So My Husband Wrote a Book…

“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.

People who knew that my husband is a Republican ad maker (his 2016 candidate was Bobby Jindal) often asked me how this could occur. Brad’s book, The Great Revolt, is an attempt to answer these questions in a serious and thoughtful way and spark a conversation about what comes next, in politics and in commerce.

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.”

The Great Revolt comes out today and you can buy a copy here or go here and type in your zip code to find a local bookseller.

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.

 

  • The latest from Elizabeth
I spent the first part of my career as a copy-writer who helped elected officials brag about their support for entrepreneurs. Then I decided to get off the printed page and do it myself. The Shoe Hive made a splash on the fashion scene in Washington, and was named the region’s best shoe store in its first year. Fourteen years later, I have tripled the store’s size and also opened a sister store, The Hive. At The Hive, we offer clothing lines that are sophisticated and approachable like Rag & Bone, Tibi, Raquel Allegra, Ulla Johnson and Veronica Beard. We have tried to fill our racks with clothing you will want to wear all the time, elevated basics that are worth the investment.

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.

www.theshoehive.com

The Shoe Hive                         The Hive
127 S. Fairfax Street               301 Cameron Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
              Alexandria, VA 22314

703.548.7105                          703.548.7110

3 Comments

  1. Nancy Smith says:

    I read Elizabeth’s post with fascination and appreciation. Now I can’t wait to read the book. And I’m a DEMOCRAT!

  2. Susan G says:

    This is so exciting, Elizabeth. I look forward to reading this book!

  3. Anne Marshall says:

    I’m buying this book for my birthday present to me. I’m a Trump supporter and love what you said about your grandfather’s funeral– “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.” Things need to get back to that place where opposite sides listened to one other and actually RESPECTED one another’s point of view. Thank you, and your husband, for having the courage to discuss the view from a different side. Hillbilly Elegy is also that kind of book. I know you are not pro Trump but at least you are willing to try and understand the shift in this country without labeling everyone an insane Nazi, a crazy Christian evangelical Bible thumper or other ugly slur. I look forward to reading the book.

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