Born: Chicago, Illinois 1948
Connection to Illinois: Blumenthal was born and raised in Illinois. Biography: Sidney Blumenthal is the acclaimed author of A Self-Made Man and Wrestling with His Angel, the first two volumes in his five-volume biography, The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln. He is the former assistant and senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and senior adviser to Hillary Clinton. He has been a national staff reporter for The Washington Post and Washington editor and writer for The New Yorker. His books include the bestselling The Clinton Wars, The Rise of the Counter-Establishment, and The Permanent Campaign. Born and raised in Illinois, he lives in Washington, DC.
- A Self-Made Man Starred Review - Booklist
- All the Powers of Earth Starred Reviews - Booklist, Kirkus, Library Journal
|A Self-Made Man: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln Vol. I, 1809–1849
ISBN: 147677725X OCLC: 883146704 Simon & Schuster 2016 The first in a sweeping, multi-volume history of Abraham Lincoln—from his obscure beginnings to his presidency, death, and the overthrow of his post-Civil War plan of reconciliation— “engaging and informative and…thought-provoking” (The Christian Science Monitor).From his youth as a voracious newspaper reader, Abraham Lincoln became a free thinker, reading Tom Paine, as well as Shakespeare and the Bible. In the “fascinating” (Booklist, starred review) A Self-Made Man, Sidney Blumenthal reveals how Lincoln’s antislavery thinking began in his childhood in backwoods Kentucky and Indiana. Intensely ambitious, he held political aspirations from his earliest years. Yet he was a socially awkward suitor who had a nervous breakdown over his inability to deal with the opposite sex. His marriage to the upper-class Mary Todd was crucial to his social aspirations and his political career. “The Lincoln of Blumenthal’s pen is…a brave progressive facing racist assaults on his religion, ethnicity, and very legitimacy that echo the anti-Obama birther movement…. Blumenthal takes the wily pol of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln and Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals and goes deeper, finding a Vulcan logic and House of Cards ruthlessness” (The Washingtonian).Based on prodigious research of Lincoln’s record, and of the period and its main players, Blumenthal’s robust biography reflects both Lincoln’s time and the struggle that consumes our own political debate. This first volume traces Lincoln from his birth in 1809 through his education in the political arts, rise to the Congress, and fall into the wilderness from which he emerged as the man we recognize as Abraham Lincoln. “Splendid…no one can come away from reading A Self-Made Man…without eagerly anticipating the ensuing volumes.” (Washington Monthly).
|All the Powers of Earth: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln Vol. III, 1856-1860
ISBN: 1476777284 OCLC: 883146704 Simon & Schuster 2019 n All the Powers of Earth, Lincoln's incredible ascent to power in a world of chaos is newly revealed through the great biographer's extraordinary research and literary style.After a period of depression that he would ever find his way to greatness, Lincoln takes on the most powerful demagogue in the country, Stephen Douglas, in the debates for a senate seat. He sidelines the frontrunner William Seward, a former governor and senator for New York, to cinch the new Republican Party’s nomination.All the Powers of Earth is the political story of all time. Lincoln achieves the presidency by force of strategy, of political savvy and determination. This is Abraham Lincoln, who indisputably becomes the greatest president and moral leader in the nation’s history. But he must first build a new political party, brilliantly state the anti-slavery case and overcome shattering defeat to win the presidency. In the years of civil war to follow, he will show mightily that the nation was right to bet on him. He was its preserver, a politician of moral integrity.
|How Bush Rules: Chronicles of a Radical Regime
ISBN: 069112888X OCLC: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press Princeton, N.J. : 2006 In a series of columns and essays that renowned journalist and former presidential adviser Sidney Blumenthal wrote in the three years following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, a unifying theme began to emerge: that Bush, billed by himself and by many others as a conservative, is in fact a radical--more radical than any president in American history. In How Bush Rules, Blumenthal provides a trenchant and vivid account of the progression of Bush's radical style--from his reliance on one-party rule and his unwillingness to allow internal debate to his elevation of the power of the vice president.Taking readers through pivotal events such as the hunt for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the rise of the foreign-policy neoconservatives, Abu Ghraib, the war on science, the Jack Abramoff scandal, and the catastrophic mishandling of Hurricane Katrina, the book tracks a consistent policy that calls for the president to have complete authority over independent federal agencies and to remain unbound by congressional oversight or even the law.In an incisive and powerful introduction, Blumenthal argues that these radical actions are not haphazard, but deliberately intended to fundamentally change the presidency and the government. He shows not only the historical precedents for radical governing, but also how Bush has taken his methods to unique extremes. With its penetrating account of a critical new era in American leadership, How Bush Rules is a devastating appraisal of the Bush presidency.
|Pledging Allegiance: The Last Campaign of the Cold War
ISBN: 0060161892 OCLC: New York, N.Y. : HarperCollins New York, N.Y. : 1990 Shows how the end of the cold war has affected American politics, and discusses the issues in the 1988 presidential campaign
|The Clinton Wars
ISBN: 0374125023 OCLC: Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2003 An invaluable history of an extraordinary presidency, and the chronicle of a generation’s political odysseyWhen in 1997 Bill Clinton appointed Sidney Blumenthal as a senior advisor, the former writer was catapulted into the front lines of the Clinton wars. From his first day in the White House until long after his appearance as the only presidential aide ever to testify in an impeachment trial, Blumenthal acted in or witnessed nearly all the battles of the Clinton years. His major new book—part history, part memoir—is the first inside account we have of the presidency of William Jefferson Clinton.The Clinton Wars begins in 1987, when Blumenthal first met Bill and Hillary Clinton. His chronicle of Clinton’s first presidential campaign and first term draws on his experiences as confidant to both the President and the First Lady, and is enriched with previously unpublished revelations about both. This remarkable personal interpretation goes far in explaining the polarizing nature of Clinton’s presence on the national scene.The narrative of Clinton’s second term is even more dramatic. Blumenthal takes special note of the battle that was waged within the media between the President’s detractors and defenders, which he expands into a vivid picture of Washington society torn apart by warring factions. But he does not neglect the wars fought on other fronts—in Kosovo, against Congress, and for economic prosperity. His remarkable book ends with the inside story of the fight to elect Al Gore in 2000 and extend the legacy of the Clinton-Gore Administration.Every page of this unrivaled, authoritative book, with its intimate insights into Clinton’s personality and politics, attests to Blumenthal’s literary skill, profound understanding of politics, and unique perspective on crucial events of our recent past. The Clinton Wars is a lasting contribution to American history.
|The Permanent Campaign
ISBN: 0671453416 OCLC: New York : Simon & Schuster Books New York : 1982 Explained how the breakdown in political parties forced politicians to govern in different ways. Instead of relying on patronage and party machines, politicians increasingly used political consultants to help them monitor their job approval numbers and media exposure.
|The Rise of the Counter-Establishment: The Conservative Ascent to Political Power
ISBN: 1402759118 OCLC: New York : Union Square Press New York : 2008 A classic of American politics returns! How did the Republican Party build its infrastructure and arrive at the Reagan triumph in the years following Barry Goldwater’s defeat and Nixon’s cataclysmic resignation in 1974? The Rise of the Counter-Establishment, a now seminal study of contemporary politics, provides the answers. Based on hundreds of interviews with key policy makers, Sidney Blumenthal shows how the conservatives orchestrated their influence to change American politics. By charting the rise of a small group of ideologues who transformed their vision into Washington’s ruling orthodoxy, he brilliantly illuminates the important currents of conservative thought and action, as well as the mythology of Reaganism.Although Blumenthal himself is unabashedly liberal, he is also frankly admiring of the organizational genius displayed by the right wing in finding donors and benefactors eager to fund the think tanks, institutes, magazines, and endowed academic chairs that made the Reagan Revolution—and the George W. Bush presidency—possible. He presents an indispensable object lesson for any out-of-office party determined to regain political power.
|The Strange Death of Republican America: Chronicles of a Collapsing Party
ISBN: 1402757891 OCLC: New York : Union Square Press New York : 2008 Sidney Blumenthal—trenchant analyst, best-selling author, and senior adviser to former President Bill Clinton (and more recently, Hillary)—offers a penetrating journalistic and historical examination of the ongoing collapse of Republicanism. Closely charting the Party’s imploding reputation in America and the world, as well as the potential consequences of George W. Bush’s radical presidency for the 2008 election, The Strange Death of Republican America will be required reading for anyone interested in politics and concerned about the fate of the nation. In these essays and opinion columns written by Blumenthal over the past few years for The Guardian of London and salon.com, along with a new and stimulating introduction, Blumenthal provides a unifying and overarching perspective on the Bush years.Blumenthal scrutinizes the past and present state of the Republican Party, which he believes portends the incipient demise of their vaunted political machine and the Republican era since the Nixon administration. The issues on the table range from the legacy of Nixon’s imperial presidency and its influence on Dick Cheney to Karl Rove’s failed strategy for political realignment, as well as conflicts within the military and intelligence communities over Bush’s policies, and the underlying political shifts that are demonstrably weakening the once-strong foundations of Republican philosophy and governance.
|Wrestling With His Angel: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln Vol. II, 1849-1856
ISBN: 1501153781 OCLC: 883146704 Simon & Schuster 2017 Volume II of Sidney Blumenthal’s acclaimed, landmark biography, The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, reveals the future president’s genius during the most decisive period of his political life when he seizes the moment, finds his voice, and helps create a new political party.In 1849, Abraham Lincoln seems condemned to political isolation and defeat. His Whig Party is broken in the 1852 election and disintegrates. His perennial rival, Stephen Douglas, forges an alliance with the Southern senators and Secretary of War Jefferson Davis. Violent struggle breaks out on the plains of Kansas, a prelude to the Civil War.Lincoln rises to the occasion. Only he can take on Douglas in Illinois, and he finally delivers the dramatic speech that leaves observers stunned. In 1855, he makes a race for the Senate, which he loses when he throws his support to a rival to prevent the election of a proslavery candidate. Now, in Wrestling With His Angel, Sidney Blumenthal explains how Lincoln and his friends operate behind the scenes to destroy the anti-immigrant party in Illinois to clear the way for a new Republican Party. Lincoln takes command and writes its first platform and vaults onto the national stage as the leader of a party that will launch him to the presidency.The Washington Monthly hailed Blumenthal’s Volume I as, “splendid…no one can come away from reading A Self-Made Man without eagerly anticipating the ensuing volumes.” Now, in one of the greatest American success stories, Wrestling With His Angel brings Lincoln from the wilderness to the peak of his career as he takes control of the nation’s most profound spiritual crisis—slavery—and enters the battle for the nation’s soul.