The Conservative Revolutionaries Who Remade American Politics in the 1990s

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Aug 30, 2022




A bold new history of modern conservatism that finds its origins in the populist right-wing politics of the 1990s 
Ronald Reagan has long been lionized for building a conservative coalition sustained by an optimistic vision of American exceptionalism, small government, and free markets. But as historian Nicole Hemmer reveals, the Reagan coalition was short-lived; it fell apart as soon as its charismatic leader left office. In the 1990s — a decade that has yet to be recognized as the breeding ground for today’s polarizing politics — changing demographics and the emergence of a new political-entertainment media fueled the rise of combative far-right politicians and pundits. These partisans, from Pat Buchanan and Newt Gingrich to Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham, forged a new American right that emphasized anti-globalism, appeals to white resentment, and skepticism about democracy itself.  
Partisans is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the crisis of American politics today. 


Nicole Hemmer’s Partisans shines fresh, provocative light on America’s political history, showing that Ronald Reagan’s anointed successors were not  public servants so much as performance artists growing rich and powerful by selling division and resentment. Partisans provides a whole new meaning to the Reagan Revolution by focusing on the charlatans of the 1990’s it spawned. —Jane Mayer, Chief Washington Correspondent, The New Yorker
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