By Tim Alberta

A Library of American Journalism

Tim Alberta is an award-winning journalist, best-selling author, and staff writer for The Atlantic magazine. He formerly served as chief political correspondent for POLITICO. In 2019, he published the critically acclaimed book, "American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump" and co-moderated the year's final Democratic presidential debate aired by PBS Newshour.

Hailing from Brighton, Michigan, Tim attended Schoolcraft College and later Michigan State University, where his plans to become a baseball writer were changed by a stint covering the legislature in Lansing. He went on to spend more than a decade in Washington, reporting for publications including the Wall Street Journal, The Hotline, National Journal and National Review. Having covered the biggest stories in national politics—the battles over health care and immigration on Capitol Hill; the election and presidency of Donald Trump; the ideological warfare between and within the two parties—Tim was eager for a new challenge.

In 2019, he moved home to Michigan. Rather than cover the 2020 campaign through the eyes of the candidates, Tim roved the country and reported from gun shows and farmers markets, black cookouts and white suburbs, crowded wholesale stores and shuttered small businesses. He wrote a regular "Letter to Washington" that kept upstream from politics, focusing less on manifest partisan divisions and more on elusive root causes: the hollowing out of communities, the diminished faith in vital institutions, the self-perpetuating cycle of cultural antagonism, the diverging economic realities for wealthy and working-class citizens, the rapid demographic makeover of America—and the corollary spikes in racism and xenophobia.

Tim joined The Atlantic in March 2021 with a mandate to keep roaming and writing and telling stories that strike at the heart of America's discontent. His work has been featured in dozens of other publications nationwide, including Sports Illustrated and Vanity Fair, and he frequently appears as a commentator on television programs in the United States and around the world. Tim's first book, "American Carnage," debuted at No. 1 and No. 2 on the Washington Post and New York Times best-seller lists, respectively. He lives in southeast Michigan with his wife, three sons, and German Shepherd.
Biography

Invite Tim Alberta to Speak

Represented by Leading Authorities, Inc., author and journalist Tim Alberta has been featured as a keynote speaker, guest panelist, live interviewer and host emcee at events across the United States and overseas. Tim's speaking experience spans from large corporate conventions to elite academic forums, exclusive briefings for military personnel to private receptions with leading industry lobbyists and Fortune 500 CEOs. Having spent more than a decade immersed in Washington politics—and now based in the Midwest, roving the country, reporting from the ground-up on the roots of our unrest—Tim is uniquely positioned to address the cultural and political trends shaping American life. To book Tim for an event, please fill out the contact form below.

American Carnage
"American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump"

New York Times' Top Books of 2019

No. 1 Washington Post Best-Seller

No. 2 New York Times Best-Seller

Politico Magazine’s chief political correspondent provides a rollicking insider’s look at the making of the modern Republican Party—how a decade of cultural upheaval, populist outrage, and ideological warfare made the GOP vulnerable to a hostile takeover from the unlikeliest of insurgents: Donald J. Trump.

The 2016 election was a watershed for the United States. But, as Tim Alberta explains in American Carnage, to understand Trump’s victory is to view him not as the creator of this era of polarization and bruising partisanship, but rather as its most manifest consequence.

American Carnage is the story of a president’s rise based on a country’s evolution and a party’s collapse. As George W. Bush left office with record-low approval ratings and Barack Obama led a Democratic takeover of Washington, Republicans faced a moment of reckoning: They had no vision, no generation of new leaders, and no energy in the party’s base. Yet Obama’s forceful pursuit of his progressive agenda, coupled with the nation’s rapidly changing societal and demographic identity, lit a fire under the right, returning Republicans to power and inviting a bloody struggle for the party’s identity in the post-Bush era. The factions that emerged—one led by absolutists like Jim Jordan and Ted Cruz, the other led by pragmatists like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell—engaged in a series of devastating internecine clashes and attempted coups for control. With the GOP’s internal fissures rendering it legislatively impotent, and that impotence fueling a growing resentment toward the political class and its institutions, the stage was set for an outsider to crash the party. When Trump descended a gilded escalator to announce his run in the summer of 2015, the candidate had met the moment.

Only by viewing Trump as the culmination of a decade-long civil war inside the GOP—and of the parallel sense of cultural, socioeconomic, and technological disruption during that period—can we appreciate how he won the White House and consider the fundamental questions at the center of America’s current turmoil. How did a party once obsessed with national insolvency come to champion trillion-dollar deficits? How did the party of compassionate conservatism become the party of Muslim bans and family separation? How did the party of family values elect a thrice-married philanderer? And, most important, how long can such a party survive?

Loaded with explosive original reporting and based off hundreds of exclusive interviews—including with key players such as President Trump, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Jim DeMint, and Reince Priebus, among many others—American Carnage takes us behind the scenes of this tumultuous period as we’ve never seen it before and establishes Tim Alberta as the premier chronicler of this political era.

To purchase a copy, visit the book's official website. To request signed copies, fill out the contact form below.
John Boehner Unchained

John Boehner Unchained

Long considered one of Washington’s finest golfers, he is spraying shots left and right with choppy, self-doubting swings. Sensing my surprise, the former House Speaker says his handicap has skyrocketed since leaving Congress two years ago. After he misses a 10-foot putt, and we climb into our cart, I ask why. “You have to concentrate while you hit the ball,” he says. “That’s my biggest problem in golf these days. I just can’t concentrate. I could always concentrate on what I had to do. But these days..."

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Kent Sorenson Was a Tea Party Hero. Then He Lost Everything.

Kent Sorenson Was a Tea Party Hero. Then He Lost Everything.

Inmate No. 15000-030 is released into the frigid January morning at 8:46, a gray custodial suit of sweatpants and long-sleeved thermal clinging to his immense frame, a bushy salt-and-pepper beard wrapping around his face, a guard escorting him with a high-powered rifle slung over his right shoulder. Most politicians would appear hopelessly—dangerously—misplaced in a federal prison. Kent Sorenson is not most politicians.

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'God Made Me Black on Purpose'

'God Made Me Black on Purpose'

Surveying America's societal upheaval, Tim Scott sees “a wave of negative hostility, and a wave of opportunity, all hidden in the same room.” He finds himself hopeful of two things: first, that by virtue of his diverse experiences he is uniquely positioned to help broker a peace between the warring tribes; and second, that if successful, not only will today’s tumult lead to “a healthier country” in the long run, but that those who follow in Scott’s footsteps might be liberated from the racial paradigms he has struggled to transcend.

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Nikki Haley's Time for Choosing

Nikki Haley's Time for Choosing

Late last year, Nikki Haley had a friend who was going through a hard time. He had lost his job and was being evicted from his house. He was getting bad advice from bad people who were filling his head with self-destructive fantasies. He seemed to be losing touch with reality. Out of concern, Haley called the man. “I want to make sure you’re okay,” she told him. “You’re my president, but you’re also my friend.”

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‘Mother Is Not Going to Like This’: The 48 Hours That Almost Tanked Trump

‘Mother Is Not Going to Like This’: The 48 Hours That Almost Tanked Trump

Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold, who claimed to have an old audio recording of Trump making exceedingly lewd remarks about women, had sent over the alleged quotes and was requesting comment from the campaign for a story that would run later that day. “Wow, this isn’t good,” Reince Priebus said, his eyes fixed on a single line. “This is really, really bad.” The group inside the Trump Tower conference room was paralyzed with silence. Finally, Jared Kushner piped up. “You know, I don’t think it’s all that bad.”

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Life Lessons From an NFL Father

Life Lessons From an NFL Father

And then I asked Calvin Johnson Sr. the dumbest question he’d ever heard. “So tell me,” I began, nodding toward his herculean offspring standing 20 yards away, “I’m a new father—what’s the secret to raising a successful kid?” The elder Johnson gave me blank expression. I held his stare, confused by his confusion. Then he turned toward his son, turned back toward me, and cocked his head to the side. “Calvin?”

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Why the GOP Gave Up on Porn

Why the GOP Gave Up on Porn

Nothing could so neatly encapsulate the religious right’s backsliding as Jerry Falwell Jr. giving a thumbs-up in front of the very magazine his father had singled out as symbolic of America’s moral decay—while standing shoulder to shoulder with a man who had appeared in a softcore porno flick and who reportedly, as Jimmy Carter might have put it, screwed a bunch of women outside of marriage, including a Playboy model and hardcore adult-film actress. And it highlighted something else just as striking: the total abandonment of pornography as a battleground in America’s culture war.

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The True Story of Michigan’s Fake Voter Fraud Scandal

The True Story of Michigan’s Fake Voter Fraud Scandal

The drama in Michigan raised fundamental questions about the health of our political system and the sturdiness of American democracy. Why were Republicans who privately admitted Trump’s legitimate defeat publicly alleging massive fraud? Why did it fall to a little-known lawyer to buffer the country from an unprecedented layer of turmoil? Why did the battleground state that dealt Trump his most decisive defeat—by a wide margin—become the epicenter of America’s electoral crisis?

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The Blue Wave

The Blue Wave

In sweeping to the nomination, Trump took a sledgehammer to the party’s elite consensus on immigration. Now the fear among GOP strategists isn’t just that his no-holds-barred, ad hominem campaign will hurt Republicans with Hispanics in 2016 — but also that it’s antagonizing a generation of voters Republicans will need if they ever hope to reoccupy the White House. According to the Pew Research Center, 4 million Hispanics have become eligible voters since 2012. That pace will only accelerate. With the youngest population in the U.S., Hispanics will drive the number of eligible minority voters ever higher, eclipsing white eligible voters by 2052.

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The Financial Whisperer to Middle America

The Financial Whisperer to Middle America

Dave Ramsey might not be a household name in Washington or New York, cities where the chattering classes worry about their blue-chip stocks and wonder whether “economic anxiety” in the heartland really propelled Donald Trump to the presidency. But for the past 25 years—and especially in the decade since the recession—this Tennessee realtor-turned-talk-radio-host has spent his time considering nothing but economic anxiety, walking tens of thousands of callers through a nightmarish gauntlet of debts and defaults, job layoffs and pay cuts, underwater mortgages and punishing student loans.

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How the Gun Show Became the Trump Show

How the Gun Show Became the Trump Show

In certain wings of the hall there was more MAGA merchandise for sale than weaponry: Trump shirts, Trump socks, Trump bumper stickers, Trump posters, Trump flags, Trump scarves. There was even Trump currency—his likeness on a $2020 bill. And people were buying this stuff. Lots of it. Some of them didn’t need to: Scores of attendees came wearing a hat or a shirt supporting Trump. It reminded me of NFL fans wearing their team’s jersey to a game. In an era when communities have been ravaged, Trumpism offers a sense of fraternity, a sort of membership card to something edgier than the Knights of Columbus or the Lion’s Club.

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A Tale of Two Democrats

A Tale of Two Democrats

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar represents the unapologetic new guard of progressivism, pushing the party’s establishment to embrace tactics and positions that have heretofore been considered outside of the mainstream. Yet she faces resistance not just from party elders but from many of her fellow freshmen, centrists who campaigned as fixers not firebrands, moderates who are watching warily as the Democrats’ brand is being hijacked by the far left. One of these members is Omar’s neighbor in Minnesota: Dean Phillips, a wealthy businessman who represents the 3rd District.

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Invite Tim Alberta to Speak

Represented by Leading Authorities, Inc., journalist and author Tim Alberta has been featured as a keynote speaker, guest panelist, live interviewer and host emcee at events across the United States and overseas. Tim's speaking experience spans from large corporate conventions to elite academic forums, exclusive briefings for military personnel to private receptions with leading industry lobbyists and Fortune 500 CEOs. Having spent more than a decade immersed in Washington politics—and now based in the Midwest, roving the country, reporting from the ground-up on the roots of our unrest—Tim is uniquely positioned to address the cultural and political trends shaping American life. To book Tim for an event, please fill out the contact form below.