Cover image for Gaslighting America : why we love it when Trump lies to us / Amanda Carpenter.
Title:
Gaslighting America : why we love it when Trump lies to us / Amanda Carpenter.
ISBN:
9780062748003

9780062748010
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Broadside Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2018]
Physical Description:
269 pages ; 24 cm
Contents:
Birthing a president -- Winning ugly -- #War -- Terrorized -- Inside job -- Burned -- The pledge -- Surrogate secrets -- Punch 'em in the face -- Kayfabe -- The cult of KEK -- Hacks -- Bimbo eruptions -- Lock her up -- President Trump -- Nixon's shadow.
Abstract:
In Gaslighting America, Carpenter breaks down Trump's formula, showing why it's practically foolproof, playing his victims, the media, the Democrats, and the Republican fence-sitters perfectly. She traces how this tactic started with Nixon, gained traction with Bill Clinton, and exploded under Trump.
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Summary

Summary

A CNN contributor, former Ted Cruz staffer, and "Never Trump" adherent reveals a shocking truth: Donald Trump's lies and fabrications don't horrify America--they enthrall us--and explains how we can avoid falling for them.

"Can you believe what Donald Trump said?"

In Gaslighting America, Carpenter breaks down Trump's formula, showing why it's practically foolproof, playing his victims, the media, the Democrats, and the Republican fence-sitters perfectly. She traces how this tactic started with Nixon, gained traction with Bill Clinton, and exploded under Trump. If you think Trump is driving you crazy, it's because he is. Now, in this urgent book, she explains how to withstand the fire.

Where some people see lies, Trump's fierce followers see something different. A commitment to winning at all costs; there is nothing he could say that would erode their support at long as it's in the name of taking down his political enemies.

His opponents on the left and right continue to act as if his fake narratives and conspiracy theories will bring him down, when in fact, they are the ruses that raised him up.

As a conservative former staffer to a competing presidential campaign, Amanda Carpenter witnessed her fellow Republicans fall in line behind Trump. As a political commentator, she was publicly smeared by one of his supporters on live television without a shred of evidence supporting the allegations. Slowly, she watched her entire party succumb to Trump and become defenders of his tactics, and Gaslighting America may be the only hope to bring them back to reality.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Carpenter, a former congressional staffer and self-declared "never Trump" conservative, scathingly revisits the 2016 presidential election and first year of Donald Trump's presidency in a convincing attempt to pinpoint the methods behind Trump's rise to power. Calling the methods gaslighting, after Patrick Hamilton's 1938 melodrama Gas Light, in which a man's lies gradually convince his wife that she is going insane, Carpenter identifies five distinct gaslighting steps: "stake a claim"; "advance and deny"; "create suspense" by announcing forthcoming evidence; "discredit the opponent" with personal attacks; and "win" by self-proclamation. The author uses a plethora of examples to build her case, from Trump's famous public questioning of the authenticity of Barack Obama's birth certificate, to a personally relevant episode in which Trump and his campaign pushed an unsubstantiated National Enquirer story rumoring an affair between Carpenter and her former boss, Sen. Ted Cruz. As a counter to these tactics, the author closes with tips to avoid succumbing to Trump's strategy ("try to add some substance to your media diet") and a plea for politicians to take back the narrative with more positive, truthful versions of gaslighting tactics, such as to "get people talking." For right-leaning readers aghast at the current state of politics, Carpenter's book will serve as a beacon of hope. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

According to Carpenter, CNN political commentator and former staffer for Senators Jim DeMint and Ted Cruz, voters and political candidates must learn to recognize the methodical communication strategy known as "gaslighting" used by President Donald Trump to discredit opponents and unfavorable information. The strategy, as identified by Carpenter, follows five steps: make a statement that generates intense media attention; advance the idea without taking responsibility for it; create suspense and continued media attention by promising more information at a later date; discredit individuals or entities who attempt to disprove the idea; and eventually declare victory no matter the circumstances. Carpenter uses the time line of the "birther" conspiracy propagated by Trump and others to demonstrate how the strategy succeeds, noting that even after President Barack Obama produced his birth certificate to prove his citizenship, many Americans continued to believe he was born outside the United States. -VERDICT Carpenter convincingly explains the questionable but effective ways the Trump campaign maligned and distorted candidates' records and backgrounds. Informative and thought provoking for readers interested in politics and communications strategies.-Jill Ortner, SUNY Buffalo Libs. © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

1 Birthing a Presidentp. 1
2 Winning Uglyp. 17
3 #Warp. 23
4 Terrorizedp. 33
5 Inside Jobp. 41
6 Burnedp. 53
7 The Pledgep. 71
8 Surrogate Secretsp. 87
9 Punch 'Em in the Facep. 101
10 Kayfabep. 117
11 The Cult of Kekp. 133
12 Hacksp. 141
13 Bimbo Eruptionsp. 147
14 Lock Her Upp. 155
15 President Trumpp. 165
16 Nixon's Shadowp. 175
Afterword: Fireproofingp. 185
Appendix I

p. 203

Appendix II

p. 205

Appendix III

p. 211

Acknowledgmentsp. 219
Notesp. 221
Indexp. 253