A thoroughly researched and ultimately persuasive telling of how the Democrats arrived at their current crossroads.

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A political book offers a history of the populist left in America from 1988 to the present.

As Joe Biden leads the Democratic primary field, some voters may recall his first, failed campaign for president back in 1988. But Grim (This Is Your Country on Drugs, 2009) argues that the most influential candidate in that race was not Biden or even the ultimate Democratic nominee, Michael Dukakis. Rather, it was the man challenging Dukakis from the left, the civil rights leader and minister Jesse Jackson. Though Jackson ran a competitive but unsuccessful campaign, his call for a “Rainbow Coalition” of voters from across the racial and gender spectrum in order to confront the “economic violence” that affected them all proved prophetic of leftist politics to come. The unexpectedly popular 2016 campaign of Bernie Sanders and the subsequent election and celebrity of progressive candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have reshaped the Democratic Party and revealed widespread dissatisfaction with America’s racial and economic status quo. With this book, the author tracks the development of these ideas across the last three decades, from moments of centrist dominance—and sabotage—to glimmers of true reform. A seasoned journalist, Grim delivers prose that is smooth and often gripping, even when describing floor votes involving U.S. Representative Bart Stupak: “In March, Stupak and his gang of anti-choice dissidents eventually came around to a compromise on abortion and voted in favor of the bill. During the floor debate, a Republican shouted ‘baby killer’ at Stupak while he spoke.” The complexity of the political process really shines through—inattentive readers may at times lose the thread—but the author is able to show how each event relates to his central argument. Grim has a clear agenda and ends by warning voters to stop being pundits and vote for the politicians they actually admire: economic progressives such as Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, not moderates like Biden whom they perceive to be electable. Even so, this behind-the-scenes account of the internal struggles within the Democratic Party will be of interest even to those who don’t have red roses in their Twitter profiles.

A thoroughly researched and ultimately persuasive telling of how the Democrats arrived at their current crossroads.

Pub Date: May 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-947492-38-7

Page Count: 401

Publisher: Strong Arm Press

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2019



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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