|In The Breakthrough, veteran journalist Gwen Ifill surveys the American political landscape, shedding new light on the impact of Barack Obama’s stunning presidential victory and introducing the emerging young African American politicians forging a bold new path to political power.
Ifill argues that the Black political structure formed during the Civil Rights movement is giving way to a generation of men and women who are the direct beneficiaries of the struggles of the 1960s. She offers incisive, detailed profiles of such prominent leaders as Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and U.S. Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama (all interviewed for this book), and also covers numerous up-and-coming figures from across the nation. Drawing on exclusive interviews with power brokers such as President Obama, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Vernon Jordan, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, his son Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., and many others, as well as her own razor-sharp observations and analysis of such issues as generational conflict, the race/ gender clash, and the "black enough" conundrum, Ifill shows why this is a pivotal moment in American history.
The Breakthrough is a remarkable look at contemporary politics and an essential foundation for understanding the future of American democracy in the age of Obama.
From the Publisher:
"In a survey of American politics, a veteran journalist assesses the impact of Barack Obama's history-making presidential campaign, especially on the political power of African Americans, and profiles rising African-American politicians, including Newark mayor Cory Booker, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. 60,000 first printing."
Published officially on the day that Barack Obama took the oath of office as President of the United States, BREAKTHROUGH charts the new generation of leaders from the African American community who have gained high office across the land. Journalist Gwen Ifill examines how President Obama, Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama, Governor Derval Patrick of Massachusetts, and Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, among others--all beneficiaries of the Civil Rights struggle--forged their own new paths to power, and how sometimes that brought them into conflict with the previous generation of black leaders. Ifill interviews members of both the old and the new guard, and analyzes the elections that brought these new leaders to power. She points to great changes, in both people and politics, and she sees a new future for both.