“I tell my Republican friends they need to read this book – but I tell my fellow Democrats that it’s even more important that they read this book.”
That’s what a longtime Democratic lobbyist and friend of my husband said after getting one of the first advance copies of his new book.
I say this up front because I have to admit I was nervous to write this post about a political book on our deliberately, and adamantly, non-political blog. Then I thought, how can I not write about my husband co-authoring a book for Penguin Random House? I mean he got a major book deal – and he’d never written a book before. I obviously love him and am so proud of him and this major accomplishment.
I hesitated on this post because the book is political and selling clothes and shoes must always remain a bipartisan endeavor! Bipartisanship is tough today. One look at your social media feed will tell you that almost any topic can be spun into a polarized, political confrontation. I am not a Facebook-er but I have heard about some of the things people say to one another – people they ostensibly call “friends” – and it makes me want to hide under a desk. I am surprised how we “speak” to one another these days.
I am from a “split marriage.” My mom’s a Democrat and my dad a Republican. Growing up, on election day they would announce they were going to the polls to cancel the other one out. My mom’s family was very political and when I visited my grandparents’ farm they would teach me to go home and say to my father, “I am a big Democrat.”
My granddaddy was elected four times as the Judge-Executive in Lincoln County, Kentucky. At the time, he was the executive, judicial, and legislative branch of the county; he literally ran the place. My first political memory is handing out logo’ed emery boards for his campaign. My second is hearing a woman at a store saying she would (falsely) tell police officers she was Earl Butcher’s granddaughter to get out of speeding tickets. Being Democrats was a public part of my grandparents’ identity, yet when he died in 1990, the man who gave Granddaddy’s eulogy was the Republican who replaced him in office. Things were different then.
In the last election I was as surprised by the result. Weren’t we all? I remember sitting in my kitchen watching the Today Show when Trump first announced his candidacy and I thought I was watching a reality show; I figured it was a media stunt and surely this would be short lived. Then he kept winning primaries, and I could not quite understand what was going on.
The book is not an attempt at advocacy; it’s stories about real people. Brad and his co-author traveled to the five states in the Great Lakes that switched from voting for Obama to voting for Trump. They spent time in places that gave Trump more votes than any Republican in 24 years. They backed up their interviews with survey research.
In yesterday’s USA Today, opinion columnist Glenn Harlan Reynolds wrote, “Both inquiries produced a lot of useful material that both Democrats and Republicans would be well advised to study and internalize.”
The Louisville Courier Journal wrote, “The revealing conversations peel back the layers of a complicated American onion.”
There is a book signing at Barnes & Noble in Alexandria’s Potomac Yards with his co-author, syndicated columnist and CNN contributor Salena Zito, this Saturday, May 12, from 2-4:30pm and they will appear at a National Press Club Headliners Book Event on Wednesday, May 23 at 6:30pm.
We live in a company town, the political capital of the world. Having open, reasoned dialog about voters in America is important for our democracy. Brad’s book seeks to advance that conversation. Give The Great Revolt a look.
Heard the buzz? The Shoe Hive & The Hive are a pair of luxury boutiques in Old Town Alexandria. Featuring both big name designers like Rag & Bone and Stuart Weitzman and smaller brands like AGL and L'Agence, our unique selection and impeccable service are what set us apart.
The Shoe Hive The Hive
127 S. Fairfax Street 301 Cameron Street
Alexandria, VA 22314 Alexandria, VA 22314