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"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.
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,...