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Books by and about 2012 presidential nominees
Do Not Ask What Good We Do
about Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
The Path to Prosperity
by Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
Ten Letters
about Pres. Barack Obama (2011)
A Life of Trial and Redemption
about V.P. Joe Biden (2010)
No Apology
by Gov. Mitt Romney (2010)
Young Guns
by Rep. Paul Ryan et al (2010)
The Path to Prosperity
by Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
Promises to Keep
by Vice Pres. Joe Biden (2007)
The Audacity of Hope
by Pres. Barack Obama (2006)
Turnaround
by Gov. Mitt Romney (2004)
Dreams from My Father
by Pres. Barack Obama (1996)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

The Tea Party:
A Brief History
,
by Ronald Formisano



(Click for Amazon book review)

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

This book is another in OnTheIssues.org's continuing series attempting to define the Tea Party (see list of Tea Party books at bottom of page). This book does a great job outlining the Tea Party's issue stances, in particular on social issues. Most analysts point out that the Tea Party really has no stances on social issues, since the movement is primarily devoted to economic issues. The author here instead cites polling data to describe where large majorities of Tea Partiers stand on one side or the other of social issues, or where they are mostly split.

The author's personal take on the Tea Party is not a purely positive analysis. He repeatedly describes the Tea Party as "astroturf," which means they receive funding from large organizations to pay for signature gatherers and event attendance. The term "astroturf" is a negative contrast to "grassroots," which means that Tea Partiers are self-motivated enthusiastic volunteers. The author does acknowledge the Tea Party's mix of astroturf funding and grassroots volunteerism.

The book outlines the history of the Tea Party including its historical reference to the 1700s Boston Tea Party (which evidently was not called that until decades later). The book also differentiates the Tea Party movement from its conservative cousins, the religious right and libertarians. The author notes for many candidates and members of Congress which received Tea Party support in addition to Christian conservative support, and which received Tea Party support without the religious right. The author differentiates libertarianism too, labeling most conservatives as preferring "Libertarianism With Benefits" (a charming term we believe this book coined).

The author's personal opinion on the Tea Party is exemplified by this excerpt: "The contemporary antitax climate is not hospitable to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis's observation that taxes are the price we pay for civilization." (p. 105) Citing Brandeis usually indicates a progressive viewpoint; but in this context we'll assume the author is a mainstream observer of the Tea Party--this book is a solid outline from that perspective.

-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@OnTheIssues.org, May 2012
 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Civil Rights
    Lynn Westmoreland: Display the Ten Commandments in public historical settings.
    Michele Bachmann: Homosexuality is a dysfunction and reversible by prayer.
Environment
    Paul LePage: OpEd: Pro-business assault on environmental regulations.
Government Reform
    Paul LePage: Replaced same-day voter registration with photo ID rule.
Health Care
    Joe Walsh: Opted out of Congress' health insurance plan.
Principles & Values
    Tea Party: 2010: 52 Tea Party Caucus members among 87 GOP freshmen.
Tax Reform
    Ross Perot: Increase taxes on the wealthy.


The above quotations are from The Tea Party:
A Brief History
,
by Ronald Formisano
.
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