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Editorial Reviews

Editors Select, February 2017 - Judis' The Populist Explosion was named one of the "Six Books to Help Understand Trump's Win" by the New York Times, and while this is not a misnomer - there's no shortage of aha moments in terms of how the election panned out - it should be noted that the book was written before his win and with a focus on how populism is affecting the political landscape on a global level. Judis, therefore, forgoes diatribe and instead lays the historical groundwork for populism - a political logic that crosses party lines and champions ordinary people against an establishment - to show how the stage was set for Trump and Sanders as well as dramatic shifts in Europe. The result is a refreshing and enlightening examination of where we are and how we got here. —Doug, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

What's happening in global politics? As if overnight, many Democrats revolted and passionately backed a socialist named Bernie Sanders; the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union; the vituperative billionaire Donald Trump became the presidential nominee of the Republican party; and a slew of rebellious parties continued to win elections in Switzerland, Norway, Italy, Austria, and Greece.

John B. Judis, one of America's most respected political analysts, tells us why we need to learn about the populist movement that began in the United States in the 1890s, the politics of which have recurred on both sides of the Atlantic ever since. Populism, on both the right and the left, champions the people against an establishment, based on issues - globalization, free trade, immigration - on which there has been a strong elite consensus, but also a strong mass discontent that is now breaking out into the open.

The Populist Explosion is essential listening for our times as we grapple to understand the political forces at work here and in Europe.

©2016 John B. Judis (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Far and away the most incisive examination of the central development in contemporary politics: the rise of populism on both the right and the left. Superb." (Thomas Edsall, New York Times columnist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Best at the end

While the history of populism in the western world was interesting, it was the final chapter that really made this book worthwhile. As someone skeptical of populism, the book has made me more sympathetic to supporters of populist candidates.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • R. Bandyk
  • LaGrange Park, Illinois USA
  • 03-30-17

Listing of facts, history and conclusions...NOTHING MORE!!

It provides brief details on events and movements but truly is like listening to someone read a list of facts.

Not horrible in that I did learn something but far from what it could be.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Perspective

This book helped me process the recent US election by putting it into a larger perspective of what is happening politically around the world.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Relevant and interesting but could be better

Relevant and interesting but a bit cursory and lacks a strong point of view. Would have liked more date and explanation of why neoliberalism have become the dominant orthodoxy.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Not Thorough

Could have been more thorough. Could have reviewed other countries in Europe and North America and why populism exist or does not in those countries to build a hypothesis of why populism exists now. Went in depth on some leaders like Marie Le Pen but not others? Why? No real causal connections. Good long-form journalism with plausible conclusions but poor book writing. It's just a bunch of essays in the countries covered ... missing at least half the population of Europe. There is no underlying definition of Populism, why is appears or does not, what comes next. The book is just a long-form news article.

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Exactly what I needed!

If you even think you might want to know more about this issue, this book is a fantastic listen. The author deals substantially with the subject, while keeping good focus on the modern rise of populism. The author is also quite fair and balanced in approach and rational. The tone is academic and professional, with little to no pundit commentary. It's intended to analyze, not cheerlead one side over another.

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Probably a bit to dry for most

What did you love best about The Populist Explosion?

This is certainly an apt book given the current political disaster we live in. Very concise, well laid out, VERY complete. However, it was so fact laden without any story for respite or time to process what was being said, that I found myself tuning out.

I appreciate someone who knows what they are talking about--and it's clear that this guy does, but this book was missing that little something that would make it really good.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • B.
  • Kingsford, MI, United States
  • 02-21-17

A slanted piece

If I wanted to listen to anti-trump propaganda I could've just turned on the TV for free. I was hoping for an objective look, unfortunately that is not what is contained in this book.

6 of 30 people found this review helpful

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Bias alert

I was hoping for an unbiased analysis, but didn't find that here. I am disappointed.

3 of 25 people found this review helpful