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Publisher's Summary

Standout syndicated columnist and CNN contributor Salena Zito, with veteran Republican strategist Brad Todd, reports across five swing states and over 27,000 miles to answer the pressing question: Was Donald Trump's election a fluke or did it represent a fundamental shift in the electorate that will have repercussions - for Republicans and Democrats - for years to come. 

The history of the American electorate is not a litany of flukes; instead it is a pattern of tectonic plate-grinding, punctuated by a landscape-altering earthquake every generation or so. Donald Trump's electoral coalition is smashing both American political parties and its previously impenetrable political news media. The political experts called the 2016 election wrong, and in the wake of the 2016 election surprise, the experts have continued to blow it - looking to predict the coming demise of the president without pausing to consider the durability of the trends and winds that swept him into office.  

The Great Revolt delves deep into the minds and hearts of the voters that make up this coalition. What emerges is a group of citizens who cannot be described by terms like "angry", "male", "rural", or the often-used "racist". They span job descriptions, income brackets, education levels, and party allegiances. What unites them is their desire to be part of a movement larger than themselves that puts pragmatism before ideology, localism before globalism, and demands the respect it deserves from Washington. 

Zito and Todd have traveled on over 27,000 miles of country roads to interview more than 300 Trump voters in 10 swing counties. What they have discovered is that these voters were hiding in plain sight - ignored by both parties, the media, and the political experts all at once, ready to unite into the movement that spawned the greatest upset in recent electoral history. Deeply rooted in the culture of these Midwestern swing states, Zito and Brad Todd reframe the discussion of the "Trump voter" to answer the question: What next? 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2018 Salena Zito and Brad Todd (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Salena Zito is unique: a truth-telling reporter who found the America that elected Donald Trump. She listened to them. Understands them. Respects them. Not only did she get the election right, but by employing the lost art of shoe-leather journalism, she uncovered an amazing national political realignment that was—and still is—completely invisible to the Wizards of Smart who inhabit our distant capital. Whenever I see her byline, I stop and read. I know it will be that good. You should, too. Don’t doubt me." (Rush Limbaugh)

"While Donald Trump's election shocked the Washington establishment, Salena Zito and Brad Todd show that his coalition was hidden in plain sight. Far from a 'basket of deplorables,' they're the forgotten men and women of America, people who work with their hands and on their feet, and who want a government that rewards their work and respects their communities. Zito and Todd tell their story, and anyone interested in American politics would do well to listen." (Senator Tom Cotton)

"Salena Zito picked up on a political phenomenon long before polls or pundits had any idea of what was happening. Her drives from Pittsburgh to Cleveland opened her eyes about the rise of Trump and her shoe leather reporting and skills as a journalist helped her understand why. Her voice channeling and explaining these voters is invaluable for the Trump era." (Jake Tapper)

"If you want a fuller understanding of the political moment we’re in, and you should, you read Salena Zito. I mean this both literally and seriously." (Peggy Noonan)

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  • Tresda
  • PISCATAWAY, NJ, United States
  • 05-20-18

Captivating!

This book had me hooked from start to finish. I’m a black man, 45, in deep blue NJ and it was very interesting to hear the stories of the forgotten blue-collar whites in the Great Lake states going for Trump. This is the best post-election book I’ve read and a very important one to those concerned and into politics. This is a masterpiece!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 05-10-18

Explaining Trump's 2016 presidential victory

So how did a crass and crude lifetime New York City billionaire and reality TV star become the president of the United States? The simple answer is that he commandeered the Republican Party and ran against the elites of both major political parties running a populist campaign based on MAGA by bringing manufacturing jobs back, protecting Medicare and Social Security, putting conservative justices on the Supreme Court, and building a wall on the southern border. In doing so he attacked the rust belt blue wall of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Trump accomplished an incredible feat that few believed possible. Was it a work of genius or of accidental circumstance?

Pittsburgh based journalist and coauthor of this book Salena Zito wrote a column published on September 23, 2016 titled "Taking Trump seriously, not literally" which remains the best explanation ever of how Trump supporters viewed the candidate. Of course, she also explained that the virulent Trump opponents were taking him literally, not seriously. In the following weeks leading up to the November 8, 2016 election Zito went to to describe her perception of the Trump campaign's strategy of attacking the rust belt blue wall which was supposed to guarantee a Clinton victory. She was the only journalist I'm aware of who both predicted a Trump victory and explained before the election precisely how he would do it. I did not believe her prediction until the early morning hours of November 9 when I observed it becoming true on the TV networks. Of course other factors facilitated the Trump victory including the the dramatic move leftward during the Obama administration and the fact this his Democrat opponent was likely the worst retail politician ever.

I urge the potential listener to this book to download and read/study the associated PDF file before listening to the book. The audio book presents many anecdotal voting stories of individual families in the blue wall states while the PDF file deals with data.

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Spot on assessment of why Trump got votes in 2016

Archetypes of the American voters who voted against the establishment. A great read to probably reinforce your same voting decision or ease your angst or histrionics come another Trump victory in 2020.
The assessment through personal stories of the abandonment by both political parties since the signing of NAFTA is spot on accurate. Awareness like this could bring the polarized minions together after reading (or listening to) The Great Revolt. It’s what we’ve all been discussing for decades around the water coolers, bars, lunch rooms, etc.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Zito & Todd outdid themselves with real journalism

I live in one of the Great Lakes states that sent Mr. Trump to the White House, and switched my vote to Trump after having voted for a Democratic candidate every election since Walter Mondale in 1984. It was a tortured decision, but, like many of the archetypal interviewees in the book, I found myself happy with Trump's performance and more than willing to back Trump in 2020.

listening to the interviewees felt as though most of them had read my mind. They give voice to valid anti-Establishment and anti-globalist grievances, and, rather than coming across as the bigoted, toothless, deplorable peckerwoods described in the New York Times and other former newspapers. Every coastal political reporter should read this book, and take notes on how to do shoeleather reporting and honest, objective journalism. As it stands now, they resort to hackneyed tropes in support of their own biases, and vie with each other for attention and retweets of their misguided postures on Twitter. Sad! MAGA! -- Mrs. Thos. G. Nicolaides

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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great book, great narration

didn't want to stop listening to it!! resonated with myself and many of fellow small business owners. even interviewed one I knew 😉

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Exceptional

I highly recommend this thoughtful, comprehensive book. The varied stories of Trump supporters are fascinating whether the reader necessarily agrees with the authors’ labels and analysis. At the risk of being glib, the book’s title may easily have been ‘What Happened.’

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  • Jerry
  • United States
  • 07-01-18

Rust Belt Revolt

I find this a very intriguing and interesting book in it's regard to the American who has been overlooked. Hillary took these people and geographical regions for granted, as if their inhabitants meant nothing. Donald Trump, on the other hand, appealed to them by championing their concerns and situations and he did so by engaging them, not 'flying over' as if not being in a major or suburban population hub made them expendable.....maybe "deplorable" would be a more suitable term. When backed into a corner, these working Americans, tired of the status quo, came out swinging. Their voices being made heard at the ballot box, and then in this book, shows - at least to me - that 'Alabama's referenced "40 hour week" Americans have had enough of being blue. So far that transition to red has begun to pay off for them. Thank God for middle America, they may very well have saved this nation.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • Hillsdale, MI, United States / Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • 06-12-18

Trump happened. We had to look out of our bubble.

First, Bob Hess, yours is a masterful bit. Spot-on delivery is deadpan yet elicits pathos with simple, effective timing and artful enunciation. Bravo!

Salena and Brad get props for their far-right-wing (read: centrist or just-left-of-center viewpoint) expose of the people who dared vote against the inevitable. They rightly do demonstrate that "the populists" are different from the usual conservative voter, but their characterization of middle-America as a swaying voter mass seeking something they can believe in between a right-wing Republican party represented by the likes of corporatist/globalist Mitt Romney and Progressive John McCain as opposed to an equally-legitimate DNC in the image of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Hillary/Bill/Barack (Progressive totalitarians all) is indicative of their deeply-ingrained indoctrination. To have gone to the Rust Belt, interviewed a few stiffs, heard their rants and concerns, and written nicely about them yet missed who they (We, The People) are is predictable. To have data sets acquired by political operatives intent on cracking the code for the next power grab is wonderful for you, I'm sure. Good. Keep trying to classify folks and enable the leftward-ratcheting of the political landscape. It is working so well for you. All that artful (really - kudos!) writing and money spent and expansion of your precious carbon footprint for the travel and production surely have enlarged your appreciation that there are really real human people out tgere. I'm glad you were welcomed in Flyover Country, and wish you well. We are not swaying wheat in the wind of the "inevitable" Darwino-Marxian societal evolution your professors taught you to bank on. We still stand right where we always have been. Right of center between Tyranny on the left and Anarchy on the right, caring for neighbors but preferring to be left alone. Third Way Progressives or US-based globalist Social Democrats fighting over who gets to be tyrant are voted against, and many if us will not show up to vote for "lesser-of-two-evil" totalitarians. Trump was elected by anti-collectivist middle-of-the-road brown-paper-bag Americans who naturally despise elite do-gooders, corporatists, and opportunists. Nice book. We know who and where you are, but for all your Herculean efforts actually visiting diversity instead of just claiming you know it because of someone you went to school with, you still do not seem to fathom those with whom you spent so much time. Moments of candor: 7 out of 10 points - losses for fully-understandable misinterpretation/misunderstanding. Stephen Keating's architecture exhibited in jounalism: 8 of 10. Thank you for not bashing the giants you interviewed and on whose shoulders we all stand.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Excellent explanation of Trump's victory ... like it or not

Well researched explanation of why Trump win the presidency in 2016 and the implications moving forward. The more you dislike Trump and his agenda, the more you need to read this book.
Ironically, the narration is an example of the out-of-touch elitism that is one of the factors in Trump's election ... the narrator mispronounced several names of places, such as Wilkes Barre, PA and Waukesha, WI.

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To understand the 2016 election, start here.

The MSM have an established story about who Trump's supporters are. It's mostly wrong. This book tells an alternative story. Zito and Todd brings these folks to life with well-interviewed anecdotes, excellently analyzed sample surveys and illuminating historical context. it's also well written and nicely performed.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-29-18

Excellent

A story worthy of your time and required reading for those interested in the rise of populism in America, the United Kingdom or Europe.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful