Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from Library
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
From Fox News' politics editor Chris Stirewalt -- a fun and lively account of America's populist tradition, from Andrew Jackson and Teddy Roosevelt, to Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan, and Donald Trump.
Whatever the ideological fad of the moment, American populism has always been home to a fascinating assortment of charismatic leaders, characters, kooks, cranks, and sometimes charlatans who have - with widely varying degrees of success - led the charge of ordinary folks who have gotten wise to the ways of the swamp.
This attitude of skeptical resentment also makes populism a fertile field for the work of conspiracy theorists and other enthusiastic apostates from civic convention. After all, if the people in power are found to be rigging one part of the system, why not the rest?
EVERY MAN A KING tells the stories of America's populist leaders, from an elderly Andrew Jackson brutally caning his would-be-assassin, to William Jennings Bryan's pre-speech routine that combined equally prodigious quantities of prayer and food, to Ross Perot's military-style campaign that made even volunteers wear badges with stars to show rank. It is a rollicking history of an American attitude that has shaped not only our current moment, but also the long struggle over who gets to define the truths we hold to be self evident.
I ended up enjoying this. It is what Mr. Stirewalt said it was-popcorn history. It is short and easy to digest.
I am not the biggest fan of Mr. Stirewalt. He can be a little pretentious which he does own. But he also does know his history. We both are not the biggest fans of populism. It was interesting to read about populism over the course of American history-most of which I didn't know about.
This book was definitely inspired by the rise and election of Trump in 2016. He does address this and how it connects to the populism of the past. But he doesn't dwell on Trump and the current situation in America. I for one, am grateful for that.
This was a fun, easy read. I'm glad I listened to the audiobook and would recommend it.
Thanks for reading!