How did the party of Lincoln become the party of Trump? From an acclaimed political reporter for The New York Times comes the definitive story of the mutiny that shattered American politics.
“A bracing account of how the party of Lincoln and Reagan was hijacked by gadflies and grifters who reshaped their movement into becoming an anti-democratic cancer that attacked the U.S. Capitol.”—Joe Scarborough
Jeremy W. Peters’s epic narrative chronicles the fracturing of the Republican Party. Insurgency is a fantasia-like story of a party establishment that believed it could control the dark energy it helped foment—right up until it suddenly couldn’t. How, Peters asks, did conservative values that Republicans claimed to cherish, like small government, fiscal responsibility, and morality in public service, get completely eroded as an unshakable faith in Donald Trump grew to define the party?
The answer is a tale traced across three decades—with new reporting and firsthand accounts from the people who were there—of populist uprisings that destabilized the party. The signs of conflict were plainly evident for anyone who cared to look. After Barack Obama’s election convinced many Republicans that they faced an existential demographics crossroads, many believed the only way to save the party was to create a more inclusive and diverse coalition. But party leaders underestimated the energy and popular appeal of those who would pull the party in the opposite direction. They failed to see how the right-wing media they hailed as truth-telling was warping the reality in which their voters lived. And they did not understand the complicated moral framework by which many conservatives would view Trump, leading evangelicals and one-issue voters to shed Republican orthodoxy if it delivered a Supreme Court that would undo Roe v. Wade.
In this sweeping history, Peters details key junctures and episodes to unfurl the story of a revolution from within. Its architects had little interest in the America of the new century but a deep understanding of the iron will of a shrinking minority. With Trump as their polestar, their gamble paid greater dividends than they’d ever imagined, extending the life of far-right conservatism in United States domestic policy into the next half century.