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Where were we. The book begins with the premise that the Democratic party was effectively founded in an act of crimethe murder of Alexander Hamilton by Aaron Burr, and how this links to the founding of Tammany Hall, the eventual spoils system of Andrew Jackson, and so on down the line to todays party. Along the way, Walsh covers the Democrats presistent racism to maintain or acquire power, financial entanglements, manipulation of the media, and more, while showing the continuing pattern that repeats every generation.
The Czar was there for all of it, of course, but appreciates Mr. Walshs explanation that this has followed a pattern of twisting the truth and shape-shifing to sucker in more people. And while he explains that todays Democrats are a twisted, perverted mutant of the historical Golden Age Democrats (and for whom Walsh lists many good accomplishments), but still follow the same patterns learned all those years ago in Tammany Hall.
The point is that the Democrats have not changed in two-hundred years, even though they alter their shape: their shift from pro-slavery to forcing blacks to live on government programs seems like a 180° irony but is no different than the virulent anti-Communist Democrats of the past suddenly embracing radical socialism today: find out where a group is disenfranchised with Republicans, promise them whatever they want in exchange for a vote, and then backstab them once elected. This logic seems tortuous as the Czar puts it here, but Mr. Walsh guides you through it expertly.
Criticism? Well, really, only one. In the conclusion, Mr. Walsh elects to quote a stanza from Miltons Paradise Lost, which we confess was like hitting a speed bump hidden around a highway curve. The stanza is clever, and underlines a point, but struck us as a strange distraction from the fast-moving text of the rest of the book. A line or two would have sufficed, but a dozen lines of blank verse iambic pentameter is a thwack in the face. We might have edited that out entirely.
So if you can live with thatand youre gonna have to, because the books in printthis book is a superb and swift read.
For whom does the Czar recommend this book? If you are fairly new to politics, or want to learn more about suppressed history, this book is a gem. Inexpensive, tooand did we mention owning it is a click away? This is the sort of stuff that a lot of people would prefer you not read; so even if you already know the sordid history of the number 2 party, you will enjoy Mr. Walshs infrastructure thoroughly, as we did.
Also, if youre a Democrat, you ought to read this book. We didnt mention it above, but a small portion of this book strongly suggests that the Democrats need to go. This is not a mere partisan challenge; rather, like the Tea Party has begun a serious and increasingly successful reformation of the Republican party, it might be time for Democrats to start a similar reformation of their own.