Ward provides a thorough and readable chronicle of how the bitter primary fight between Carter and Ted Kennedy and the Democrats’ misplaced nostalgia for the past sabotaged their future and how their division eerily foreshadowed the Republicans’ own civil war in 2016 that put Donald Trump in the White House.
Ward may exaggerate the 'civil war' within the Democratic Party; indeed, the national electoral map had been shifting well before the Carter-Kennedy duel. Still, this is a well-researched and valuable look back at a period of intense political turmoil that helped shape our current environment.
Captivating ... The book moves at a steady clip, but not by sacrificing scholarship—Ward draws on journalism of the day, previous biographies, histories, memoirs, and new interviews with some of the players. He engages fully with the complexities and contradictions of both men ... Ward’s recounting of the seesaw of public opinion in 1980 makes for enthralling reading.