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The Bluest State

How Democrats Created the Massachusetts Blueprint for American Political Disaster

Jon Keller

St. Martin's Press

What’s Happened to Massachusetts? 
At one time, Americans thought of Massachusetts with pride.  It was the place where the charge against British oppression was incubated and first battle of the Revolutionary War was fought.  It was the intellectual center of the United States, the home of the country's first university – Harvard - and the birthplace of some of our most famous writers -- Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, to name just a few.  What do Americans picture when they think of Massachusetts today?  They think of taxes on everything that moves and a burning desire to tax what doesn't.  They think of unctuous, doomed Presidential candidates from Michael Dukakis to John Kerry.  And, most of all, they think of “Kennedy Country” - not the moderate politics of JFK who backed supply-side tax cuts and saber-rattling foreign policy, but a place influenced by the ideology of his little brother, Ted, a punch line for bad political jokes and the relic of a dream gone bad.  Over the past thirty years, Massachusetts has been the test kitchen for the baby boom's political impulses and instincts, with devastating results: urban deterioration, failing public schools and a vanishing job base.  Unfortunately, the story of Massachusetts' decline has national implications. Other states share its problems. And the cautionary tale of their mishandling in Massachusetts speaks to a broader issue. What’s gone wrong with the Democratic Party?  In The Bluest State, a book that echoes Tom Franks’ bestseller "What's the Matter With Kansas?” Jon Keller, a veteran political commentator, shows how the collapse of the Massachusetts Miracle into the Massachusetts Miasma mirrors chronic failures within the Democratic Party and American liberalism. After an election in which Democrats elsewhere regained power in Washington by moving toward the political center, the story of how failed boomer politics ruined one of America’s great liberal citadels is a timely warning to the party for the election ahead.

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Chapter 1 
On that dark April day in 1968 when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, a boomer political icon was sanctified. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy broke the news of King’s murder to a black audience in Indianapolis with a speech Joe Klein would, nearly forty years later, call “a sublime example of the substance and music of politics in its grandest form, for its highest purpose—to heal, to educate, to lead.”
“For those of you . . . tempted to be filled with hatred and disgust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I can only say
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Praise for The Bluest State

Advance Praise for "The Bluest State"
"California and Texas, the 1st and 2nd largest states, have produced more serious presidential candidates than any other states. In third place is Massachusetts, the 13th largest state. Jon Keller has kept his gimlet eye on the politics of this state for many years, and The Bluest State explains how and why the Bay State keeps inflicting its politics on us."--Michael Barone, A Senior Writer for U.S. News & World Report and Co-author of The Almanac of American Politics

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Jon Keller

  • JON KELLER is widely acknowledged as the most respected political analyst in New England. His reports are seen daily on WBZ-TV, Boston's CBS affiliate, where he also hosts a weekly political interview program and writes a daily weblog. His morning commentaries on WBZ radio reach over half a million commuters.
  • Jon Keller
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The Bluest State

How Democrats Created the Massachusetts Blueprint for American Political Disaster

Jon Keller

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Press

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