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Every Man a King

A Short, Colorful History of American Populists
Narrated by: Chris Stirewalt
Length: 4 hrs and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (90 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From Fox News' politics editor Chris Stirewalt - a fun and lively account of America's populist tradition, from Andrew Jackson and Teddy Roosevelt to Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan, and Donald Trump.

Whatever the ideological fad of the moment, American populism has always been home to a fascinating assortment of charismatic leaders, characters, kooks, cranks, and sometimes charlatans who have - with widely varying degrees of success - led the charge of ordinary folks who have gotten wise to the ways of the swamp.

This attitude of skeptical resentment also makes populism a fertile field for the work of conspiracy theorists and other enthusiastic apostates from civic convention. After all, if the people in power are found to be rigging one part of the system, why not the rest?

Every Man a King tells the stories of America's populist leaders, from an elderly Andrew Jackson brutally caning his would-be-assassin to William Jennings Bryan's pre-speech routine that combined equally prodigious quantities of prayer and food to Ross Perot's military-style campaign that made even volunteers wear badges with stars to show rank. It is a rollicking history of an American attitude that has shaped not only our current moment, but also the long struggle over who gets to define the truths we hold to be self evident.

©2018 Chris Stirewalt (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Chris Stirewalt believes history should be told as a story - and I'll tell you what, he sure can write one. Every Man a King is a gallop through America's populist history that helps everything make a lot more sense. Chris has a wonderful way with words. It is a pleasure to read and to learn from him. I recommend his debut book highly and can't wait to discuss it with his many fans." (Dana Perino, best-selling author of And the Good News Is... and host of The Daily Briefing)

"President Trump likes to say that America has 'never seen' a movement like his before. This is both true and false. America has seen and been transformed by many populist movements almost since its founding. But each one is distinct, because each one arises from its own unique moment in history. In easily-and enjoyably!-digestible bites, Chris Stirewalt gives us a wonderful tasting menu of American populism, from Andrew Jackson to Ross Perot, illuminating the differences and commonalities along the way. Every Man a King is a great introduction to one of the most under-appreciated and relevant issues of our day." (Jonah Goldberg, best-selling author of Suicide of the West)

"Populists can be destabilizers who threaten order and tap into dark impulses. They can also be a ton of fun. Add all of it together and you get Chris Stirewalt's Every Man A King, a clear-eyed survey of this uniquely American species that is also one exhilarating romp of a read." (Steve Kornacki, NBC and MSNBC News, author of The Red and the Blue)

What members say

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Education delivered in a most entertaining way.

Mr. Stirewalt schools us in history while applying its repeated lessons to our current political environment. You cannot help but be assured that this too shall pass and all shall be well in our democracy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A view from the left.

I’m a lifelong liberal but I enjoyed this book. Harry Truman had some remark about there being nothing new under the sun except the history you don’t know. That certainly applies here.

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Glorious Fun and Fascinating History

I deeply enjoyed this book. He brought personality to these historical figures that made them more people than cartoons. He dug deeply into motivations and the resulting impact of these figures. His love for America is evident in every word. His hope for the endurance of our system of government is poignant. I feel better for reading this book.

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Brilliant!

Chris Stirewalt is a master of taking complicated situations and ideas and making them simple and easy to understand. He does this without unnecessary flair and opinion, making the facts stand out for themselves. I was familiar with nearly everything that was in this book, but I had never heard them all told from this perspective. It was enlightening and a truly unique view of our political history. I cannot recommend this book enough, it was fantastic.

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A Walk Down Memory Lane

This book explained the history of presidential campaigns! Many that I have lived through and ones I never learned about in American History class! Thanks Chris!

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  • Philo
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 10-11-18

Good angle on US history, brisk but thoughtful

I enjoyed this one plenty. I was vaguely aware of the basic histories of these men, but this was good to hear end-to-end, and with some good quotes and details. It provides heaps of context for the current presidency, tying those various threads together better than any other account I have seen. I have better comprehension of current politics as a result. The author was a fine narrator of his work.

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An entertaining and Sobering Read

I was entertained, informed and cautioned against following political messiahs who claim to have all the answers. I was also motivated to read biographies of the lives of some of these outrageous leaders.

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I'll tell you what, that was a good book.

enjoyed this thoroughly. I will definately give it another playthrough in the future. The companion podcast every man a king, is very good for filling in additional details.

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  • Kasey
  • South Point, OH
  • 09-18-18

short and to the point

well written and informative. great job! your knowledge and insight into our American political history astounds me. I also enjoy your podcast. looking forward to learning more about our past from you in the near future. thanks!