David Kusnet

  • On Message

    After the tumult of the 2016 election season has subsided, one result can be safely predicted: The most successful “spinners”—speechwriters and strategists, digital gurus and data miners, pollsters and PR people—will be alternately praised as masterminds and pilloried as manipulators. For those who yearn for an era before political candidates had “handlers”—and who ignore the fact that “authenticity” is as likely to take the form of the incendiary Donald Trump as the idealistic Bernie Sanders or Rand Paul—David Greenberg’s magisterial history of White House hype, Republic of Spin, is a welcome


    For much of the past eight years, many liberal intellectuals have seemed less inclined to support blue-collar Americans in their struggles than to look askance at their presumed political, consumer, and cultural preferences. Why did so many white working-class voters support George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004? Why do so many moderate-income Americans not only shop at Wal-Mart but embrace it as a model of enterprise—even though it drives down wages and benefits for both its own workers and those at its suppliers worldwide? And why does so much popular culture, from Fox News to talk radio, reflect