Buy Used
CDN$ 8.50
+ CDN$ 0.00 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism Hardcover – May 1 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

See all 18 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
Hardcover, May 1 2012
CDN$ 44.96 CDN$ 1.04

The New York Times Best Sellers

click to open popover

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 1 edition (May 1 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465031331
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465031337
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #235,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
    If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description

Review

“The Congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein have been making waves with a new book acknowledging a truth that, until now, was unmentionable in polite circles. They say our political dysfunction is largely because of the transformation of the Republican Party into an extremist force that is “dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.” You can't get cooperation to serve the national interest when one side of the divide sees no distinction between the national interest and its own partisan triumph.” Timothy Egan, New York Times“[It] is encouraging to see two longtime Washington wise men — Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, sensible, nonpartisan scholars and impeccably credentialed authors of good advice that no one ever follows — come out with a full-blown polemic against the Republicans who have steered Congress off a cliff.” The Economist“What happens to a two-party political system when one party goes mad? That is the question posed in a powerful and angry new book by two scholars at two respected think-tanks, Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution and Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute.” The Economist, Lexington Notebook Blog

“[T]he authors know what they are talking about, lay it out clearly and are right to broadcast their concern about the health of US democracy. They are also correct – and brave – to emphasise the asymmetric nature of America's polarisation. . . . The book is chiefly about what ails Washington – and its diagnosis is depressingly convincing. The authors are right to point out that things may be even worse than they seem. If the era of ill-tempered partisanship is here to stay, then gridlocked governance is also a fixture. So, therefore, is America's decline.” David Frum, CNN.com“Ornstein and Mann offer a convincing array of explanations for the trend toward radicalism within the GOP, including changes in campaign finance and in the electorate itself. They offer too a range of proposals to work around GOP radicalism and restore the effective functioning of Congress. If those proposals have a faint wistful air to them, blame the inherent difficulty of the problem, not Mann and Ornstein. . . . [P]owerful and important.” San Ramon Express (San Ramon, CA)

“[Mann and Ornstein] have been navigating the shifting currents of the Potomac for more than 40 years each; their expertise is beyond serious debate, their credentials are impeccable, their reputations firmly established. Which is why it's extremely important to take note of their recent book “It's Even Worse Than It Looks.” In it, they lay blame for the current policy morass in Washington directly, unequivocally at the feet of one political party: the Republicans. . . . [A] blistering indictment.” Richard L. Hasen, Slate.com
“Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein offer both an insightful diagnosis of the problem of a broken Washington and a set of proposed solutions. . . . Mann and Ornstein have done a great public service in opening a dialogue on how to fix the mismatch between our political and constitutional systems of government.”

The Weekly Standard
“Mann and Ornstein … are the deans of the Beltway Establishment, at least its intellectual wing. For them to argue so tendentiously that the GOP is to blame for the ills of Washington offers compelling proof of how insiders view the Tea Party and modern conservatism, as well as the tactics they employ to get across these opinions.”

Hendrik HertzbergThe New Yorker (online only)


“We now have history's first draft of the story of this Congress. There is so much political fog right now that it is hard to get a clear view of the reason for the dysfunction on Capitol Hill. But three new books take a step back to get a clear look at the fray, and all three conclude that no-holds-barred, right-wing politics is to be blamed. . . . Mann and Ornstein paint sad pictures of a House Republican Conference that is ‘more loyal to party than to country' and intentionally crippling Congress ‘at a time when the country faces unusually serious problems and grave threats.'” R. Garrett Mitchell, The Mitchell Report“[A] compelling analysis of the gridlock that characterizes America's domestic politics.” Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, MSNBC

“Two of the most sage politics watchers of our time are congressional scholars Norm Ornstein of the (mainly conservative) American Enterprise Institute and Thomas Mann of the (more Democratic than not) Brookings Institution. Together they've written and just released a book called “It's Even Worse Than It Looks.” It is about our broken, dysfunctional, nonfunctioning partisan political system. . . . When and if voters learn to think strategically and reward problem solving, the American impasse might end. If they punish rather than reward obstruction, the blood of American democracy might start flowing once more.” Catherine Poe, Washington Times Ad Lib Blog
“Something awful happened on the way to the 21st Century. This should have been the new American century, but by the time the Republican Party got through with us, we were a country, battered, on its knees, reeling from the body blows. . . . Just out and stirring up debate… [It's Even Worse Than It Looks] confronts our uniquely American problem head on.” Tom Moran, New Jersey Star Ledger


“In It's Even Worse Than It Looks, Mann and Ornstein diagnose the roots of our nation's new legislative order. In doing so, they draw attention to the forces holding back America's future and the changes we must make in order to overcome them.” Robert G. Kaiser, Washington Post“Reading this book is a little like quaffing a double espresso on an empty stomach — it's a jolt. For this reader it was a welcome jolt. . . .  Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein have been Washington fixtures for three decades. They are two of the brightest, best informed and most scholarly students of our politics. . . . [As] Mann and Ornstein document so vividly, at a time when only good government could help us rediscover our footing as a nation, our Grand Old Party defines itself as the party of anti-government. This is why the title of this book is so good: Our situation really is even worse than it looks.” Paul Krugman, New York Times

“[W]hat we have here is a group of respected, credible, inside-the-beltway establishment types who are now willing to acknowledge what is plainly true: Republican extremism has no modern precedent, and it making governing and policymaking nearly impossible, even during times of crises – despite the demands that Very Serious People agree that “both sides” are always to blame for everything in all instances. Indeed, they're making these pronouncements in a surprising, matter-of-fact sort of way. Here's hoping other respected, credible, inside-the-beltway establishment types feel emboldened to be equally candid about reality.” The Daily Kos“[An] excellent book that… may have an impact on the 2012 campaign. . . . [It] should be read by every progressive.  It's not going to change many progressive minds, but it deepens our perspective on the history of this and the political science perspectives involved. . . . That is one of the keys to the brilliance of this book…Buy the book. Pass it around.  Spread the word.  Our nation has a crisis in Congress worse than anything we've seen in 150 years.  The sooner more of us recognize that, the sooner we can get to work on solutions that are appropriate to the problem.”  Bonnie Erbe, Scripps Howard News Service

“Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and Thomas Mann of Brookings are highly respected analysts. . . . Coming from them, the claim that the American system is even worse than it looks deserves to be taken with the utmost seriousness. . . . Mann and Ornstein provide one of the most careful, forensic accounts so far of how Congress has worked in these conditions. They are also astonishingly frank about what they think of the Republican Party – and about the media.” Eric Alterman, TheNation.com“Written by Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, two long-time Congressional scholars, It's Even Worse Than It Looks fillets the traditional media for perpetuating a principle of false equivalence in its coverage of the two parties, the effect of which, they say, has merely masked the GOP's unalloyed march toward the fringes of the right wing. . . . Insightful.” Juan Williams, The Hill

“[T]wo respected centrist scholars, Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann, have written a book that moves past the bland and lazy conventional wisdom. They argue, with a truckload of evidence, that the blame in Washington lies overwhelmingly with Republicans. . . . .Our national politics has turned a strange corner. And it is a cop-out to say that both parties are equally to blame. Strained attempts to be even-handed distort the reality we face. . . . The book is titled It's Even Worse Than It Looks and it is both fascinating and alarming." Michael Brissenden, Australian Broadcasting Corporation “[‘It's Even Worse Than It Looks' has] blown the lid off the usually staid and predictable world of political punditry.” Barrie Dunsmor, Barre-Montpelier Times Argus (Barre-Montpelier, VT)“Mann and Ornstein are among the brightest and best informed political scientists in the country. . . . [T]his book really is a must read for anyone who cares about what is happening to this country.” Ed Luce, Financial Times

About the Author

Thomas E. Mann is the W. Averell Harriman Chair and senior fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution. He is a former executive director of the American Political Science Association. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.   Norman J. Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of a weekly column for 'Roll Call', called "Congress Inside Out." He lives in Washington, D.C. Both are fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.   They are coauthors of 'The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track'.


Customer reviews

Share your thoughts with other customers
See all 4 customer reviews

Top customer reviews

June 20, 2016
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
June 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
October 25, 2016
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
September 9, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 398 reviews
AJWall
5.0 out of 5 starsHindsight Questions a Hopeful Outcome.
February 25, 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
3 people found this helpful.
Book Shark
5.0 out of 5 starsPragmatic Solutions to a well Diagnosed Problem
December 16, 2013 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
6 people found this helpful.
Just a ♂
4.0 out of 5 starsGreat Read! Slightly Dated, Mostly Current
February 12, 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
Miller.
4.0 out of 5 starsGood fundamental material on our Federal government
March 28, 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
3 people found this helpful.

Where's My Stuff?

Delivery & Returns

Need Help?