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Former Obama speechwriter and New York Times bestselling author of Thanks, Obama, David Litt, takes a road trip across the country to learn more about how our democracy works and what holds it together.
After five years at the highest levels of American government, David Litt thought he understood how our republic works. Then came President Trump.
On Inauguration Day 2017, the former Obama speechwriterhad a realization: his relationship to his democracy was about the same as his relationship to his aging Subaru. When everything ran smoothly, driving was second nature. But when the machine broke down, he had only the vaguest idea of which parts weren’t working. He certainly didn’t know enough to repair them. So Litt made a promise: he was going to get under the hood of our democracy—to figure out how our system of government really works, why it really doesn’t, and how We, the People, can fix it.
Parties on the Fault Lineis the result of that promise. Litt spent three years exploring our troubled republic–examining the growing gap between what Americans want and what our government does. He flew to Louisville to party at Mitch McConnell’s former frat house. He toured Disney World to figure out why waiting in line for a roller coaster is so much easier than waiting in line to vote. And he dove into all the history and political science he once skimmed over. As we join him on his journey of discovery, we’ll learn the story of the first person disenfranchised in America (hint: he dated Pocahontas) and how Abraham Lincoln engineered the greatest congressional power grab of all time. We’ll see that voter ID isn’t the most severe form of voter suppression; that gerrymandering is bad but geography is worse; and that while lobbyists’ influence comes from many things, money barely makes the list.
But Parties on the Fault Line isn’t just about understanding problems. Laying out achievable solutions, Litt makes a powerful case for a “foundation first” approach. Repairing democracy, he argues, must be our single top priority in post-Trump America. Written with careful insight, laugh-out-loud humor, and undaunted optimism, Parties on the Fault Line is a book for people who love this country and want to change it.