It’s tempting to look at the 1990s as a golden age of American politics. Foreign wars were quick and decisive, economic growth was robust and federal budgets were balanced. But, in fact, it was a decade that set the stage for the current politics of gridlock and discord, journalist Steve Kornacki argues in this detailed recap of the political trajectories of Newt Gingrich – who plays a central role in Kornacki’s tale – and Bill Clinton. Seeking to launch a conservative revolution, Gingrich brought a new brand of bare-knuckle politics to a House of Representatives where compromise had, previously, ruled the day. Kornacki serves up a neutral retelling of the politics of the 1990s, and he barely mentions Donald Trump. But this history leaves little doubt that Trump is a direct descendant of Gingrich, not to mention the tough-talking ’90s figures Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan.
About the Author
Steve Kornacki is a national political correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Roll Call and The New York Times.