The Corruption of the American Republic

Book - 2018600
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A New York Times Bestseller!

Bestselling author, former White House speechwriter, and Atlantic columnist and media commentator David Frum explains why President Trump has undermined our most important institutions in ways even the most critical media has missed, in this thoughtful and hard-hitting book that is a warning for democracy and America's future.

"From Russia to South Africa, from Turkey to the Philippines, from Venezuela to Hungary, authoritarian leaders have smashed restraints on their power. Media freedom and judicial independence have eroded. The right to vote remains, but the right to have one's vote counted fairly may not. Until the US presidential election of 2016, the global decline of democracy seemed a concern for other peoples in other lands. . . . That complacent optimism has been upended by the political rise of Donald Trump. The crisis is upon Americans, here and now."

Quietly, steadily, Trump and his administration are damaging the tenets and accepted practices of American democracy, perhaps irrevocably. As he and his family enrich themselves, the presidency itself falls into the hands of the generals and financiers who surround him.

While much of the country has been focused on Russia, David Frum has been collecting the lies, obfuscations, and flagrant disregard for the traditional limits placed on the office of the presidency. In Trumpocracy, he documents how Trump and his administration are steadily damaging the tenets and accepted practices of American democracy. During his own White House tenure as George W. Bush's speechwriter, Frum witnessed the ways the presidency is limited not by law but by tradition, propriety, and public outcry, all now weakened. Whether the Trump presidency lasts two, four, or eight more years, he has changed the nature of the office for the worse, and likely for decades.

In this powerful and eye-opening book, Frum makes clear that the hard work of recovery starts at home. Trumpocracy outlines how Trump could push America toward illiberalism, what the consequences could be for our nation and our everyday lives, and what we can do to prevent it.

Publisher: New York, N.Y. :, Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, , [2018]600
ISBN: 9780062796738
Branch Call Number: 973.933092 Fru
Characteristics: xvi, 301 pages ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

tomato Feb 07, 2018

Excellent book, though a bit chilling. Frum is normally more conservative than I'd like, but he lays out Trump and the Republican party for all to see, and the picture isn't pretty.

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May 07, 2018

I am beginning to feel like the frog placed in a kettle of water over a low flame. Although I am an avid reader of news, I do not maintain notes of what I read. Reading David Frum's meticulously gathered information about Trump's actions, and those of the rump kissers who surround him, as he interacts with others should have the ordinary and caring Janes and Joes that make up this great nation of ours shivering in their boots and sandals. Secret deals with those (inside and outside our borders) who work to bring us down, money skimming (stealing) to fill the Trump coffers, onerous tax and health programs, and more are easily and simply outlined in Frum's "Trumpocracy." His wide and diverse resource notes are included to provide more in-depth information for readers who might not otherwise believe what one man says.

As a nation we occasionally stumble, but we are great--and NOT because of Trump who rather than draining the swamp is doing everything in his power to enlarge it. If we don't get out of the kettle, and soon, we'll all be served up on a plate. Bread and a circus are transitory; we deserve better.

May 06, 2018

Trump captured the Republican nomination by exploiting the growing rift between the party's elitist establishment and its rank and file voters; now this same privileged group is Trump's primary enabler

Apr 24, 2018

Really, are all these books on Trump really necessary????????????!!!!!!!
All one need know is that Trump's appointee to head the SEC is also head of WMB Holdings, with his wifey, which is the parent company of CSC, or Corporation Services Company, one of THE major tax haven-creation entities in existence.
In other words, the new SEC head is king of the tax havens!
Of course, Trump's Treasury secretary, Mnuchin, was one of the fraudclosure kings, those types which neither Bush nor Obama sent to prison, and is then rewarded by Trump - - and his DoE secretary, DeVoss, is sister to Erik Prince, agent of China [Frontier Services Group], which SHOULD automatically bar her from holding any Cabinet-level position, as well as any type of security clearance!!!

Apr 24, 2018

further reading on this topic:
“Trump and the Alt-Right Are Not the Real America : Take it from a new American.”
by Yascha Mounk 1982-, posted at The Good Fight : How to Save Liberal Democracy, Slate
about the author:
Yascha Mounk is a Lecturer on Political Theory at Harvard University's Government Department

Apr 19, 2018

Bravo to David Frum, a conservative Republican who has the backbone to call out the excesses of the Trump administration. Where are the spineless leaders of the GOP such as Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan when our democracy is in such danger? This is a time for politicians to put our country ahead of their party. Frum outlines in plain terms the concerns that thoughtful Republicans have about the excesses and abuses of power that Trump and his sycophants and family members have demonstrated. A highly recommended, thoughtful, and scary book indeed. Strongly recommended.

Apr 14, 2018

Being a person of the left persuasion, I was intrigued by a book, critical of Trump, written by a conservative Republican, David Frum. Frum believes in democracy and explores all of the authoritarian acts of Trump and his followers, who have little concept of what constitutes a democracy. Frum doesn't say it, but I will say it - America's new exploration of authoritarianism has come about partially because Americans are ignorant of the rise of fascism in Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia and Japan in the last century. And today, those without a college education know little of the techniques and horrors of totalitarianism. While Frum is a conservative, he admits he is now accepting of the LGBT community and he suggests much of the nation's problem is that the wealth inequality is worse now than in the last 100 years. He must be horrified of the Republican tax cut (after the release of his book) in which the vast majority of the cuts goes to the top 1%, exacerbating even more the nation's inequality.

Mar 04, 2018

David Frum lays out the path that led to Donald Trump's election. He points out the rot started in 2000, with economic concerns and divisive politics causing voters to be more dis-trustful not just of elected officials but of the rules that govern the ethos of governance. His list of "Pre-Existing Conditions" points out all the ways politicians used and abused their authority for ideological ends.
Also, he explains how Trump voters fall for conspiracy theories and fake news in a media echo chamber that Donald Trump also follows.

tomato Feb 07, 2018

Excellent book, though a bit chilling. Frum is normally more conservative than I'd like, but he lays out Trump and the Republican party for all to see, and the picture isn't pretty.

Jan 31, 2018

What a disappointing effort from David Frum!  While I do not share many of the author's political convictions, he is one of the writers I turn to to better understand neoconservative Republican viewpoints.  His writing in "The Atlantic" magazine, where Frum is a senior editor, is usually crisp and his points well substantiated, so I was looking forward to reading a strongly argued position expanding on his many articles addressing the peculiarities of the Trump campaign and presidency.  I was specifically interested in reading more about a concern he raised in the March 2017 issue of the magazine, addressing a trend since 2000 of the slow and insidious erosion of world democracies and the subsequent rise of authoritarianism.

"Trumpocracy" makes some fair points and has a few highly quotable tidbits, but the title largely comes across as a disorganized, rambling, low-energy rant, obsessively cataloguing the multiple transgressions of Trump against political norms, while offering little of the cogent analysis or historical perspective that would have made his argument regarding the dangers to our democracy persuasive or even understandable. Frum's railing at the rise of Trump seems to arise more from anger at the Republican Party's know-nothing populist lurch sidelining his neoconservative friends and principles rather than arising from a genuine concern for our nation.

If you are interested in the question of whether Trump's political behavior presents a threat to our democracy, I would highly suggest reading "How Democracies Die" instead.  Where the arguments in "Trumpocracy" are a scattershot, angry reaction to the abuses of Trump and his circle, the authors of "How Democracies Die" take the time and care to organize their points, supporting them with historical and comparative examples, with the effect that the reader is informed rather than inflamed.  "HDD" confines its argument to Trump's damage to the mechanisms and norms of democracy, and this sharper focus helps their case.


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Feb 24, 2018

I was accosted by an attendee who objected to my comments in a panel discussion. My interlocutor said something like, "We cant't stop Donald Trump by going soft. If we want to stop him, we have to imitate him." I answered, "But if you imitate him, you won't stop him. You'll only replace him." pg.235

Feb 24, 2018

If conservatives become convinced they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy. The stability of American society depends on conservatives' ability to find a way forward from the Trump dead end, toward a conservatism that can not only win elections but also govern responsibly, a conservatism that is culturally modern, economically inclusive, and environmentally responsible... pg.207

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