Books

The Gilded Rage

The Gilded Rage

The Gilded Rage is a sharp corrective to the glib demographic explanations-cum-dismissals of Trumpism that are now fashionable among liberals in the Northeast corridor. Zaitchik’s close-up portraits of the Trump insurgency offer up complicated, often self-questioning accounts of his subjects’ idiosyncratic paths to ardent Trump support. The overall effect of these unrushed, painstaking interviews is to show a Trump electorate whose members—much like the rest of us—are deeply anxious and concerned about their precarious standing in a political and economic order that hasn’t given them any grounds for hope.”
— The Nation

“If you want to know what really happened in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan in 2016 to vault Mr. Trump to the White House, this book is about as invaluable as they come.”
— The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“One of the most important and overlooked books of the campaign season.”
— The Sacramento Bee

“We need [journalists] who can walk into a factory without guilt fogging their glasses. One such journalist, Alexander Zaitchik, spent several months on the road getting to know people he wisely describes as ‘blue-collar middle class’, mostly white people who have worked hard and lost a lot, whether in the market crash of 2008 or the manufacturing layoffs of recent decades. The Gilded Rage conveys the human complexity that daily news misses.”
— The Guardian

“On Nov. 9, residents of blue districts across the country peered outward with the same questions that had been asked many times over the last 18 months: What had the pundits, the prognosticators and Hillary Clinton’s campaign staff all failed to understand? Who are these people? … Some answers can be found in The Gilded Rage, a book that received far less attention than it probably deserved. That last question — ‘Who are these people?’ — is Zaitchik’s jumping-off point for a series of fascinating Studs-Terkel-style long-form interviews with voters who defy easy categorization.”
— BillMoyers.com

The Gilded Rage provides intimate insight into why the Trump campaign has become a beacon for so many Americans. It should be close reading for Hillary Clinton’s campaign team and policy advisers.”
— The Winnipeg Free Press


Common Nonsense

“A sharp and informative smackdown. For Zaitchik, Beck is just one more American con artist in the P.T. Barnum tradition, a shameless pseudoconservative bottom-feeder who will say anything to keep the spotlight on himself while the money rolls in.”
— The New York Review of Books

“An informative study.”
— The New Yorker

“A great political book. Zaitchik tells [Beck’s story] well and nobody has told it more soberly.”
 Slate

“A superb book…  Shows how Beck’s blackboard schemes are fiction and part of what Zaitchik calls ‘the oceanic audacity of his self-serving ignorance.’”
— The American Prospect

Common Nonsense will tell [Beck’s fans] more than they’ve ever known about him.”
— The Washington Post

“A scathing profile that follows the powerful pundit from a single-parent home in rural Washington state to conservative superstardom.”
The Boston Globe

“A gripping and thoroughly researched biography.”
— Salon

“A far-reaching exposé… Common Nonsense serves up far too many jaw-droppers to recount in this space. An impressive feat.”
— The Boston Phoenix

“A sensational book… This is a beautifully written and insightful biography—thoughtful, considered, and very intentional about the need to understand Beck both as a symbol of something larger going on in America and as a person.”
— Daily Kos

“Fox News host Glenn Beck delights in provocation, and, according to Zaitchik’s new book, he’s always had the knack. Indeed, the book, which Firedoglake calls, ‘careful and studious…part biography, part deconstruction,’ reads like an extended list of all the folks the outspoken conservative pundit has irked during his rise from local radio host to national media icon.”
The Week

“The definitive Beck biography.”
— Anchorage Press

Common Nonsense is quite an indictment of the radically low standards of our modern media industry, and our national discourse.”
— Discover

“A book like Common Nonsense was crying out to be written, and Zaitchik is a talented and incisive wordsmith up to the challenge… Fan or critic, we highly recommend it.”
— Creative Loafing (Tampa Bay)

“The state of the nation’s political discourse is in deep trouble. Whether Beck is a cause or a symptom of that trouble is for you to judge after reading Zaitchik’s valuable book.”
— Creative Loafing (Charlotte)

“A tough critique of the host’s history, philosophies and methods, aimed at separating fact from hyperbole [t]hrough detailed interviews, an examination of Beck’s public statements, and a look at public records.”
St. Petersburg Times (Florida)

“Alexander Zaitchik delves deeply into Beck’s rise from a small-town Washington kid to a multimillionaire media phenomenon [in this] useful corrective to the hagiography that Beck’s acolytes subscribe to… Zaitchik is an engaging writer who takes down Beck with strong research and entertaining turns of phrase. If you can tell a man by his enemies, Zaitchik could have done much worse.”
— The Willamette Week (Portland)

“Chock-a-block with fun, laugh-out-loud stories exposing Glenn Beck’s hypocrisy at every turn, this is the first book to peel open the onion of conspiracy and pomposity that is Beck, revealing ever smaller conspiracies and larger pomposities. Common Nonsense is a rollicking rodeo clown ride through Glenn’s life.”
— NewsHounds.us

“The arc of Beck’s career is both fascinating and curious [and] Zaitchik has made it a compelling read. Common Nonsense is the first comprehensive examination of Beck’s beginnings – his influences, his childhood, his early radio successes and failures. And, of course, his catapulting to cult leader status by Fox News. This is why Common Nonsense is so valuable.”
— NewsCorpse.com

“My compulsion to dog-ear every page containing important information, a laugh-out-loud turn of phrase or Zaitchik wielding stinging, sarcastic wit deformed my review copy… Listed as “Current Affairs”, Common Nonsense is written like the best history. Sometime in the future, professors will be assigning Common Nonsense and historians will be referencing it.”
— The Agonist

“In Common Nonsense, noted journalist Alexander Zaitchik explores just how dangerous Beck’s tactics and messaging truly are… Here is the book on Beck.”
— Progressive Book Club


Out of the Ooze

Out of the Ooze: The Story of Dr. Tom Price

“Zaitchik does a tremendous job synthesizing the larger health care debate and Price’s entanglements with private interests while weaving in some laugh-out-loud jabs. In this slim but detailed volume, using voting records and late-night C-SPAN debates, he builds the portrait of a doctor who sees health care as little more than an extension of corporate greed. For liberals already mad about the health care debate, this book offers compelling reasons to stay angry.”
Kirkus Reviews