A country divided will fall into the
abyss it creates.

The Road to Trump chronicles the most pressing issues the United States faced over the last five years in an effort to illuminate the prevailing political landscape. McNeal's columns, Meet You in the Middle, published in the Charleston Mercury, in Charleston, S.C., reveal the raw nature of the state of our nation. The Road to Trump also places on the record McNeal's insightful analysis of China and Russia as they challenge the United States on the world stage. Moreover, The Road to Trump clearly illustrates how failure to meet in the middle fueled the successful election of the outsider, Donald Trump, and contributed to the resurgence of China and Russia.

In January 2016, her column titled Mourning in America was one of the first analyses indicating that Trump would go the distance. Moreover, she was the rare columnist at the time who was prescient regarding the 2016 election and called it right, even before candidate Trump became the Republican Party nominee.





From the Book:

On Russia and the 2016 Election
This debate will rage and finally boil down to a foul-tasting roux...that foul-tasting roux has already revealed a mouthful of facts that are hard to swallow for so many who prefer not to acknowledge the nether world that operates 24/7 as nation states protect their own interests... the bitter taste of reality has bubbled to the surface...Espionage, spy craft, cyber-attacks, and the intelligence game are the names of today's modern warfare. (January 2017)

On Race
Race has been a difficult issue in this country. Honest dialogue has been nearly impossible to cultivate as there is a deep well of emotions that can spew its rancid water anytime the discussions become inflamed. (September 2016)

On Immigration
Well, again hold it. It is easy if you are China, Singapore, or Russia to tell us how to be a part of the new world when the pressures your countries are suffering from are not pressures related to new immigrants and refugees. (November 2016)

On China, North Korea, and Japan
There is much at play to protect our interest vis-à-vis South Korea and Japan, who have been good allies in the region where China is now stepping forward to secure its dominance (April 2018)... Often in the UN, China and Russia have shown solidarity in defeating any US resolution regarding sanctions or other punitive measures to stem a real war from evolving (May 2018).. . Now is a crucial moment as we negotiate the North Korean challenge. We are asking Kim to come in from the cold and Russia, Syria and China - who do not have our best interest at heart - are rushing to visit, set up summits, and more so that they can influence the direction Kim takes and the message his actions will send. (June 2018)

On the Middle East
...the all-consuming Middle Eastern puzzle and how it directly affects us here at home. This huge chessboard and our next move are preoccupying each side of the aisle and few are meeting in the middle. The matter of Middle Eastern affairs cries out for our best and brightest to formulate a strategy and execute a plan regarding our involvement or non-involvement. (July 2014)

On ISIS and Terrorism
Could we not find someone who is not naïve and blinded by his or her own vision of how things will turn out to sit with Putin and his coalition to attempt to meet in the middle and truly work together to defeat the ISIS threat with no hidden hands at work? For us it may be Sophie's choice. (November 2015)

On Ukraine and Crimea
While we watch, the will of another nation's majority hangs in the balance as they proclaim an independent Ukraine. (March 2014)... Russia became emboldened by our lack of push back on Ukraine and Crimea in 2014. Does this mean that Russia and China have finally shown their colors - and have not their anti-Western UN Security Council votes already made this clear? (September 2018)

The author:

Shay McNeal is a past political consultant, past president of an advertising and marketing firm as well as an executive in the fashion and retail business where she began her business career.  She has been a guest numerous times on the BBC, CNN, and radio shows in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Shay's last book, The Secret Plot to Rescue the Tsar, garnered a full-page review in the Sunday Times (London).  Vogue (UK), BookPage and Publishers Weekly, among others, weighed in as well. She is an indefatigable researcher who is fearless when it comes to placing valid yet controversial findings on the record.
Thoughts on Shay:
Shay McNeal is first defined by her determination, driven by a love for a nation in search of its soul. With an executive's background in advertising and political campaigns, research and successful book projects, Shay draws upon her vast experiences and travel to offer nuggets of perspectives on the pulse of international and national politics. While focusing a historian’s eye on the past, she casts a vision of the way the hustle and bustle of news cycles will play well down the road.
A renaissance woman, part philosopher, and always prescient, Shay insightfully interprets and analyzes the foreign and domestic public policy powder kegs that are in constant motion on the political chessboard. As a student of human nature, she is unafraid to call balls and strikes, landing her voice in the sweet spot of truth - time and time again. 

Charles W. Waring III, Publisher
Charleston Mercury


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​  The launch of 
The Road to Trump – How Failure to Meet in the Middle Fueled Trump’s Rise and the Resurgence of China and Russia was held at the wonderfully beautiful Charleston Library Society on King Street in Charleston, South Carolina. It was a true success. Shay thanks all the intellectually curious who attended the lecture and the efficient staff of the society that contributed to the success of the evening. 

As a compliment to the subject matter, fifteen chairs were added and the Q&A, which was scheduled to be 15 minutes, was extended to 45 minutes.
Shay seamlessly fielded tough questions from both sides of the pro or con Trump communities who came "loaded for bear."  McNeal was so pleased to see these very attendees engaged in reasonable discourse with one another at the reception that followed.
Note: That night and the next day these are some of the comments and emails she received:
"A real triumph!" 

“Amazing speaker”

“Extraordinary grasp of the facts on both sides.”

"She did not lose her cool even when asked acerbic questions.” 

"You should be Secretary of State." 
Contact: 202-553-0092 for speaking engagements or signings

4 out of 4 stars

The following are excerpts from an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Road to Trump" by Shay McNeal:

The Road to Trump by Shay McNeal is a compilation of articles published in her column Meet You in the Middle, as part of the Charleston Mercury newspaper. As a side note, the current Charleston Mercury is not associated with the previous famous paper that ceased its publication in 1868.

The book includes monthly articles between September 2013 and October 2018, with topics ranging from Trump’s election and the Russian involvement to race issues, immigration, terrorism, ISIS, and thoughts on various politically related countries like Ukraine, China, North Korea, and Japan.

The author prefaces the book with the sentence “This is a very difficult column to write,” ... Trump is an outsider, a former TV personality, and a businessman with no political knowledge or experience, whose decisions have been met with varying degrees of outcry across the globe.

... the monthly articles are quite in-depth, and for each topic, the author goes back to historical periods which somehow influenced the current climate, or to compare and contrast the two timelines. For example, in the article on immigration, Shay McNeal discusses its origins, starting with the Puritan settlements in New England, following with the Civil War, and then talks about current issues on immigration. Also, in the article on North Korea, the author takes us back to the history of the two Koreas, allowing us to better understand the complex relationships between North Korea, South Korea, the UN, China, Soviet Union, and ultimately the U.S.

Since The Road to Trump is not really a book but a collection of newspaper columns, the author could not have touched upon every major issue surrounding the Trump presidency ...  However, the included topics were analyzed quite thoroughly, such as the Brett M. Kavanaugh scandal, or the president’s contempt for the media “because of how he perceives his treatment from them.”

Touching on some heavy themes, the well-organized articles are written in a clear tone that allows the reader to understand each topic with ease... 
Due to the extensive analysis of some important current topics and the professional editing, I give The Road to Trump 4 out of 4 stars. It is well-written, with coherent thoughts in each article, and with enough details included that no matter on which side of the platform you find yourself on, you will get something out of this book ... 

I recommend the book to anyone who is eagerly following the current tumultuous American politics ...

Amazon Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars
Should be REQUIRED reading for Both sides of the isle.
December 14, 2018
Verified Purchase
Shay McNeal builds a foundation for her book beginning well before our United States of America was formed. As she moves forward in history, she touches on various influences that bring us to present day. Ms. McNeal points out the failures and wins in politics in the past and present. This book should be required reading for Congress, both Democrats and Republicans.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Must read
December 14, 2018
What an amazing informative book!! Very well researched and thought out process
 of how we got here. This is a book that everyone on both sides of the isle needs to read.