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Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics – Book Salon Preview

Sunday, October 10, 2010 5:00pm Eastern

Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics

Chat with Ari Berman about his new book. Hosted by Joe Trippi.

After the 2004 election, the Republican Party held the White House, both houses of Congress, twenty-eight governorships, and a majority of state legislatures. One-party rule, it seemed, was here to stay.

Herding Donkeys tells the improbable tale of the grassroots resurgence that transformed the Democratic Party from a lonely minority to a sizable majority. It chronicles the inside story of Howard Dean’s visionary yet deeply controversial fifty-state strategy, charting his unpredictable journey from insurgent presidential candidate, to front-running flameout, to chairman and conscience of the Democratic Party in an unexpected third act. Ari Berman reveals how the Obama campaign built upon Dean’s strategy when others ridiculed it, expanding the ranks of the party and ultimately laying the groundwork for Obama’s historic electoral victory—but also sowing the seeds of dissent that would lead to legislative stalemate and intraparty strife.

Revelatory and entertaining, in the vein of Timothy Crouse’s The Boys on the Bus and Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland, Herding Donkeys combines fresh reportage with a rich and colorful cast of characters.It captures the untold stories of the people and places thatreshaped the electoral map, painting a vivid portrait of a shiftingcountry while dissecting the possibility and peril of a new era in American politics.

ARI BERMAN is a political correspondent for The Nation and an Investigative Journalism Fellow at the Nation Institute. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, and he is a frequent commentator on MSNBC and National Public Radio. He lives in New York City. (

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