Change They Can't Believe In

The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America - Updated Edition

by Christopher S. Parker, Matt A. Barreto, Christopher S. Parker, Matt A. Barreto

Are Tea Party supporters merely a group of conservative citizens concerned about government spending? Or are they racists who refuse to accept Barack Obama as their president because he's not white? Change They Can’t Believe In offers an alternative argument—that the Tea Party is driven by the reemergence of a reactionary movement in American politics that is fueled by a fear that America has changed for the worse. Providing a range of original evidence and rich portraits of party sympathizers as well as activists, Christopher Parker and Matt Barreto show that the perception that America is in danger directly informs how Tea Party supporters think and act.

In a new afterword, Parker and Barreto reflect on the Tea Party’s recent initiatives, including the 2013 government shutdown, and evaluate their prospects for the 2016 election.

  • Princeton University Press; October 2014
  • ISBN: 9781400852314
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: Change They Can't Believe In
  • Author: Christopher S. Parker; Matt A. Barreto; Christopher S. Parker (other); Matt A. Barreto (other)
  • Imprint: Princeton University Press

In The Press

"This original and important book is the most well-researched and significant scholarly study of the Tea Party movement and its members yet to appear. Unfolding a profile of Tea Party activists threatened by liberal changes and ill-formulated images of big government and state regulatory power, Parker and Barreto tease out core beliefs and views, ranging from commonplace conservatism to racist antagonism. Their book is an outstanding contribution to understanding American politics."—Desmond King, University of Oxford

About The Author

Christopher S. Parker is associate professor of political science at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is the author of Fighting for Democracy (Princeton). Matt A. Barreto is associate professor of political science at the University of Washington, Seattle, and director of the Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race and Sexuality. He is the author of Ethnic Cues.