Princeton professor Julian Zelizer joins us to talk about his new book, “Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, the Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party.”

Zelizer’s premise for the book, and our discussion today, is that you have to know the history of former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in order to understand how we got Trump:

“President Trump practices the kind of anti-establishment, take-no-prisoners partisanship that Gingrich brought to Washington in the 1980s. Gingrich was pioneering in using the national news media as the central arena through which to attack Democrats and he understood that the distrusted born of Vietnam and Watergate could be used to the advantage of conservatives. Since Democrats had been in power so long on Capitol Hill, they were the establishment that so many Americans seemed to hate. It is not a surprise that Gingrich has remained such an important advisor to the president. Understanding the origin story of what we consider to be Trumpian politics gives us a firmer understanding of the foundations and deep-rootedness of our current dysfunction.”

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