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The Big Lie

Election Chaos, Political Opportunism, and the State of American Politics After 2020

Jonathan Lemire

Flatiron Books

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ISBN10: 1250819628
ISBN13: 9781250819628


320 Pages



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Jonathan Lemire uncovers that “The Big Lie,” as it’s been termed, isn’t just about the 2020 election. It's become a political philosophy that has only further divided the two parties.

Donald Trump first tried it out in 2016, at an August rally in Ohio. He said that perhaps he wouldn’t accept the election results in his race against Hillary Clinton, that the election was “rigged.” He then mentioned it at more rallies and even at one of the fall debates. He didn’t have to challenge the result that year, but the stage was set. When he lost in 2020, he started the lie back up again and to devastating results: an insurrection at the Capitol in January 2021.

Republicans are still wholly under Trump’s sway. From his retirement at his Florida and New Jersey clubs he meets with Republican officials, aspiring candidates, and advisers and demands loyalty about this twisted way of thinking. And Democrats still deal with him as their opposition party is driven by a blatant lie. The parties aren’t divided by the aisle—they’re on different planets.

In the more than five tumultuous, paradigm-shifting years of Donald Trump’s presidency and beyond, his near-constant lying has become a fixture of political life. It is inextricably linked with how his party behaves, how the Democrats respond to it, and how he remains relevant, even after a decisive loss in 2020. Jonathan Lemire brings his connections, profile, and dogged reportorial instincts to bear in his first book that explores how this phenomenon shapes our politics.

Written with sharp political insight and detailed with dozens of interviews, The Big Lie is the first book to examine this unprecedented and tenuous moment in our nation’s politics.


Praise for The Big Lie

"A trenchant analysis . . . This dispatch on the state of American politics hits the bull’s-eye."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt


The crowd wasn’t quite sure what to think.

Donald Trump, the unlikeliest major party presidential nominee in more than a century, had drawn several thousand people to the Greater Columbus Convention Center. They...

About the author

Jonathan Lemire

Jonathan Lemire is the White House Bureau Chief at Politico, as well as the host of MSNBC's Way Too Early. A native of the Boston area, he now lives in Brooklyn with his wife and children. The Big Lie is his first book.

Jonathan Lemire

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