republic | WAMC

republic

When Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, President Obama observed that Trump “is not an outlier; he is a culmination, a logical conclusion of the rhetoric and tactics of the Republican Party for the past ten, fifteen, twenty years.”

In his new book "Burning Down The House: Newt Gingrich, the Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party," author Julian Zelizer, esteemed Princeton historian and CNN Political Analyst, pinpoints the moment when our country was set on a path towards the current era of bitterly partisan and ruthless politics.

Zelizer argues that Newt Gingrich’s political strategies in the 1980s, when he waged a campaign against Speaker of the House Jim Wright, have inspired some of the most divisive episodes in contemporary American politics, from the Tea Party movement to the Trump presidency.

Why has American politics fallen into such a state of horrible dysfunction? Can it ever be fixed? These are the questions that motivate Michael Tomasky’s deeply original examination into the origins of our hopelessly polarized nation.

Michael Tomasky is a columnist for the Daily Beast, a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, and the editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas.

His new book is "If We Can Keep It: How the Republic Collapsed and How it Might Be Saved."

The birth of South Sudan was celebrated the world round, a triumph for global justice and the end of one of the world’s most devastating wars. The Republic’s historic independence was acclaimed not only by its long-oppressed people, but by three U.S. presidents and the legions of Americans who championed their cause. But the celebration would not last; South Sudan’s freedom-fighters soon plunged their new nation back into chaos, shattering the promise of liberation and exposing the hubris of their American backers.

Drawing on personal stories of identity, liberation, and survival, "A Rope from the Sky" tells an epic story of paradise won and then lost. Zach Vertin’s firsthand accounts from deadly war zones to the halls of Washington power bring readers on an extraordinary journey into the rise and fall of the world’s newest state. South Sudan’s untold story is a unique episode in global history: an unprecedented experiment in international state-building, and a cautionary tale.