“A wonderfully detailed history of a now-extinct faith.”
— New York Times Book Review
“Geismer’s impressive, readable new book on the history of the New Democrats.”
— Washington Montly
Left Behind lucidly conveys how the Clintonian ‘New Democrats’ of the 1990s looked to beat Republicans with market-based policies, but in the end contributed to traumatic losses for all too many and a steep decline in public trust. The struggle underway for the soul of the Democratic Party seems all the more urgent in light of this bracing reassessment.
— Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains and finalist for the National Book Award
Left Behind is a powerful critique of a technocratic, market-driven approach to government that has never lived up to its promise. Geismer shows in painful detail how the Democratic Party of the recent past could have helped the poor—but chose not to fight for them. This is not just history—it’s a map that takes us, inexorably, to the mess we’re still in.
— Stephanie Kelton, New York Times–bestselling author of The Deficit Myth
Tremendous. This book shows how the ideas of the Clinton-era Democrats emerged historically, setting them up for a clear and convincing debunking. We’re along for the ride with these characters as they become enamored of horrible ideas, with disastrous consequences. This book is an absolute must-read, especially for those who think they already know this story.
— Chenjerai Kumanyika, assistant professor at Rutgers and cohost of the podcast Uncivil
Framing the story as a tragedy of good intentions gone wrong, Geismer transforms wonky policy matters into an unlikely page-turner. Readers will gain valuable insight into the Clinton presidency and its legacy in today’s distrust between progressives and centrist Democrats.
— Publishers Weekly
Geismer deftly weaves politics with policy to show how the Democrats reimagined poverty as a market failure… Catnip for policy wonks and political junkies, offering solid lessons for Democrats going forward.