Know Your Enemy is a podcast about the American right co-hosted by Matthew Sitman and Sam Adler-Bell. Read more about it here. You can subscribe to, rate, and review the show on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher, and receive bonus content by supporting the podcast on Patreon.
In this episode, historian Nicole Hemmer returns to the show to discuss her new book, Partisans, about the ascendancy of an angrier, more radical strain of conservatism in the Republican Party in the 1990s—a backlash driven by the right’s dissatisfaction with the genial, popularity-seeking Ronald Reagan. As the Cold War ended, many conservatives stopped genuflecting to democracy and freedom and used new forms of media—talk radio and cable news especially—to spread their grievances. Topics include: Pat Buchanan’s campaigns for the presidency, Ross Perot, Newt Gingrich and the GOP’s takeover of the House of Representatives, Rush Limbaugh, Dinesh D’Souza, and the new breed of anti-feminist, right-wing women such as Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter.
Sources and further reading:
Nicole Hemmer, Partisans: The Conservative Revolutionaries Who Remade American Politics in the 1990s (Basic Books, 2022) and Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016)
Kevin Phillips, The Politics of Rich and Poor (Random House, 1990)
John Ganz, “The Year the Clock Broke,” The Baffler
Know Your Enemy, “The Year the Clock Broke, with John Ganz”
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