Trumpocalypse Restoring American democracy

David Frum, 1960-

Book - 2020

"A huge swath of Americans see the rest of the country building a future that doesn't have a place for them. It's no wonder they'd rather burn it all down. But the fire can be stopped by Americans who act now to protect their country and its democracy"--

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New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers [2020]
Main Author
David Frum, 1960- (author)
First edition
Physical Description
viii, 261 pages ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 203-245) and index.
  • Part I: The reckoning. The smash-up ; The wall of impunity ; World war Trump ; White terror ; "Real" versus "unreal" Americans ; The deep state lie ; How to lose to Trump
  • Part II: A new age of reform. Unrigging the system ; Uniting "us" and "them" ; Greener planet, better jobs ; Great again ; Against revenge.
Review by Choice Review

A senior editor at Atlantic magazine, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, a DC talking head and cable-TV fixture, and one of the most prominent of the Republican Party's "Never Trumpers," Frum follows up his best-selling Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic (2018) with the present volume. Frum skewers President Trump throughout, so those who support the president will find this book troubling, and those who are critics of the president will find much to enjoy in this lively, opinionated book. Frum recognizes that Trump did not arise out of nowhere but instead "walked through an unlocked door" (p. 5)--unlocked because the two parties had lost control of their nominating processes--into a Republican Party that was already marching toward a white, male-grievance agenda. But Frum's book is not just an indictment; the book offers a practical prescription for a post-Trump Republican Party that purges the party of Trumpism and sets the party on a more mainstream path. There are many anti-Trump books available, but this is one of the most readable and among the wittiest. Frum's call to restore integrity to a party damaged by the Trump presidency is a useful and important corrective. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers. --michael A. genovese, Loyola Marymount University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

In his follow up to Trumpocracy (2018), Frum, a prolific conservative commentator, staff writer at the Atlantic, and former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, unapologetically lambasts President Trump for the damage he has done to America's democracy. He laments the shift among Republicans from loyalty to a core set of ideals to the bending to a cult of personality. Using the hindsight of three years of the Trump presidency, Frum itemizes a litany of failed policies and outright abuses of the system and highlights the corruption of representative rule and its dangers. He identifies specific efforts that will be necessary to restore our society to a healthier, more representative democracy that uses its immense power to do good in the world. Frum also offers succor to those who are disenchanted, pointing to the strength of oppositional responses since 2017. A new introduction addressing the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, the largest challenge to Trump's effort to recast the role of the federal government, has been added. Even so, this will most likely not be Frum's final analysis of the Trump era.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Atlantic writer Frum follows Trumpocracy (2018) with a brisk and carefully reasoned guide to "protect the American constitutional system from Trump and after Trump." After rehashing the damage Trumpism has already caused or exacerbated, including congressional dysfunction, the undermining of U.S. foreign relations, and the resurgence of white supremacy, Frum argues that to win in the 2020 elections and beyond, progressives need to back moderate candidates who can find common ground with conservative voters. Once in office, Democrats should, according to Frum, do away with the congressional filibuster, confer statehood to Washington, D.C., "deter gerrymandering," and pass legislation requiring future presidential candidates to make their tax returns public. He also suggests that by curtailing undocumented immigration, Democrats can "solidif a sense of national belonging" and improve their chances of passing healthcare reforms. He advises liberals to stop attacking the fossil fuel industry for causing climate change, and instead offer solutions "based on social consensus," such as carbon taxes, solar energy, and wind farms. Frum's caustic treatment of "Woke messaging" will grate on committed leftists, but he presents a cogent argument for taking the middle path to electoral and legislative victory. Democrats debating how best to beat Trump should consider this well-informed directive. Agent: Jay Mandel, William Morris Endeavor. (May)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Following up Trumpocracy (2018), Frum looks at the Trump administration's effect on the country and the possible consequences of the 2020 election. In his previous book, the author, a speechwriter and special assistant to George W. Bush and now a staff writer for the Atlantic, showed how the Trump campaign and administration had already seriously damaged American institutions during his first year in office. Here, Frum uses his powers of analysis--and his outrage--to flesh out the myriad examples of what he considers to be a toxic combination of perfidy and stupidity. This includes Trump's relentless bullying of individuals, groups, and countries; his poorly conceived foreign policy via Twitter; his threats to unleash his rabid followers on a supposedly disloyal electorate; and, above all, his harm to American judicial and security agencies. Still, the author has hopes for a brighter, Trump-free future. Examining elements of social reform, health care, and climate change, Frum lays out potential solutions that are surprisingly progressive, especially for a self-styled conservative. His political swing from loyal Republican to independent thinker is, he asserts, shared by others. "Former allies find themselves at dagger's point; former adversaries find more in common," he writes. "It's much more likely that George W. Bush and Barack Obama will vote for the same candidate in 2020 than it is that George W. Bush and Donald Trump will vote for the same candidate." This is a thoughtful analysis of current troubles and future opportunities, but it will interest only those who aren't sated by the constant analysis offered by newspapers and cable TV. While Frum is more eloquent than many, he covers much of the same ground, and his suggested policy points, though interesting, are a relatively small part of the book. A must-read for political junkies but not compelling enough for the large, but exhausted, population of never-Trumpers. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.