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Boiling Mad: Behind the Lines in Tea Party America

3.32  ·  Rating Details ·  100 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
"Concise [and] elegantly written. . . . A convincing portrait of the movement's most ardent activists."—Los Angeles Times

They burst on the scene at the height of the Great Recession—thousands of angry voters railing against bailouts and big government—and within the year, the Tea Party had changed the terms of debate in Washington. This new populist movement set the agenda
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2010)
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Liz Nutting
Nov 07, 2010 Liz Nutting rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: misc-nonfiction
In the interests of full disclosure, I will start by saying I am a Liberal (with a capital “L”). So what made me eager to read Kate Zernike's hot-off-the-presses book Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America, when by just about every marker, I'm at the polar opposite in the political spectrum from the Tea Party adherents? To understand this emerging, vocal movement that is shaping much of the political debate in 2010.

Boiling Mad is a good place to start, too. Author Zernike is a Pulitzer Prize-win
Oct 25, 2010 Jaylia3 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you wonder, “What are they thinking?!” this book will help you peel back the rhetoric to see the human beings behind the protest signs. It’s a brief history of the diverse local groups that self-identify as the Tea Party, from their grassroots anger over bank bailouts and health care reform to their sometime alliances with politicians and organizations also seeking a smaller role for government—though these traditional federal foes often oppose many more programs than the typical Tea Partier, ...more
Sep 23, 2010 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An even-handed portrayal of the Tea Party political movement. Those sympathetic to the cause will appreciate the author's skill in portraying its members' frustration with government growth; those not-so sympathetic will see that unless they can manage to support candidates who are more socially moderate, they'll quickly become nothing more than a fringe element of the Republican party.

Audio version especially recommended for good narration.
Mar 03, 2011 Ray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised by "Boiling Mad". I feared it would be full of rants and raves by anti-everything activists like those depicted in editorial cartoons carrying signs reading "keep the government out of my Medicare".
But I picked it up to read, just in case it explained the core of the movement. Tea Party members and supporters purport to be "ordinary people" and "grass-root activists", but opponents claim most are old white racists against anything the Obama Administration is for. Zern
Oct 21, 2010 Suzi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me be clear: I am not now or ever have been a fan of the Tea Party. But as an American, and as a human, I am interested in how people get "boiling mad." This book is not only about the Tea Party, it is more universally about angry, fed-up people finding each other and banding together to make a change, in a time where change can happen quickly--no one can deny that this movement has grown like a wild fire.

This book is a calm sit-down-take-a-deep-breath look at how the Tea Party started. Sto
Short read on the incarnation of the Tea Party. I thought initially it would be a great drawback that it's now 2 years out of date, being published in 2010 at TP's height, but the advantage of those 2 intervening years actually provides useful insight into the brief trajectory of this extreme shift to the right. Our current gridlock in Congress can, in my opinion, trace its roots to this misguided movement of "patriots". I would not, however, discount them going forward. As the 2012 exit polls s ...more
Jan 19, 2012 Cj rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not boiling mad, but I'm lukewarm about a book that is written by a journalist who does not offer a bibliography or even a section of notes; the book contains no references. She quotes many different people but the only document she offers is a survey. I would expect better from an author that "was a member of the New York Times team which shared the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting" (though, none of the references to that claim seem willing to say what that team reported on or ...more
Jan 17, 2011 Jesse rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe the most definitive first-draft-of-history version of the story: culled from her 2010 campaign reporting, mostly, with some analysis and a little bit of historical context (really need to read TH Breen's book on angry public protest in the 1770s next-ish), but mostly a lot of sympathetic participant's-POV discussion. Her big take is that these people are "idealists." Which I buy, but they're pretty ill-informed and incoherent idealists, which would seem to matter. It does usefully show how ...more
The author tried her BEST to do objective justice to such a polarizing topic/population. But her reporter's veneer of common sense couldn't mask the truth. This is not a group of revolutionaries. These are people who are against gov't programs that don't benefit them directly. They are indeed bigots and as a friend said aren't mad about anything as much as the fact that slavery ended. The limited freedom (for white men) prescribed by the founders is what they seek. Freedom for those who can affo ...more
Jeff Raymond
Surprisingly fair.

That's pretty much the best review I can give this. I had heard interesting things about this look at the Tea Party movement, and it definitely delivered a good product. Nothing new for me, but I think it's actually for an audience that isn't familiar with the movement, or is significantly opposed to it. It's an incredibly fair, mostly factual reading, and that makes it worth the time and effort.
Jeanne Boyarsky
Jun 07, 2011 Jeanne Boyarsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I saw "Boiling Made" in the featured books section of the library and it seemed interesting - seeing how the movement started.

The book is a mixture of explaining the background of what the Tea Party is all about and featuring people who advocate for it.

The book was not political - it focused more on what and explained where all positions came from. It pointed out both strengths and shortcomings of the Tea Party.

By the end it felt a bit repetitive, but all in all a good read.
Hélder Azevedo
Feb 12, 2013 Hélder Azevedo marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arquivo
Uma excelente obra para se compreender a natureza do libertarismo radical americanos e o seu oportunismo político. Esta obra não trata apenas do Tea Party, mas também dos grupos mais ou menos autónomos surgidos no pós 11/9, como o Freedom works (de inspiração puramente randiana e freedmaniana) ou o movimento 12/9, com reivindicações mais sociais.
Nov 06, 2012 Abby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first, I wasn't entirely sure that I wanted to read anything even remotely describing the Tea Party. This book shows the method to the madness- the evolution of the party we see today. I really enjoyed the book and found it a fascinating look at a movement that has been in the spotlight, yet nobody ever seems to talk much about.
Oct 24, 2011 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
Interesting book. I started making a list about the things I agree with that the tea party believes in and the things I adamantly oppose. It is great to understand why people are mad enough to protest in this fashion, and I think it's going to play a big part in future elections. Worth reading for sure!
Oct 07, 2010 Brad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short but pretty thorough look at the Tea Party. It didn't add a ton but does do a good job of discussing the division that still exists between Tea Partyers and many Republicans. This may also be a slightly premature work - any analysis of the Tea Party without knowing how it impacts the results on election day is incomplete.
Jan 08, 2012 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting look into the world of the Tea Party from a relatively unbiased perspective. It was very informative and gave a voice to the "normal" people of the movement who are often drowned out in the news media.
Patrick Marley
This was an interesting enough read, but I hoped it would pierce the surface a bit more. It seemed to never get at the true genesis of the tea party movement, though it did do a good job of humanizing the everyday people behind it.
Amber Longo
I read it for research and was thus disapointed at the seeming lu\ack of organization. It feels very jumbled. Other than that, it does a good job of capturing the image of the party. Best point is that in each chapter or subsection its quite smooth reading.
Feb 04, 2014 Marcia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I appreciated most about this book is that the author did not seem to have an agenda. It neither demonizes the members of the tea party nor does it make them into saints. Instead, it portrays them as real people.
Dave Sidney
Provides abit of understanding what they are thinking and where they came from. Appears that these kind of movement come in times of economic distress and then go away when the economy improves. One can only hope.
Darren Tripiciano
Sep 19, 2013 Darren Tripiciano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A surprisingly balanced look at a movement that made noise yet had trouble finding a common voice.
James Pindell
Mar 13, 2014 James Pindell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good explanatory journalism that captures a political movement from top to bottom and grabs the subtleties.
Aug 22, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Worth reading to gain insight into the politics and history of the Tea Party and its rise in American Politics and Culture.
Lottie Faver
May 30, 2014 Lottie Faver rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really interesting and informative. A great insight into the Tea Party movement and it wasn't full of jargon.
Paige rated it liked it
Jan 29, 2011
Sarah rated it really liked it
Jul 30, 2012
Nelson Nunes
Nelson Nunes rated it really liked it
Feb 27, 2012
Charles rated it liked it
Nov 14, 2012
Emily rated it really liked it
Aug 20, 2012
Sarah rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2011
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