American Psychosis

A Historical Investigation of How the Republican Party Went Crazy


By David Corn

Read by Steven Jay Cohen

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around September 13, 2022. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

#1 New York Times bestselling author and investigative reporter David Corn tells the wild and harrowing story of the Republican Party’s decades-long relationship with far-right extremism, bigotry, and paranoia.​

A fast-paced, rollicking, behind-the-scenes account of how the GOP since the 1950s has encouraged and exploited extremism, bigotry, and paranoia to gain power, American Psychosis offers readers a brisk, can-you-believe-it journey through the netherworld of far-right irrationality and the Republican Party’s interactions with the darkest forces in America. In a compelling and thoroughly-researched narrative, Corn reveals the hidden history of how the Party of Lincoln forged alliances with extremists, kooks, racists, and conspiracy-mongers and fostered fear, anger, and resentment to win elections—and how this led to Donald Trump’s triumph and the transformation of the GOP into a Trump personality cult that foments and bolsters the crazy and dangerous excesses of the right.
The Trump-incited insurrectionist attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, was no aberration. American Psychosisshows it was a continuation of the long and deep-rooted Republican practice of boosting and weaponizing the rage and derangement of the right.
The gripping tale in American Psychosis covers the last seven decades. From McCarthyism to the John Birch Society to segregationists to the New Right to the religious right to Rush Limbaugh to Newt Gingrich to the militia movement to Fox News to Sarah Palin to the Tea Party to Trumpism, the Republican Party has deliberately nurtured and exploited rightwing fear and loathing fueled by paranoia, grievance, and tribalism. This powerful and important account explains how one political party has harnessed the worst elements in politics to poison the nation’s discourse and threaten American democracy.

"[Corn is] a great journalist. I love the way he thinks. I love the way he writes. I'm so glad he's done a super-readable, modern history of the right…We just need smart, digestible history about this stuff right now…[American Psychosis] is perfectly timed…Relevant history for where we are right now." —Rachel Maddow, host, The Rachel Maddow Show

"With American Psychosis, David Corn 'did the full homework to take us all the way back to where it really begins.’" —Lawrence O'Donnell, host, The Last Word


  • "We all know that the hatred, bigotry, conspiracism, paranoia, and rage inside the GOP didn’t start with Donald Trump. But in AMERICAN PSYCHOSIS, an important and convincing account, David Corn shows that such poison has been in the marrow of the Republican Party for more than 70 years."
    Jonathan Alter, author of The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies
  • “Whether you think the GOP's descent into depravity started with Barry Goldwater or Richard Nixon or Newt Gingrich, David Corn makes the powerful case that Donald Trump didn't come out of nowhere. Corn expertly traces the antecedents of Trump and Trumpism over the decades. This is a must read if you want to understand what brought us to Trump and why the GOP remains a threat to American democracy.”
    Jennifer Rubin, columnist, the Washington Post
  • “David Corn's AMERICAN PSYCHOSIS is essential reading for anyone hoping to restore political sanity in America. He argues convincingly that the toxic brew of bigotry, conspiracy theories, and lies that define Trumpism started long before Trump. Corn writes that Trump was not an aberration. He was the apotheosis of the Republican Party's decades-long slide into the gutter. Corn weaves this investigative history together into a compelling narrative that is equal parts horrifying and entertaining. It's a tribute to Corn that with the publication of AMERICAN PSYCHOSIS he has managed to make brilliant sense of American senselessness.”
    Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money, and Chief Washington Correspondent for The New Yorker Magazine
  • “In this sweeping examination of the United States, David Corn explains that descent of
    the modern-day Republican Party into radicalism is not an aberration, it is the logical 
    outcome of party leaders' decades-long weaponization of our nation's history of paranoia, conspiracy theories, and bigotry for political advantage. AMERICAN PSYCHOSIS requires us to revisit the dark forces that have shaped our government and charges us to safeguard American democracy from those who inflame our worst instincts in order to destroy it.”
    Heather Cox Richardson, professor of history, Boston College
  • "David Corn has written a searing and deeply reported account of how a major political party binged on crazy pills for decades—even before Donald Trump rallied a mob to attack the US Capitol. Tracing the history of the modern GOP, Corn recounts how the party succumbed to the extremism, alternative realities, and paranoia that spread the AMERICAN PSYCHOSIS that exploded on January 6. A desperately important read."
    Charlie Sykes, author of How The Right Lost Its Mind
  • "AMERICAN PSYCHOSIS is a brave and important book written by one of the sharpest political writers of our time."
    Molly Jong-Fast, contributing writer, The Atlantic

On Sale
Sep 13, 2022
Hachette Audio

David Corn

About the Author

David Corn is a veteran Washington journalist and political commentator. He is the Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones magazine and an analyst for MSNBC. He is the author of three New York Times bestsellers, including Showdown: The Inside Story of How Obama Battled the GOP to Set Up the 2012 Election and Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War (co-written with Michael Isikoff). He is also the author of the biography Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA’s Crusades and the novel Deep Background.

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