Cover design by Micah Kandros for  Vanderbilt University Press

Cover design by Micah Kandros for Vanderbilt University Press


Crossing the Aisle

In this follow up to his previous book, Coup, How the Democrats Ousted Their Governor, author Keel Hunt narrates stories of shifting politics in his home state of Tennessee in the 1980s and 1990s and the ability of senior politicians in both parties to work together on important policy questions to prepare their state for the future.

The latter third of the twentieth century was a time of fundamental political transition across the South as increasing numbers of voters began to choose Republican candidates over Democrats. Yet in the 80s and '90s, reform-focused policymaking—from better schools to improved highways to health care—flourished in Tennessee. This was the work of moderate leaders from both parties who had a capacity to work together "across the aisle."

As the Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Jon Meacham observes in his foreword to this book, Tennessee offers striking examples of bipartisan cooperation on many policy fronts—and a mode of governing that provides lessons for America now in this angry era of partisan stalemate.




Parnassus Books

3900 Hillsboro Pike #14
Nashville, TN 37215

Barnes + Noble

2501 West End Ave,
Nashville, TN 37203


This is journalistic history at its best, and makes for engaging and informative reading.
— John R. Vile, Middle Tennessee State University
How the Tennessee of today—a prosperous and congenial island of civility in a nation of division—came to the subject of the following pages.
— Jon Meacham
Keel Circle.png


Keel Hunt is a columnist for the USA Today Network in Tennessee. He has been a reporter, editor, Washington correspondent, and editorial writer.

From 1979 to 1986 he was Special Assistant to Governor Lamar Alexander.

Crossing the Aisle is his second book.



Get Engaged. Be a part of this conversation…

Read the book and then catch up with Keel to discuss and dive deeper. He will answer questions and give first hand accounts of this important topic.

Crossing the Aisle images_Page_1_Image_0002.jpg

Want to know modern Tennessee? Order Keel Hunt’s engrossing new book about the continuity politics that has defined the state for 40 years. Engrossing stuff on the Blanton scandal, Lamar, Ned Ray, Bredesen, the Memphis and Nashville jockeying for the NFL, etc.”

- Jonathan Martin, Reporter for The New York Times