Front cover image for The big break : the gamblers, party animals & true believers trying to win in Washington while America loses its mind

The big break : the gamblers, party animals & true believers trying to win in Washington while America loses its mind

Ben Terris (Author)
"In this fascinating investigation into the real life inner workings of a post-Trump American government, uncover the odd and eccentric personalities grappling for their own bit of power in D.C. The Big Break investigates how Washington works, and how different kinds of people try to make it work for them. Ben Terris presents an inside history of this crucial moment in Washington, reporting from exclusive parties, poker nights, fundraisers, secluded farms outside town and the halls of Congress; among the oddballs and opportunists and true believers. This book is about the people who see this moment as an opportunity to bet big--on their country or maybe just on themselves. It will take a close look at Washington's bold-faced names as they try to get their bearings on the post-Trump (and possibly pre-Trump) landscape. And it will introduce readers to the behind-the-scenes players--MAGA pilgrims and Resistance flamekeepers and shapeshifting veterans--who believe they know what Washington, and America, must do if they're going to survive, or even thrive. Trump's arrival in Washington represented a big break in how the city operated. He surrounded himself with outsiders; power structures reorganized around those who knew him or his family and those who could flatter and influence his base. He changed the way the game was played, only it wasn't actually a game at all. When pro-Trump elements both inside and outside of government plotted to overturn his loss in the 2020 presidential election, the Capitol became a combat zone, then a military fortress. It was, to put it lightly, a destabilizing time. But how much did the Trump years really change Washington? Has Joe Biden's presidency heralded a return to normal, as many had hoped? What did 'normal' mean before Trump, and what do people think it means now? The Big Break will follow a cast of D.C. characters in search of answers to these questions. They are a diverse crew--a pollster with a gambling habit, an oil heiress with a big heart, a cowboy lobbyist, a Republican kingmaker who decided to love Trump and his right-hand man who decided he couldn't any longer. They all share at least one thing in common: They had seen their country go through a Big Break, and they'd come to get theirs"-- Provided by publisher
Print Book, English, 2023
First edition View all formats and editions
Twelve, New York, 2023
ix, 335 pages ; 24 cm
9781538708057, 1538708051
Prologue: Is any of this normal?
Part 1: The players. A tale of two players
The gambler
Creature comforts
The guy who left
The cowboy diplomat
Part 2: The doers. Best night of my motherfucking life
Dear white staffers
The white hat
Scribe of the subaltern
They know how to run the game
Part 3: Placing bets. The A-bomb kid
Betting clears the mind
New money
Save the swamp!
What stinks in Building B?
The is a great international smokescreen (papa bless)
Welcome to the Canceled Hall of Fame
Trying to transcend the morass of shit
The billionaire's brother
Look at this coalition
Part 4: The undone. The spiritual chief
Police unreformed
Your allies on the other side are allies second and opponents first
Nobody was seeing what I was seeing
Part 5: The game. The original big boy
Chaos is good
The tough questions
Another crack at it
I will spew you out of my mouth
No, no, no, we're doing gret
The turn
Frank Luntz, Dr. Phil, and Roe v. Wade
Losing traction
Homeboy dies not cry
Everything is now okay, dude
If you find anyone else like me, let me know
Part 6: The breaks. The big blind
October surprise
Once you go down, it's really hard to see how you come back up
Dark and stormy democracy
What side am I on here?
Washington in winter
If people think they've seen the last of me..
Includes index