The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics - Book
The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics - Book
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Product Code: OB08283-SU18

The untold story behind the most shocking political upheaval in the country.

For more than a century, Wisconsin has been known nationwide for its progressive
ideas and government. It famously served as a "laboratory of democracy," a
cradle of the labor and environmental movements, and birthplace of the Wisconsin
Idea, which championed expertise in the service of the common good. But
following a Republican sweep of the state’s government in 2010, Wisconsin’s
political heritage was overturned, and the state went Republican for the first
time in three decades in the 2016 presidential election, elevating Donald J.
Trump to the presidency.

The Fall of Wisconsin is a deeply reported, searing account of how the state’s
progressive tradition was undone and turned into a model for national
conservatives bent on remaking the country. Dan Kaufman, a Wisconsin native who
has been covering the story for several years, traces the history of
progressivism that made Wisconsin so widely admired, from the work of celebrated
politicians like Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette and Gaylord Nelson, to local
traditions like Milwaukee’s “sewer socialism,” to the conservationist
ideas of Aldo Leopold and the state’s Native American tribes. Kaufman reveals
how the “divide-and-conquer” strategy of Governor Scott Walker and his
allies pitted Wisconsin’s citizens against one another so powerful
corporations and wealthy donors could effectively take control of state
government. As a result, laws protecting voting rights, labor unions, the
environment, and public education were rapidly dismantled.

Neither sentimental nor despairing, Kaufman also chronicles the remarkable
efforts of citizens who are fighting to reclaim Wisconsin’s progressive legacy
against tremendous odds: Chris Taylor, a Democratic assemblywoman exposing the
national conservative infrastructure, Mike Wiggins, the head of a Chippewa tribe
battling an out-of-state mining company, and Randy Bryce, the ironworker whose
long-shot challenge to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has galvanized national
resistance to Trump.

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