst on the scene at the height of the Great Recession—thousands of angry voters railing against bailouts and big government—and within the year, the Tea Party had changed the terms of debate in Washington. This new populist movement set the agenda for the 2010 midterm elections, propelling a historic shift of power in Congress and capturing the mood of an anxious country. By election day, a remarkable four in ten voters called themselves Tea Party supporters.

Boiling Mad is Kate Zernike's eye-opening look inside the Tea Party, introducing us to its cast of unlikely activists and the philosophy and zeal that animate them. She shows how the movement emerged from an unusual alliance of young, Internet-savvy conservatives and older people who came to the movement out of fear and frustration. She takes us behind the scenes as well-connected groups in Washington move to mobilize the grassroots energy, and inside the campaign that best showed the movement's power and its contradictions. Putting the Tea Party in the context of other conservative revolts, Zernike shows us how the movement reflects important philosophical and cultural strains that have long been a feature of American politics.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Prologue

Honestly, it was hard not to stop at the spectacle on Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington, where several thousand Americans had gathered to celebrate their anger on a perfect spring day. There was Representative Michele Bachmann, conservative darling and all Minnesota nice, cheerfully raging against "gangster government." "Two years from now, Barack Obama is a one-term president!" she taunted, the words echoing off the surrounding walls. There was the rapper performing a Tea Party anthem, the former Saturday Night Live star singing a song called "A Communist in the White Hou

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REVIEWS

Praise for Boiling Mad

“Required reading for anyone who wants to understand the Tea Party movement.”—Gail Collins, The New York Times
 
“Illuminating… a picture of how different some Tea Partiers are from the Republican establishment’s view of the movement.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“[Zernike’s] concise, elegantly written book is a refreshing reminder of what traditional journalism — so often despised and discounted these days — can contribute to the public conversation. . . . A convincing portrait of the [tea party] movement’s most ardent activists.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“A brisk chronicle of the people who have streamed to the protests [and] flocked to the polls.”—The New Republic
 
“The most informative and readable.”—The Hill
 
“The beauty of Boiling Mad is that it’s room-temperature calm. With fresh and surprising reporting, Kate Zernike cuts through the hype on both sides to show the Tea Party as it really is, not as partisans depict it. It’s a complete, balanced, incisive and important account of a reactionary movement that’s changing the country.”—Jonathan Alter, author of The Promise: President Obama, Year One
“Required reading for anyone who wants to understand the Tea Party movement.”—Gail Collins, The New York Times
 
“Illuminating… a picture of how different some Tea Partiers are from the Republican establishment’s view of the movement.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“[Zernike’s] concise, elegantly written book is a refreshing reminder of what traditional journalism — so often despised and discounted these days — can contribute to the public conversation. . . . A convincing portrait of the [tea party] movement’s most ardent activists.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“A brisk chronicle of the people who have streamed to the protests [and] flocked to the polls.”—The New Republic
 
“The most informative and readable.”—The Hill
 
“The beauty of Boiling Mad is that it’s room-temperature calm. With fresh and surprising reporting, Kate Zernike cuts through the hype on both sides to show the Tea Party as it really is, not as partisans depict it. It’s a complete, balanced, incisive and important account of a reactionary movement that’s changing the country.”—Jonathan Alter, author of The Promise: President Obama, Year One

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Kate Zernike

  • Kate Zernike is a national correspondent for The New York Times and was a member of the team that shared the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. She lives with her family outside New York City.

  • Kate Zernike Harry Zernike
    Kate Zernike
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Available Formats and Book Details

Boiling Mad

Behind the Lines in Tea Party America

Kate Zernike

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Griffin

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