The year that broke America An immigration crisis, a terrorist conspiracy, the summer of Survivor, a ridiculous fake billionaire, a fight for Florida, and the 537 votes that changed everything

Andrew Rice, 1975-

Book - 2022

"Combining the compelling insight of Nixonland and the narrative verve of Ladies and Gentleman: The Bronx is Burning, a journalist's definitive cultural and political history of the fatefully important moment when American politics and culture turned: the year 2000. Before there was Coronavirus, before there was the contentious 2020 election or the entire Trump presidency, there was a turning-point year that proved momentous and transformative for American politics and the fate of the ...nation. That year was 2000, the last year of America's unchallenged geopolitical dominance, the year Mark Burnett created Survivor and a new form of celebrity, the year a little Cuban immigrant became the focus of a media circus, the year Donald Trump flirted with running for President (and failed miserably), the year a group of Al Qaeda operatives traveled to America to learn to fly planes. They all converged in Florida, where that fall, the most important presidential election in generations was decided by the slimmest margin imaginable. But the year 2000 was also the moment when the authority of the political system was undermined by technical malfunctions; when the legal system was compromised by the justices of the Supreme Court; when the financial system was devalued by deregulation, speculation, creative securitization, and scam artistry; when the mainstream news media was destabilized by the propaganda power of Fox News and the supercharged speed of the internet; when the power of tastemakers, gatekeepers, and cultural elites was diminished by a dawning recognition of its irrelevance. Expertly synthesizing many hours of interviews, court records, FOIA requests, and original archival research, Andrew Rice marshals an impressive cast of dupes, schmucks, superstars, politicians, and shameless scoundrels in telling the fascinating story of this portentous year that marked a cultural watershed. Back at the start of the new millennium it was easy to laugh and roll our eyes about the crazy events in Florida in the year 2000--but what happened then and there has determined where we are and who we've become"--

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2nd Floor New Shelf 973.929/Rice (NEW SHELF) Checked In
Subjects
Published
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers [2022]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
x, 534 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 463-512) and index.
ISBN
9780062979827
0062979825
Main Author
Andrew Rice, 1975- (author)
  • Prologue: Inauguration day
  • Zero zero
  • Strange land
  • Kandahar
  • The Wall Street project
  • Baseball man
  • The magic city
  • For the people
  • The life
  • The force of things
  • Oscar night
  • The siege
  • One Florida
  • Palm Beach
  • Sugar
  • Go time
  • Earth Day
  • The breakup
  • Circus town
  • TruMarkets
  • Remote control
  • Black September
  • Hurricane season
  • Chasing giants
  • The numbers
  • Hanging state
  • Thanksgiving
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Bush v. Gore
  • Gasparilla
  • The sting
  • Epilogue: Out of time.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Journalist Rice (The Teeth May Smile But the Heart Does Not Forget, 2009) posits that the year 2000 was a pivotal point in American political and cultural history. He ties together various events that would prove to have long-lasting consequences, including the Elian Gonzalez immigration case and the disputed 2000 election between Al Gore and George W. Bush. He also charts the chilling ease with which Al Qaeda operatives were able to enroll in Florida flight schools undetected and, more humorously, the failed presidential campaign of Donald Trump, who entered the race as a Reform Party candidate. Rice focuses in on a few key people during that year, including Attorney General Janet Reno, who oversaw Elian Gonzalez's return to Cuba; Al Gore, who distanced himself from President Clinton on the campaign trail; and David Boies, who represented Al Gore in Bush v. Gore. While a few of Rice's contentions feel forced, his narrative is propulsive and entertaining and he manages to make the outcome of that fateful election seem anything but assured. This book will appeal to readers of popular history à la Erik Larson's work. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Journalist Rice (The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not Forget) offers a fast-paced and jam-packed political and cultural history of America in the year 2000. Pointing out that Florida was where some of the 9/11 hijackers learned to fly, where Donald Trump first planned to run for president, and where the controversy over Elián Gonzalez's immigration case played out, Rice characterizes the state as the "crucible" from which 21st-century America emerged. He vividly describes the family dynamics and hard-nosed tactics behind George W. Bush's political ascendancy, the impact Al Gore's candidacy had on his relationship with Bill Clinton, and the Supreme Court's 5–4 decision to end the Florida recount and award the presidency to Bush. Along the way, Rice offers new details about such well-known events as the "Brooks Brothers Riot" and weaves in the unlikely story of a Black Wall Street executive involved in a money-laundering and arms-trafficking scheme with links to Osama bin Laden. Impressively sourced and energetically written, this is a rollicking account of how the country got to where it is today. (Feb.) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Drawing from interviews, court records, FOIA requests, and original archival research, a contributing editor at New York magazine looks back to the year 2000--a turning point year that proved momentous and transformative for American politics and the fate of the nation.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Drawing from interviews, court recodes, FOIA requests and original archival research, a contributing editor at New York magazine takes us back to the year 2000—a turning point year that proved momentous and transformative for American politics and the fate of the nation. 30,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

“In his beautifully crafted and rigorously reported volume, Andrew Rice takes readers back to Florida in 2000, laying out a cultural and political history of a moment at which America’s political system was turned inside out, its power structures upended. The Year That Broke America is vivid and wide-ranging; it also happens to be a page turner.”—Rebecca Traister, bestselling author of Good and Mad“Engrossing, insightful, tragic and above all, irresistible.”— Ronald BrownsteinCombining the compelling insight of Nixonland and the narrative verve of Ladies and Gentleman: The Bronx is Burning, a journalist’s definitive cultural and political history of the fatefully important moment when American politics and culture turned: the year 2000.Before there was Coronavirus, before there was the contentious 2020 election or the entire Trump presidency, there was a turning-point year that proved momentous and transformative for American politics and the fate of the nation. That year was 2000, the last year of America’s unchallenged geopolitical dominance, the year Mark Burnett created Survivor and a new form of celebrity, the year a little Cuban immigrant became the focus of a media circus, the year Donald Trump flirted with running for President (and failed miserably), the year a group of Al Qaeda operatives traveled to America to learn to fly planes. They all converged in Florida, where that fall, the most important presidential election in generations was decided by the slimmest margin imaginable. But the year 2000 was also the moment when the authority of the political system was undermined by technical malfunctions;  when the legal system was compromised by the justices of the Supreme Court; when the financial system was devalued by deregulation, speculation, creative securitization, and scam artistry; when the mainstream news media was destabilized by the propaganda power of Fox News and the supercharged speed of the internet; when the power of tastemakers, gatekeepers, and cultural elites was diminished by a dawning recognition of its irrelevance.Expertly synthesizing many hours of interviews, court records, FOIA requests, and original archival research, Andrew Rice marshals an impressive cast of dupes, schmucks, superstars, politicians, and shameless scoundrels in telling the fascinating story of this portentous year that marked a cultural watershed. Back at the start of the new millennium it was easy to laugh and roll our eyes about the crazy events in Florida in the year 2000—but what happened then and there has determined where we are and who we’ve become.