The Land of Flickering Lights is a unique contribution to American political writing at this or any other time. Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado lifts a veil on the inner workings of Congress to reveal “through a series of actual stories—about the people, the politics, the motives, the money, the hypocrisy, the stakes, the outcomes—the pathological culture of the capital and the consequences for us all.”
Bennet unfolds the dramatic backstory behind five episodes crucial to the well-being of all Americans. Each of them exemplifies the hyper-partisan politics that have upended our democracy:
• The highly politicized confirmation battles over judicial nominations at all levels — epitomized by ugly and unprincipled fights over seats on the Supreme Court;
• The passage of the Trump tax law, which massively increased our national debt and widened economic inequality across the country;
• The shredding of the Iran nuclear deal, which undermined our national security, caused friends and foes alike to doubt America’s word, and made a mockery of the longstanding bipartisan tradition in foreign policy;
• The pervasive corruption unleashed by “dark money” in policies and how big donors have been able to stymie urgent action on climate change and many other issues;
• The sabotage by a congressional minority of the “Gang of Eight’s” bipartisan deal to reform America’s immigration policies, a deal that would have comprehensively addressed the immigration issues that bedevil us to this day.
With frankness and refreshing candor, and in elegant prose, Bennet pulls the machinations behind these episodes into full public view, shedding vital new light on our political dysfunction today. Arguing that each of us has a duty to act as a founder, he will inspire Americans of all political persuasions to demand that the “winners” of our political battles be all the American people, not one party or the other.
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
An Amazon Best Book of the Month (History)
“A sweeping diagnosis of the nation’s political ills . . . Stitched together with assurances that room for redemption still exists.”—New York Times Book Review
“Bennet offers a strident critique of our current rancorous, ineffective government that has betrayed the Founders’ visions and is ‘desperately out of sync’ with the nation’s needs . . . A forceful argument that patriotism, hard work, and belief in the common good can revive a prosperous and powerful democracy.”—Kirkus Reviews
“It’s a campaign book, yes, but it’s a smart and substantive one.”—Daily Beast