Ari Berman | Ari Berman - Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party
Herding Donkeys - a book by Ari Berman
Barack Obama campaign, grassroots campaign, modern american politics, howard dean, political power struggle, howard dean grassroots, obama grassroots, democratic party revival, obama history, grassroots activism, Ari Berman book, american politics, Give us the Ballot, Herding Donkeys, ari berman nation, american political revolution, voting rights in america, voting rights unfair, political books, american democracy, rebuild the democratic party
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Herding Donkeys

In 2008, Barack Obama’s groundbreaking presidential campaign seemingly rewrote all the rules in electoral politics and heralded a new progressive era in America. What has become of the thrilling grassroots political movement that defined Obama’s campaign and reshaped the electoral map? Ari Berman’s Herding Donkeys answers and illuminates this vital question, mapping the evolution of modern American politics from Howard Dean to the Tea Party, and painting a vivid picture of the fight for political power in America today.

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“Ari Berman tells the rollicking and rousing story of the fight for the soul of the Democratic party that has reshaped American politics. Full of riveting revelations, vivid reporting, and a cast of colorful characters, Herding Donkeys captures the exhilaration of the grassroots insurgency that Howard Dean launched—and Obama seized—to realign our political map. At a time of disillusionment with establishment politics, this book is solace for the soul. It is a timely reminder that the grit of tenacious organizers and antiestablishment politicians in red, blue, and purple states alike offers Hope 2.0.”

—Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editor and Publisher, The Nation

“The resurgence of the Democratic Party in the past two election cycles is one of the most important—and least understood—political stories of the new century. Ari Berman tells that tale with reportorial verve, a keen eye, a sharp pen, and a wealth of fresh insight. If you want to understand the grassroots revival of progressivism in America, and also the new challenges and aching disappointments that have come along with it, this is the book to read.”

—John Heilemann, national political columnist for New York magazine and coauthor of Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of Lifetime

“Berman’s book is the Howard Zinn version (of the Democratic comeback), the story of the people who were pushed out of the frame.”

—David Weigel, Slate

“Berman approaches his subject with a measured objectivity, digging into local political divides and peculiarities with a gumshoe’s just-the-facts approach.”

—Raymond Cummings, Baltimore City Paper

“Lively (and) instructive, in some ways especially now.”

—Michael Tomasky, New York Review of Books

“Superb … draws back the curtain on what has actually been happening in the door-knocking, home-entering, meaningful-conversation-having politics of the last five years.”

—Ian Epstein, Newcity

“Berman’s book is a worthwhile document of a American political revolution.”

—Justin Moyer, Christian Science Monitor

“Berman’s voluminous reporting…chronicles how the Democrats’ harnessing of grass-roots activism ultimately propelled Barack Obama to the White House in 2008.”

—Chuck Leddy, Boston Globe

“Berman, a youthful writer for the Nation, knows his politics, and it shows.”

—Walter Shapiro, Washington Monthly

“In his debut, Berman gives the reader an intriguing behind-the-scenes look at how the Obama campaign built on the grassroots movement that had catapulted (Howard) Dean to prominence . . . Engaging and balanced—a stand-out book.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Herding Donkeys is political reporting at its finest. In his spirited debut, Ari Berman takes readers inside the back rooms and living rooms where politics actually happens, but his novel vantage point doesn’t prevent him from rendering the tough but fair judgments every great political reporter needs to make. This is a ripping account of the Democratic Party through an intense period of historic transformation.”

—Michael Tomasky, author of Hillary’s Turn: Inside Her Improbable, Victorious Senate Campaign

“While a scoop-rich tome like John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s Game Change can tell us a lot about how campaigns are won and lost from the top down, Berman’s more thoughtful book is equally good fun in telling the story of the election from the bottom up.”

—Dana Goldstein, The American Prospect

“Ari Berman has written a political narrative so revelatory and exhilarating it kept me up nights reading. Herding Donkeys is some of the freshest and incisive political reporting out there, and Berman, who has the keen eye of a novelist, is one heck of a storyteller.”

—Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America

“Herding Donkeys is essential to understanding how the Democratic Party came back from the dead in 2006 and 2008. But it’s especially good at explaining what happened to all of Barack Obama’s grassroots energy. This is a hopeful but also sobering tale, told with strong inside reporting.”

—Jonathan Alter, author of The Promise: President Obama, Year One

“With a keen appreciation of political strategy as well as an eye for telling anecdote and amusing detail, Ari Berman tells the amazing story of the Democratic party’s revival. Berman’s reporting vindicates the fifty-state strategy of Howard Dean and the determined organizing of Barack Obama—and shows why grassroots activism is still the most potent force for change in America.”

—Joe Conason, author of Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth

“Mr. Berman, a smart young liberal journalist who writes for the Nation, isn’t merely a pundit hopping on the Obama bandwagon a bit too late. His book—about how grass-roots progressives helped to revive Democratic fortunes and make Mr. Obama president—is a well-reported tour de force that would be worth reading as a snapshot in time even if the Democrats went the way of the Whigs after November.”

—W. James Antle III, The Wall Street Journal

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