Bookended by Donald Trump's 2016 victory and his 2020 defeat, Rubin delivers an analysis of the women's counter-Trump revolution. Resistance tracks a set of women voters, activists and politicians who rose up when Donald Trump took the White House and changed the political landscape.
It’s a very Washington-centric book in that way, and also, er, centrist-centric — there’s a lot more about center-left Dems like Spanberger and Tanden than there is about the Squad ... Readers will see much that is familiar in here. Some of the quotes are new, from Rubin’s copious interviews, but the stories are not. They were all well-reported at the time. A reader who paid reasonably close attention to the news during the Trump presidency might find little to recommend Resistance ... Rubin, being a columnist, does intersperse some opinion and analysis into her storytelling. She does not hide that she’s a fan of Amy Klobuchar and a major Harris stan. And to put it mildly, some readers will chafe at Rubin’s weaker takes ... is, however, chiefly a chronicle, which means its chief virtue is how it ticks through, one after another, the many times women flexed their political power during the Trump presidency. It’s easy to imagine a reader being reminded of all the stories she might have forgotten and punching the air (nearly knocking over her 'Nasty Woman' coffee mug in the process). Seeing all these instances strung together could, for a reader in the #resistance, be a downright joyful experience ... And yet, in reading about women saving democracy from Trump (as Rubin puts it in her subtitle), that 'nasty woman' might start to wonder: Wait. Why did women have to save democracy? What created the conditions that allowed President Trump to happen? And why was it women who did the saving? By virtue of being a chronicle, Resistance continually raises the question of why resistance was necessary, a question that Rubin never probes deeply ... also, incongruously, includes women who quite pointedly did not resist ... This may illuminate one thing it means for all of these nasty, persistent women to have gotten involved in politics. Perhaps they did save democracy from Trump. But now, many have dusted themselves off and gotten right back to organizing. For these women, there might be more to save than democracy, and more villains than Trump.
Rubin is uniquely situated to assess this political uprising and chronicle the role of women on the front lines in the war to claim gender equity and protect democratic values. The result is a keenly analytical appreciation for and deeply personal connection to the ways in which the modern American female electorate has been reawakened and reenergized to reimagine a more inclusive political landscape.