The MAGA Diaries: My Surreal Adventures Inside the Right-Wing (And How I Got Out) (Hardcover)

The MAGA Diaries: My Surreal Adventures Inside the Right-Wing (And How I Got Out) By Tina Nguyen Cover Image

The MAGA Diaries: My Surreal Adventures Inside the Right-Wing (And How I Got Out) (Hardcover)


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An explosive, first-person account chronicling the rise of the MAGA movement from acclaimed political journalist Tina Nguyen, who began her career—and her education—on the ground levels of the conservative recruiting machine.

Her very first job was working for a little-known journalist named Tucker Carlson. She’s chugged Mountain Dews with the first Breitbart writers, poured over conspiracy theories from COVID-19 deniers, and visited the apocalyptic Patriot Church deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. The right is now a MAGA cult. And Tina Nguyen knows because she was raised by it, back when it wasn’t one.

In 2008, in the weeks leading up to the election of Barack Obama, Nguyen was a history-loving, politics-obsessed college student at Claremont McKenna College, drawn there by a boyfriend—and a research institute called the Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom. Swept up by pro-America rhetoric and promises of a career in journalism, Nguyen was drawn into the world of right-wing student activism, and the early days of the movement now known as MAGA. In The MAGA Diaries, she tells not only her story of loving and leaving the conservative movement (well before Trump), but the history of the right-wing, painting a shocking picture of how they recruit, train, and indoctrinate generations of young people in search of opportunity—think dinners with Peter Thiel, conventions that rival Coachella, and the ever-elusive promise of future job security—and shape them into the influential leaders and supporting cast of tomorrow’s Republican party. They are ruthless in building robust networks of power, even if it means demolishing entire civic institutions, from women’s rights to fair elections—and staging a coup when it doesn’t work out.

In The MAGA Diaries, Nguyen pulls back the curtain on the conservative machine for the first time, shining a light on the systematized on-ramp for young Republicans. These are the new leaders of the right, and it’s urgent we start paying attention.
Tina Nguyen is a national correspondent for Puck, covering the world of Donald Trump and the American right. Previously, Nguyen was a White House reporter for Politico, a staff reporter for Vanity Fair Hive, and an editor at Mediaite. A Brooklyn transplant, Nguyen graduated from Claremont McKenna College and lives in Washington. Follow her on Twitter @Tina_Nguyen.

Product Details ISBN: 9781982189693
ISBN-10: 198218969X
Publisher: Atria/One Signal Publishers
Publication Date: January 16th, 2024
Pages: 272
Language: English
"[An] entertaining and insightful debut." 
Publishers Weekly

“A sobering, endlessly readable fly-on-the-wall account of creeping fascism.”
Kirkus, starred review

"An excellent memoir that exposes how the conservative movement operates on a granular level."
The Progressive Magazine

“Delightfully witty, self-deprecating, and deeply perceptive, Tina Nguyen provides an expertly guided tour through the dark corners of the young far right movement that has shaped much of the last decade of American politics. The MAGA Diaries is a necessary read for anyone hoping to understand the insanity that we've spent the last decade living through, the depravity of many of the characters who've thrust themselves upon our politics, and the depth of the stakes of our coming presidential contest." —Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of American Whitelash “Tina Nguyen pulls back the curtain on how some of the most powerful, influential, and dangerous organizations on the far-right work. Her insider account is a must-read to understand the rise of the Trump movement and how to stop it. An absolute must-read in this political moment from one of the most reputable reporters covering politics.” —Alyssa Farah, Former White House Director of Strategic Communications and Co-host of The View "The backdrop of Tina's personal story (which includes making friends with some of the most famous and infamous figures on the American right) is the radical transformation of the conservative movement. The good news is, this dishy memoir is a lot more fun than a political tome.” —Matt K. Lewis, author of Too Dumb to Fail  

“In the past two decades the far right metastasized in America, growing in size and influence right when we were being told that history's arc was bending towards justice. Understanding the networks, tactics, and social pressures they've used to grow is critical if we are to stamp out their malign influence. In The MAGA Diaries, Tina takes us on a tour of her life's journey in and out and around this far right underworld with candor and flair. In the first half I found myself captivated by how this rational, compassionate, high-achieving young woman got so deeply ensconced in what was essentially a white nationalist networking ring. The rest of the story follows her as watching and reporting with astonishment as all those she worked alongside stumbled into more power than they ever would have imagined. It's a critical tale if you want to understand the people behind Trump's rise, the MAGA media ecosystem and how conservative youth are getting sucked into the quicksand without even realizing it.” —Tim Miller, New York Times bestselling author of Why We Did It The Maga Diaries is compulsively readable and offers a fascinating window into a hidden-world that has radicalized American politics. This book is a must read for anyone who cares about the future of our democracy.” —Brian Stelter, New York Times bestselling author of Hoax