The people are going to rise like the waters upon your shore A story of American rage

Jared Sexton

Book - 2017

"When he agreed to cover the 2016 election season, journalist Jared Yates Sexton didn't know he was stepping into what would become--for both political parties--the most rageful and divisive political circus in U.S. history. His initial dispatches showed Democrats at war with their establishment, coming apart at the seams over the long-gestating ascendancy of Hillary Clinton and the upstart momentum of Bernie Sanders, whose grassroots campaign provoked uprisings of people desperate for... change. Then, on June 14, Sexton attended a Donald Trump rally in Greensboro, North Carolina. One of the first journalists to witness these rallies and give mainstream readers an idea of the raw anger that occurred there, Sexton found himself in the center of a maelstrom. Following a series of tweets that saw his observations viewed well over 1 million times, his reporting was soon featured in The Washington Post, NPR, Bloomberg, and Mother Jones, and he would go on to write two pieces for The New York Times. Sexton gained more than 18,000 followers on Twitter in a matter of days, and received online harassments, campaigns to get him fired from his university professorship, and death threats that changed his life forever. [This book] is a firsthand account of the events that shaped the 2016 presidential election and the cultural forces that divided both parties and powered Donald Trump into the White House. Featuring in-the-field reports as well as deep analysis, Sexton's book is not just the story of the most unexpected and divisive election in modern political history. It is also a sobering chronicle of our democracy's political polarization--a result of our self-constructed, technologically assisted echo chambers. Like the works of Hunter S. Thompson and Norman Mailer--books that have paved the way for important narratives that shape how we perceive not only the politics of our time but also our way of life--[this book] is an instant classic, an authoritative depiction of a country struggling to make sense of itself."--Jacket.

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Subjects
Published
Berkeley, CA : Counterpoint Press [2017]
Language
English
Physical Description
xi, 302 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 291-302).
ISBN
9781619029569
1619029561
Main Author
Jared Sexton (author)
  • Prologue: Ugly vibrations in these United Staes
  • Part 1: Sleep of reason breeds monsters. Canaries in the coal mine ; The American dream is dead ; Nine dead in Charleston ; The ego is not master in its own house ; They're tryin' to win this thing ; Life outside the cloud ; The end of an uneasy truce ; The joke is over
  • Part 2: The summer of rage. An American horror story ; The road to Ohio ; There will be blood ; A nation forever on the brink ; When the devil's at your door : the Republican National Convention ; The people are going to rise like the waters upon your shore : the Democratic National Convention ; Against all enemies, foreign and domestic ; The Green Party National Convention
  • Part 3: A new kind of religion. A voice for the people ; A tiger by its tail ; The cult of the movement ; We come to the end ; Anatomy of a car crash ; Waiting for the end of the world
  • Epilogue: We the people.
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Everyone knows how the story of the 2016 presidential campaign and election ended. What people are still trying to figure out is how it all began. The polarizing cast of political characters, the emotional confrontations that erupted during the campaign, and the high-stakes conflagrations that have ensued since the inauguration form a thrill-a-minute narrative arc.A freelance journalist and self-described political hobbyist, Sexton began chronicling what he, and so many others, thought would be a snoozefest of a campaign at its outset, in June 2015. How quickly things would go from sleepy and predictable to mesmerizing and volatile. Astonishment, disbelief, and disgust were daily themes, fueling a nonstop feeding frenzy on cable news and social media.The residual anger on the losing side is not unexpected. The rage that endures and even increases from Trump supporters is harder to comprehend. To put it all in perspective, Sexton shares his genesis from an anonymous reporter flying well under the radar to a commentator caught in the menacing "fake news" spotlight after his Twitter feed started trending and the death threats began pouring in.Sexton's first-person account is both candidly relatable and viscerally frightening. Self-deprecating scenes of drowning his sorrows at campaign-stop pubs juxtaposed against edge-of-darkness encounters with agitators sporting MAGA-logo garb create a you-are-there immediacy. Sexton's seamless blending of his reporter's objectivity with the personal evaluations of a voter who has skin in the game yields trenchant analysis. Although most of his ire is reserved for the mercurial and Machiavellian Trump organization, Sexton also takes a penetrating look at the other contentious campaigns—the fervency of the Bernie camp, the fecklessness of Clinton's overconfident team, and even a foray into the Green Party hoopla—and counts himself among the myriad pundits who absolutely did not see the end result coming.Based upon its title, readers could be forgiven for thinking this is a tsunami survivor's memoir. With the outrage, violence, and intolerance the 2016 campaign unleashed, it very nearly qualifies. But Sexton's is a critical and important voice in helping readers understand the cultural and political sea change the election created. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Political columnist and fiction writer Sexton (I Am the Oil of the Engine of the World) shares a chilling account of his cross-country tour covering the 2016 presidential election. He follows Trump to rallies in South Carolina, where attendees he dubs the "White and the Angry" taunt Black Lives Matter protesters, and to the carnivalesque Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where he observes the surreal juxtaposition of Nazi salutes and a "Gays for Trump" event. The Clinton campaign, meanwhile, is a snooze fest "engineered down to the last detail," which Sexton criticizes for failing to mobilize embittered young Sanders supporters. Sexton highlights other pivotal events, such as the shooting at a black church in Charleston that ignited debate about the Confederate flag, and he traces the modern political divide to Fox News's founding. He also covers the chaotic inauguration, where protesters were teargassed blocks away from tux- and gown-clad ball attendees. While the Trump-acolyte demographic has been explored ad nauseam, Sexton's reporting provides a unique nuts-and-bolts look at the campaigns, and his eyewitness reports of the aggressive displays at Trump rallies are both terrifying and fascinating. Readers still feeling raw from the election, however, may not appreciate its rehashing. Agent: Christopher Rhodes, the Stuart Agency. (Sept.) Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A chronicle of the 2016 presidential election collects a first hand account of the events, in the field reports, and deep analysis to examine how the country has become so politically polarized.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A firsthand account of the 2016 presidential election and the cultural forces that divided both parties and powered Donald Trump into the White House, through in-the-field reports and deep analyses, is both the story of the most unexpected election in modern political history and a sobering chronicle of the U.S. democracy’s political polarization. $10,000 ad/promo.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"An impressionistic and often disturbing account of the 2016 presidential race . . . This book reveals the incremental nature of public displays of hatred, growing from harsh chants and bumper stickers to, say, an open and unmasked gathering of white supremacists in Charlottesville . . . [His] dispatches are bracing." —The Washington PostNamed a Best Book of 2017 by The CoilWhen he agreed to cover the 2016 election season, journalist Jared Yates Sexton didn't know he was stepping into what would become—for both political parties—the most rageful and divisive political circus in U.S. history.His initial dispatches showed Democrats at war with their establishment, coming apart at the seams over the long-gestating ascendancy of Hillary Clinton and the upstart momentum of Bernie Sanders, whose grassroots campaign provoked uprisingsof people desperate for change. Then, on June 14, Sexton attended a Donald Trump rally in Greensboro, North Carolina. One of the first journalists to witness these rallies and give mainstream readers an idea of the raw anger that occurred there, Sexton found himself in the center of a maelstrom. Following a series of tweets that saw his observations viewed well over 1 million times, his reporting was soon featured in The Washington Post, NPR, Bloomberg, and Mother Jones, and he would go on to write two pieces for The New York Times. Sexton gained more than 18,000 followers on Twitter in a matter of days, and received online harassments, campaigns to get him fired from his university professorship, and death threats that changed his life forever.The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore is a firsthand account of the events that shaped the 2016 presidential election and the cultural forces that divided both parties and powered Donald Trump into the White House. Featuring in-the-field reports as well as deep analysis, Sexton's book is not just the story of the most unexpected and divisive election in modern political history. It is also a sobering chronicle of our democracy's political polarization—a result of our self-constructed, technologically assisted echo chambers.Like the works of Hunter S. Thompson and Norman Mailer—books that have paved the way for important narratives that shape how we perceive not only the politics of our time but also our way of life—The People Are Going to Rise Like the WatersUpon Your Shore is an instant classic, an authoritative depiction of a country struggling to make sense of itself.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Jared Yates Sexton's latest is an outlaw expedition into America through the guise of the savage and unprecedented 2016 presidential campaign.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

“Sexton grapples with the Trump campaign from the perspective of the crowds reveling in the candidate’s presence and message. It is a useful vantage point given the increasingly blatant bigotry in the months since the election.” —The Washington PostThe People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore is a firsthand account of the events that shaped the 2016 presidential election and the cultural forces that powered Donald Trump into the White House. Includes an all new afterword that details the first year of the Trump presidency.“With a novelist’s flair for the dramatic scene and evocative detail, Sexton expertly marries the quotidian tedium of the campaign trail (so many hotel room beers) and the outlandish circumstances of this particular election season with his astute observations about our polarized national condition.” —Salon“This is the post–campaign book I was waiting for. Essential reading for understanding this country now and going forward.” —Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night