Upcoming Event

Isaac Arnsdorf at Harvard Book Store


Finish What We Started:
The MAGA Movement's 
Ground War to End Democracy

In conversation with STEVEN LEVITSKY


May 10, 2024
7:00 PM ET


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes ISAAC ARNSDORF—award-winning national political reporter for The Washington Post—for a discussion of his new book Finish What We Started: The MAGA Movement's Ground War to End Democracy. He will be joined in conversation by STEVEN LEVITSKY—author of Tyranny of the Minority and Professor of Government at Harvard University. 

About Finish What We Started

Inspired by Donald Trump’s election lies, a growing movement of grassroots activists mobilized around the country to pick up where the insurrection left off, laying the groundwork to succeed next time where Trump had failed to keep himself in power. But their own success in taking over and purging the Republican Party became their undoing as it drove away moderates and supplied the Democrats with a winning message in the 2022 midterms. Still, the MAGA Republicans proved uninterested in learning from that defeat, only becoming more extreme, divisive, and dead set on returning Trump to power.

Washington Post national political reporter Isaac Arnsdorf has spent years at the forefront of reporting on this growing movement. Drawing on extensive, exclusive on-the-ground reporting around the country, and deepened by historical context, Arnsdorf has produced the defining journalistic account of the origins, evolution and future of the MAGA movement. Combining critical and rigorous reporting with the intimacy and complexity of a novel, this book is unlike any other in the decade since Donald Trump convulsed and transformed American politics.

Finish What We Started tells the story of the ordinary Americans driving this change, who they are and where they came from, what motivates them, and what their movement means for the survival of American democracy.

Praise for Finish What We Started

"Isaac has a great eye for a story, and hangs out with people we all need to know.I was thrilled to run some of the early reporting from this book on our radio show, and I’m sobered to see how it all played out in the months after. An entertaining, enlightening and disturbing book." —Ira Glass, host of This American Life

“Isaac Arnsdorf ventures beyond the punditry of Washington, D.C and delivers a revealing, distinctive look at how our nation's democracy might be forever changed. Peppered with scoops and fresh insight, Finish What We Started manages to be both spritely and ominous, a closely-reported depiction of the reorientation of modern politics.” —Robert Samuels, New Yorker staff writer and Pulitzer-Prize winning co-author of His Name is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice

Finish What We Started is a bracing, deeply reported dispatch from the front lines of the MAGA movement — a movement that, as Isaac Arnsdorf convincingly shows here, is more radical and determined than ever as it gathers force for Trump’s campaign to reclaim the White House.” —Joshua Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Devil’s Bargain

Masking Policy

Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.

Isaac Arnsdorf
Isaac Arnsdorf

Isaac Arnsdorf

Isaac Arnsdorf is a national political reporter for The Washington Post who covers former president Donald Trump, the “Make America Great Again” political movement, and the elected officials, activists, donors and media figures on the right who are powering the Republican Party. He was previously an investigative reporter covering national politics at ProPublica and a money-in-politics reporter at Politico. His reporting on President Trump's agenda for veterans won the Sidney Hillman Foundation's Sidney Award and the National Press Club's Sandy Hume Award. Finish What We Started is his first book. 

Photo Credit: Jenna Brown

Steven Levitsky
Steven Levitsky

Steven Levitsky

Steven Levitsky is Professor of Government at Harvard University and the author of several books. His research interests include political parties, authoritarianism and democratization, and weak and informal institutions, with a focus on Latin America. He is currently engaged in research on the durability of revolutionary regimes, the relationship between populism and competitive authoritarianism, problems of party-building in contemporary Latin America, and party collapse and its consequences for democracy in Peru.

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