T R U S T

A V A I L A B L E   N O W

A M E R I C A ' S   B E S T   C H A N C E

Photo credit: @ChuckKennedyDC

Trust is essential to the foundation of America’s democracy, asserts Pete Buttigieg, the former presidential candidate and South Bend mayor. Yet, in a century warped by terrorism, financial collapse, Trumpist populism, systemic racism, and now a global pandemic, trust has been squandered, sacrificed, abused, stolen, or never properly built in the first place. And now, more so than ever before, Americans must work side by side to reckon with the monumental challenges posed by our present moment.

Interweaving history, political philosophy, and affecting passages of memoir, Buttigieg explores the strong relationship between measures of prosperity and levels of social trust. He provides an impassioned account of a threefold crisis of trust: in our institutions, in each other, and in the American project itself. Today, these perilous patterns of distrust have wreaked havoc on nearly every sector of society, as Americans increasingly resent the very government that needs to be part of the solution. With the internet and partisan television networks acting as accelerants, Americans jettison any sense of shared reality, lose confidence in experts and scientists, and cope with the grim national tragedy of a pandemic that has only further exemplified the lethality of distrust.

Buttigieg contends that our success, or failure, at confronting the greatest challenges of the decade―racial and economic justice, pandemic resilience, and climate action―will rest on whether we can effectively cultivate, deepen, and, where necessary, repair the networks of trust that are now endangered, or for so many, have never even existed.

An urgent call to foster an “American way of trust” at this painfully polarized juncture in the nation’s history, Trust is a direct reckoning with the prevailing corruption of social responsibility. Yet refusing to give in to the despair that threatens our foundations, Trust seeks to inspire Americans to build a powerful movement that will define all of us in the years to come.

"The book offers further proof, were it needed, that the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, also a former presidential candidate, has the most interesting political mind since Barack Obama." — Charles Kaiser, The Guardian

 “Shedding some personal light, Buttigieg recounts a few memorable lessons he has learned during both his military and political career. For example, he shows how establishing trust was imperative to the success of his life-threatening duties as a military driver in Afghanistan. The author also gives plenty of attention to the gross injustices that have occurred under the Trump administration, many of which serve as cases in point for why our trust in government has eroded so much.... An eloquent call to action for socially conscious citizens to get involved in restoring essential networks of trust.”

— Kirkus Reviews, starred review

N E W  Y O R K  T I M E S   B E S T S E L L E R

"The best American political autobiography since Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father."

―Charles Kaiser, The Guardian


"Buttigieg’s Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for America’s Future (Liveright) is the best written of all these books [by 2020 presidential candidates]; it offers the most unembarrassed political hope; and it’s got the best love story.... Buttigieg’s stirring, honest, and often beautiful book is a story of how the people of South Bend rebuilt their Rust Belt city, and made it a better place, and it’s an argument for what it means to answer a calling, and why it’s important to ask, again and again, ‘what each of us owes to the country.'

―Jill Lepore, The New Yorker


“[Buttigieg] has an extraordinary story and great insights into the politics of our country.”
―David Axelrod

“Mika and I have been overwhelmed by the reaction Pete Buttigieg got after being on the show. The only other time in twelve years that we heard from as many people about a guest was after Barack Obama appeared on Morning Joe."
―Joe Scarborough, MSNBC's Morning Joe

“Combining candor and compassion with a brilliant understanding of how government can be more effective, Shortest Way Home demonstrates that Pete Buttigieg is not only a key political figure in his generation, but also an appealing and even funny writer. Far from a conventional politician's book, his work is an important entry in the American political tradition for the twenty-first century.”
―Walter Isaacson

“If you were an early Barack Obama supporter a dozen or more years ago, you recall inching forward in your chair whenever he spoke. The words were so clear, the passion so strong, the message of hope so credible…. I suggest you watch the video of Pete Buttigieg at a CNN town hall. If that piques your interest, as it did mine, read his book, Shortest Way Home.”

―Peter Funt, USA Today

“Personal, beguiling and quite moving as he talks about coming out and getting married… The story is told with brisk engagement ― it is difficult not to like him…When Obama wrote his memoir, the idea that the nation would soon put an African-American in the White House seemed beyond the realm of the possible. After reading this memoir written 25 years later, the notion that Buttigieg might be the nation’s first openly gay president doesn’t feel quite as far-fetched."
―Adam Nagourney, New York Times

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