Change They Can't Believe In

  • by Christopher S. Parker, Matt A. Barreto
  • Narrated by Ax Norman
  • 8 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Are Tea Party supporters merely a group of conservative citizens concerned about government spending? Or are they racists who refuse to accept Barack Obama as their president because he's not white? Change They Can't Believe In offers an alternative argument--that the Tea Party is driven by the reemergence of a reactionary movement in American politics that is fueled by a fear that America has changed for the worse. Providing a range of original evidence and rich portraits of party sympathizers as well as activists, Christopher Parker and Matt Barreto show that what actually pushes Tea Party supporters is not simple ideology or racism, but fear that the country is being stolen from "real Americans"--a belief triggered by Obama's election. From civil liberties and policy issues, to participation in the political process, the perception that America is in danger directly informs how Tea Party supporters think and act.
The authors argue that this isn't the first time a segment of American society has perceived the American way of life as under siege. In fact, movements of this kind often appear when some individuals believe that "American" values are under threat by rapid social changes. Drawing connections between the Tea Party and right-wing reactionary movements of the past, including the Know Nothing Party, the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s, and the John Birch Society, Parker and Barreto develop a framework that transcends the Tea Party to shed light on its current and future consequences.
Linking past and present reactionary movements, Change They Can't Believe In rigorously examines the motivations and political implications associated with today's Tea Party.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Helpful but slow

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Maybe -- there are interesting ideas in it but they're framed within bigger sociological studies, and it seems like the authors needed to define their terms very explicitly in each study. That can get repetitive and dull to listen to; if I were reading it I would skim these. Seems most useful for academics.

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- Becca

Intriguing research, but not much of a book

I very much appreciate the research upon which this book is based, and I find that the authors make a very credible case for their thesis that the Tea Party is just the latest manifestation of America's long history of reactionary, right-wing movements.

But in the end, for readers, it would have been better as a substantial, 30-40 page article. Simply put, the authors are researchers, not writers and it shows in constant summing up and "Here's what we're going to tell you ... now we're telling you ... now here's what we told you" academic approach. The prose is fairly dry and lifeless and the entire book feels inflated far beyond its interesting premises.

Also, it seems that there are some graphics, charts and so on in the printed version that obviously don't come through in an audiobook. Perhaps they make it more engaging.
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- C.B.E.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-26-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios