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The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore: A Story of American Rage

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  755 ratings  ·  130 reviews
"Sexton grapples with the Trump campaign from the perspective of the crowds reveling in the candidate’s presence and message. It is a useful vantage point given the increasingly blatant bigotry in the months since the election." —The Washington Post

The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore is a firsthand account of the events that shaped the 2016 presid
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published August 15th 2017 by Counterpoint
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Rennie I think it was as objective as could be expected considering he attended rallies, conventions and regions that were badly hurting and angry and basica…moreI think it was as objective as could be expected considering he attended rallies, conventions and regions that were badly hurting and angry and basically let the people there speak for themselves in words and actions. Sexton definitely falls at the liberal end of the spectrum, but I felt he did a pretty admirable job of showing events as they played out and just portraying what happened as anger on both sides escalated, then adding some commentary to provide context. As he puts it, both the far-far-left and the far-far-right are equally dangerous and power-hungry, but he looks at each party/candidate and their supporter base and how things went wrong. I was actually surprised at how much more anger and vitriol he reported from the left, for example, that I'd somehow failed to register during the election cycle. It's a great read and again, I think it's as balanced as possible considering what he witnessed.(less)
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Bill Kerwin
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics

If you only read one book about the 2016 campaign, I would advise you to pick this one, for Jared Yates Sexton, in the course of his journey across the country, saw with dark clarity the essence of the America voter today: full of rage, deaf to the opinions of others, lost in his own private world.

Sexton is well-equipped for such a task. He is no beltway journalist, but a writer of fiction (three books of short stories and a crime novel) whose day job is teaching Creative Writing at Georgia Sout
Michael Hicks
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, netgalley
Probably like a lot of his followers, Jared Yates Sexton first came to my attention during the 2016 campaign when he began live-tweeting the racist, fascistic rhetoric that would soon become the staple of Donald Trump's bid for the presidency. In his novel, The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore: A Story of American Rage, Sexton recounts this bleak, and somehow still fresh, nightmare.

Unfortunately, since this is a non-fiction political work, we know well in advance that th
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
I really worry about Jared Yates Sexton's liver.

Sexton's recounting of the 2016 Presidential campaign has been different than most of the other esoteric or distanced accounts by other figures. Instead of being from the punditry circle, the elite media figures, academics, or the candidates themselves, Sexton mingled in the streets and saw the Trumpism grossness up close and personal. Plus, he already had an acquaintance with the Trumpist mindset within the circle of his own family in the good ol'
Erin *Help I’m Reading and I Can’t Get Up*
4.5 stars
Of all the postmortems of the 2016 US election I've read (and I've read a few), this is the one that is most blunt and realistic, and has the strongest point of view. Instead of a gossipy review of the more salacious aspects of the campaign, Yates reminds readers of the events that telegraphed the insane world we're currently living in. He pulls soundbites and provides context that have gotten lost or buried in our collective consciousness, since with Trump there's always some new contr
Paul Hamilton
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I first started following Jared Sexton a few years ago after we both had short stories appear in the same lit mag. But, I think, looking back, it was really only a matter of time before I became interested in his work in any case. During the wild election season of 2016, Mr Sexton bubbled to the top of my social media feeds as he started live-tweeting un-sympathetic dispatches from Donald Trump rallies. These boots-on-the-ground journalistic forays painted a fascinating (if disturbing) portrait ...more
Mimi Smartypants
Incredibly depressing (subject matter) and curiously shallow (writing).

Nearly equally as depressing are the many atrocious mistakes in the text. "Towing" the line? The "tenants" of Christianity? "Nora" Jones? Survivalists "hording" supplies? Holy hell. If Jared Yates Sexton doesn't know better, an editor at Counterpoint certainly should have. FOR SHAME.
Hates "white dominated societies" hates southerners,hates the confederate flag,aka he hates white people. Just more leftist cultural marxist filth I have no use for. Back to library it goes.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Started off as very interesting coverage of the 2016 US presidential elections. The first half was good, then the author let his obvious distaste for Trump colour his writing. I don’t mind writers taking a stand on issues, but the second half resembled more of a personal rant. I think he still doesn’t get why Trump won.
Janelle Janson
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, 2017
Thank you to Counterpoint Press and Kate Olson ( for providing me this copy - all opinions are my own.

Sexton's reporting is from the grass-roots level during the 2016 Presidential election. His coverage showed the rawness and anger of the people at these rallies. Even though he has a point of view and political position, he is not afraid to cast blame on all sides, on Clinton, on Sanders, the media, and of course on Trump himself. Sexton employs a sort of gonzo journalism
NancyL Luckey
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe it was my timing. I read this book over the weekend of the tragic events in Charlottesville. Couldn't sleep and was absolutely sick to my stomach over how we ended up with this pitiful excuse for a human in the White House. And the book barely mentioned Russia. It not only sickens you, but it terrifies you. Saw a cartoon after I finished the book which summed it up: "It's not the statue, it's the base."
There was a program at the local independent bookstore this week with the author Jared Yates Sexton in conversation with a local minority community activist (who didn't think he was an activist). Sexton, an assistant professor of creative writing at Georgia Southern University, was well-spoken and in tune with the national political scene, and how mainstream and social media works. He has an experience worth sharing and does a decent job at doing that in his book, as well as at the program. He i ...more
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is a collection of essays on various topics related to the 2016 campaign, not necessarily in a single narrative. The author was hounded online and harassed for reporting on what he heard at a Trump rally. I found going over the old memories both cathartic and horrifying. But to me, the author got in the way, especially in the second half. The writing goes from being descriptive and objective, to editorializing in the worst way.

What I'm guessing happened is that these essays were writte
Kevin Kelly
I read this so you don't have to. It starts off as a promising, objective view of what took place in the last election before pulling the driver's wheel hard and steering the reader into a dense wood of emotions and rage from the author. But not before bouncing back on to the road of objectivity at the start of each chapter. This book is basically a case study for understanding why the left is losing ground at the moment, told thru the perspective of a whiny, white dude who talks about drinking ...more
Jill Meyer
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was looking for an Audible book to listen to in my car for a long, twice weekly commute. I chose "The People...Shore", written by Jared Yates Sexton and narrated by PJ Ochlan, my favorite narrator. The book, published in August, 2017, is a beautifully written look at the 2016 presidential race and election. But the subtitle of the book, "A Story of American Rage", is really the story Sexton tells like no other author I've read since the election.

Jared Sexton is in his mid-30's and is an assist
Kressel Housman
I listen to plenty of political podcasts, and I get many book recommendations from them. This book is a perfect example, but after having read and listened to so many different analyses of the Trump phenomenon since mid-2016, parts of it seemed pretty redundant and outdated. Still, all authors brings their own unique insights to the situation, and Jared Sexton's were as good as any of the other fine reporters I've absorbed this year. His specialty was describing the reactions of the crowd on the ...more
A really good ground report of the factors that brought Trump to victory in the election. A conglomeration of factors, and as partial as can be— considering the subject matter. He obviously has a bias, that the Trump administration and his core group of constituents are bigots (with my personal agreement,) but he talks about the factors leading up to the election in a manner that I sometimes disagreed with but was able to understand where he comes from.

This is a really great look at the 2016 el
Alexia Chantel
*received as a Goodreads giveaway

Interesting read, was hoping for more of an unbiased account of what took place.
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
an impressionistic representation of the 2016 presidential campaign that includes a chapter on "Bernie or Bust" ppl at the Dem convention as well as a description of the Green Party convention. Some of his impressions really capture a mood or feeling well. As an overall portrait of the zeitgeist, it's good, and I'd recommend it for what it says about the general mood of the electorate. I was at the Disrupt J20 protests and had a very different experience from what he describes - and that is the ...more
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We live in a country that is so angry and divided that it hurts my heart. This book covers the 2016 election and I felt that it did a fairly good job of staying objective. The political discourse in our country is no longer polite and this book definitely highlights that. I'm trying to read more to help me understand why we are so divided.
this is an interesting and successful narration/recap/analysis of the 2016 election cycle, in all its hostility and eldritch horror.

-sexton does a good job of explaining why so many people felt so spoken to and validated by trump's words and actions and brings into the argument his (sexton's) own experiences growing up in a working class, blue-collar worker family. personally, i had heard a lot of the "trump speaks to the 'forgotten people'" thing already, but what was new to me was th
Martin Ott
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book and was also horrified by what Trump has stirred in our country. Highly recommend.
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gripping book, that's hard to stomach at times. It gives a depressing look into the underbelly of Trump's radical base, and does a good job exploring how America became so divided and polarized. Sexton, on the ground-floor of Trump's rallies as an independent journalist, gives a first-hand account of sexism, racism and general bigotry at Trump's rallies, and dissects how main-stream Republicans turned a blind eye to extremism to carry Trump to the white-house.

I want to give this book a perfec
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a masterwork for understanding the current political climate we find ourselves in as a nation. Jared Yates Sexton recounts life on the road, going from Trump rally to Trump rally and to both political conventions. The overall uniting theme of it all- rage. Rage at Obama, rage at intellectuals, rage at the "establishment", rage at our multicultural/multiethnic/multireligious country - nothing but rage. And Donald Trump, with his blustery declarations, outright lies, aggression, bulls ...more
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book via goodreads, and am glad I did, even though I had a few issues with it. I liked the writing and the book moved quickly. I did have to put it down for a week, but that was because I was just overloaded with Trump; it was all just too much. One odd bit about the writing was the references to how much the author drank. I didn't think it really served a purpose, and seemed more like a device. There were also some typos that stood out.

The detail around the rallies was great -- I cou
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I appreciate Mr. Sexton’s unabashedly liberal worldview, and his full acknowledgement of it and how it could affect his reporting. His retelling is the 2016 campaign brought back all of the feelings of horror, surprise, dumbfoundedness; “surely THIS will be the misstep that derails Trump’s campaign!”

The reason I had to knock off a star is that I’m SO tired of the “working poor” trope. The median salary of Trump voters is $70,000/year, NOT working poor or poor whites. That particular demographic
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jarod Yates Sexton is a journalist who during the 2016 Presidential campaign witnessed the passion at the Feel the Bern rallies, the demonstrations outside of the RNC and DNC conventions, the debates, and the Trump rallies where he gained national attention when he started live-tweeting, describing raw anger and vitriol like he had never seen before. Along with the exposure came daily death threats and intimidation. This is a fascinating political read about a campaign that crossed many ethical ...more
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So many thoughts I’ve had about what went wrong during the 2016 election are discussed here, with the best insight and first-hand reporting I’ve read. Best of all, Sexton gives all the details from both sides and the middle; a welcome detail. Learned much, and anxiously anticipate his talk this evening at my local independent bookstore. Should be a fascinating discussion. Highly recommend this gripping read.
pan ellington
love that sexton connects his writing to his blue collar roots, something i relate to very much. insightful take on 2016/dump truck donnie told in intelligent, accessible language with just a little bit of edge.

read it.
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-fun, 2017
One of clearest accounts of the 2016 election I've read yet...Sexton writes evocatively. I consider this a must read if you want to try to understand what happened last year and how we got here.
Jessica Scott
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking book and fascinating perspective about the 2016 election cycle. Biggest takeaway is that we are not nearly as divided as the media makes us out to be. A very important book.
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Jared Yates Sexton is a born-and-bred Hoosier living and working in The South as an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Georgia Southern University. His work has appeared in publications around the world and his first short story collection, An End To All Things, is available from Atticus Books. His latest book, The Hook and The Haymaker, was released by Split Lip Press in January 2015. For ...more

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