Rachel M. Blum, PhD

Party Capture: The Book

Coming soon!

My book, How the Tea Party Captured the GOP: Insurgent Factions in American Politics, is forthcoming with the University of Chicago Press (expected publication March 2020). You can read the catalogue summary of the book below. I will be adding more information as it becomes available, so be sure to check back!

The Tea Party insurgency redefined both the Republican Party and how we think about intra-party conflict. What initially appeared to be an anti-Obama protest movement of fiscal conservatives matured into a faction that sought to increase its influence in the Republican Party by any means necessary. Tea Partiers captured the party’s organizational machinery and used it to replace established politicians with Tea Party-style Republicans, eventually laying the groundwork for the nomination and election of a candidate like Donald Trump.

In How the Tea Party Captured the GOP, Rachel M. Blum approaches the Tea Party from the angle of party politics, explaining the Tea Party’s insurgent strategies as those of a party faction. Blum offers a novel theory of factions as miniature parties within parties, discussing how fringe groups can use factions to increase their political influence in the US two-party system. In this richly researched book, the author uncovers how the electoral losses of 2008 sparked disgruntled Republicans to form the Tea Party faction, and the strategies the Tea Party used to wage a systematic takeover of the Republican Party. This book not only illuminates how the Tea Party achieved its influence, but also provides a framework for identifying other factional insurgencies.