The shocking, definitive account of the 2020 election and the first year of the Biden presidency by two New York Times reporters, exposing the deep fissures within both parties as the country approaches a political breaking point—now including exclusive recordings from the January 5th and January 11th GOP Conference calls referenced in the book’s original reporting.
This is the authoritative account of an eighteen-month crisis in American democracy that will be seared into the country’s political memory for decades to come. With stunning, in-the-room detail, New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns show how both our political parties confronted a series of national traumas, including the coronavirus pandemic, the January 6 attack on the Capitol, and the political brinksmanship of President Biden’s first year in the White House.
From Donald Trump’s assault on the 2020 election and his ongoing campaign of vengeance against his fellow Republicans, to the behind-the-scenes story of Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate and his bitter struggles to unite the Democratic Party, this book exposes the degree to which the two-party system has been strained to the point of disintegration. More than at any time in recent history, the long-established traditions and institutions of American politics are under siege as a set of aging political leaders struggle to hold together a changing country.
Martin and Burns break news at every turn, drawing on hundreds of interviews and never-before-seen documents and recordings from the highest levels of government. The book asks the vitally important (and disturbing) question: can American democracy, as we know it, ever work again?
Jonathan Martin is a national political correspondent for The New York Times and a political analyst for CNN. He joined the Times in 2013 after working as a senior political writer for POLITICO. His work has been featured in The New Republic, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. A native of Arlington, Virginia, Martin is a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College.
Alexander Burns is a national political correspondent for The New York Times and a political analyst for CNN. He joined the Times in 2015 after working as a reporter and editor at POLITICO. Born and raised in New York City, Burns is a graduate of Harvard College, where he edited the Harvard Political Review.
Dennis Boutsikaris won an OBIE Award for his performance in Sight Unseen and played Mozart in Amadeus on Broadway. Among his films are *batteries not included, The Dream Team, and Boys On the Side. His many television credits include And Then There Was One, Chasing the Dragon, and 100 Center Street.