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The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore

A Story of American Rage

List Price: $26.00

August 15, 2017 | Hardcover | 6 x 9, 320 Pages | ISBN 9781619029569
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“Essential reading for understanding this country now and going forward.” —Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night

On June 14, 2016, Jared Yates Sexton reported from a Donald Trump rally in Greensboro, North Carolina. One of the first journalists to attend these rallies and give mainstream readers an idea of the raw anger that occurred there, Sexton found himself in the center of a maelstrom. Following a series of tweets that saw his observations viewed well over a million times, his reporting was soon featured in The Washington Post, NPR, Bloomberg, and Mother Jones, and he would go on to write two pieces for The New York Times. Sexton gained over eighteen thousand followers on Twitter in a matter of days, and received online harassments, campaigns to get him fired from his university professorship, and death threats that changed his life forever.

The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore is a firsthand account of the events that shaped the 2016 Presidential Election and the cultural forces that powered Donald Trump into White House. Featuring in-the-field reports as well as deep analysis, Sexton’s book is not just the story of the most unexpected and divisive election in modern political history. It is also a sobering chronicle of our democracy’s political polarization—a result of our self-constructed, technologically assisted echo chambers.

Like the works of Hunter S. Thompson and Norman Mailer— books that have paved the way for important narratives that shape how we perceive not only the politics of our time but also our way of life— The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore is an instant, essential classic, an authoritative depiction of a country struggling to make sense of itself.

About Jared Yates Sexton

JARED YATES SEXTON’s political writing has appeared in The New York Times, the New Republic, Salon, and elsewhere. He is the author of three collections of fiction and a crime novel. Currently he serves as an associate professor of creative writing at Georgia Southern University.


One of Indianapolis Monthly’s Best Books by Hoosier Authors in 2017

“A leftist counterweight to Hillbilly Elegy, laced with shots of Hunter S. Thompson . . . A useful snapshot of a tumultuous presidential race.”Kirkus Reviews

“Sexton’s reporting provides a unique nuts-and-bolts look at the campaigns, and his eyewitness reports of the aggressive displays at Trump rallies are both terrifying and fascinating.”Publishers Weekly

“Sexton’s first-person account is both candidly relatable and viscerally frightening . . . [His] seamless blending of his reporter’s objectivity with the personal evaluations of a voter who has skin in the game yields trenchant analysis . . . Sexton’s is a critical and important voice in helping readers understand the cultural and political sea change the election created.” —Booklist (starred review)

“An impressionistic and often disturbing account of the 2016 presidential race . . . Sexton grapples with the Trump campaign from the perspective of the crowds reveling in the candidate’s presence and message. It is a useful vantage point given the increasingly blatant bigotry in the months since the election . . . This book reveals the incremental nature of public displays of hatred, growing from harsh chants and bumper stickers to, say, an open and unmasked gathering of white supremacists in Charlottesville . . . [His] dispatches are bracing.” —The Washington Post

“First of all, this is the best book title of 2017, hands down. Second, and more importantly, this is the book to read if you want to understand what the hell happened in the United States in 2016. If you follow Sexton on Twitter (and you should), you know he brings a sharp eye, fierce intellect, and resilient capacity for surprise to the problem of American political life. And that’s just 140 characters at a time. Just imagine what he can do with 300+ pages.” ―Bookriot 

“A ground-level account, sticking close to Sexton and his increasing miseries as he wades into the festering sewer of the 2016 election. The unique perspective, eye-deep in hell, is equal parts mortifying and edifying. Sexton measures the depths of depravity as he goes, but reminds us that these depths have always existed in the nation.” —The Coil

“This is the post-campaign book I was waiting for. Nothing else has shown me so clearly the ruptures in our culture aligned with Trump’s candidacy, or even the nature of the way we choose a president. Essential reading for understanding this country now and going forward.”Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night

“Jared Yates Sexton didn’t just randomly become a phenomenon in his chronicling of Donald Trump’s fans and foibles, it happened because he’s our Jane Goodall to Trump’s Deplorables. His work has been indispensable to those who have tried to understand our times, with an honesty lacking among most of our mainstream media. Read this book.” ―Cliff Schecter, bestselling author of The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don’t Trust Him―And Why Independents Shouldn’t and a columnist for The Daily Beast

“Jared Yates Sexton ventured into the dark heart of American partisanship and emerged with a warning that all of us would do well to heed. Thoughtful, compassionate, and exceptionally brave, this book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how―and why―our country turned on itself.” ―Bronwen Dickey, author of Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon

The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore encapsulates what this election was and what it meant to be watching. It shows us how low our society is still capable of going and how a large portion is fighting back. This book is important for us now, but it will be imperative for the generations of the future.” —The Big Smoke

“Jared Yates Sexton’s chronicle of the 2016 election is the first that spoke to me on a visceral level. There’s a unique value in ignoring postmortems and what-ifs and instead drilling right to the center of America, to the fracturing, raging heart of our nation, and forcing oneself not to look away. The result is a gripping dirge for who we were, who we are, and who we might have been.” ―Tristan Charles, bookseller, Parnassus Books (Nashville, TN)

“The clearest thing I’ve seen in my seemingly non-stop reading about what happened to us all November.” ―Jan Weissmiller, Prairie Lights Books (Iowa City, IA) 

“The People Are Going to Rise is a comprehensive chronicle of the 2016 campaign from the margins . . . Even with the fresh-hell fatigue of following the resulting administration, and with that campaign still in recent memory, revisiting it with Sexton lets you see the horror anew, with a deeper sense of its consequences. And as the water level rises higher on the shore, Sexton continues to be a dutiful correspondent.” —Black Warrior Review

“Sexton offers a strong narrative of the 2016 campaign that captures the visceral experiences of angry audiences, providing an important on-the-ground account for my rhetoric class. At the end of a semester of reading academic articles on demagoguery, unethical discourse, and the erosion of civic institutions, I’m assigning Sexton’s book to reflect on what 2016 means for students of American politics. The book provides a rich postmortem of a tumultuous campaign, prompting an important discussion about what should happen next for our democracy.” ––Michael J. Steudeman, Assistant Professor of Rhetoric, University of Memphis

“Sexton writes as a reporter who experienced both life and politics in the 2016 campaign. His book is excellent . . . [It] tries to make sense of a country trying to make sense of itself.” —Winnipeg Free Press

“[A] convincing picture of the ugliness of the Trump rallies and the dispirited feeling in the Clinton camp.” —The Toronto Star

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