The new novel Third Party, by Steven Nemerovski, centers on the start of a new third party focused on the state of Illinois. It is a two-volume novel and I just finished Volume I: Starting in the Middle.
I found it riveting and will be diving into Volume II shortly. Members of the IPR community will find a number of irritating things about the story, but the “inside baseball” depiction of what goes on both in the new “E Party” as well as the Democratic and Republican parties is compelling.
A well meaning billionaire assembles a group of talented and hard-working friends to end the two party duopoly and make government work better. The first volume covers the beginning few years of their “E Party” effort through two elections.
Echoes of Ayn Rand bounce through the reader’s head. The main character in this novel is nicknamed Atlas (as in Atlas Shrugged) and the protagonists are all heroic figures reminiscent of the residents of Galt’s Gulch.
This unrealistic scenario is exacerbated by dozens of candidates (all similarly pure) and thousands of supporters who blindly follow the leadership without any of them stepping out of line or being caught making mistakes or saying something stupid.
Democratic and Republican insiders are accurately depicted as selfish schemers who play dirty. However these savvy politicos are somehow unprepared for this third party surprise. The author credibly explains how the mechanics of Illinois political rules allowed the protagonists to sneak up on the establishment.
While unrealistic, it is nevertheless enjoyable and thought-provoking. I am eager to dive in to Volume II: Strange Bedfellows and I recommend the books to anyone interested in politics.
Disclosure: In August I was contacted by someone promoting a new book. This led to a paid ad on the IPR website and a sponsored Q&A with the author, Steven Nemerovski. I also agreed to write a review of the book in exchange for a free copy.