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Title What Happened to the Republican Party
Author John Kenneth White
Publisher Routledge
Release Date 2015-08-14
Category Political Science
Total Pages 152
ISBN 9781317381730
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

As the 2016 election campaign attests, the Grand Old Party—once moderate and even magnanimous—has fallen into a prison of its own making when it comes to presidential politics. After the debacle of the George W. Bush presidency and the rout of the Romney candidacy, Republicans said they must broaden their base, become more inclusive, and return to the warmth of Reagan idealism. Instead, what we have is a bitter, backbiting, and race- and gender-baiting campaign with a candidate more exclusive than any before him. How did we get here and how do we get out? This book tracks the modern history of the Republican Party and shows its decline, even while shining a light on its high points and urging it back in a positive direction. Every reader interested in the US presidential election, the primary process, and the clash of politics and culture will find something enlightening in John White’s exposition. Above all, he puts the Age of Trump into perspective, looking back as well as forward in his analysis. Who is this book for? Students of American government, political parties, campaigns & elections Scholars in political science and political history General readers interested in the current presidential campaign and the health of American democracy Features 1. Current. Anticipates the current state of the Republican Party, at odds with itself as much as with the American public. Includes 2014 midterm election data with an eye toward the 2016 presidential contest. 2. A broad historical sweep. Covers a broad historical period from the 1950s (Eisenhower era) to the present, with a strong emphasis on the Reagan years which represent the GOP at its zenith. 3. Efficient use of polling and demographic data. Takes a broad swath of historical data (including polling data) and presents it in a condensed, readable format. At the same time, the reader is not inundated by polling and demographic data. 4. Bold. Any reader will come away from this book understanding that the GOP predicament is likely to last for some time to come. The problems Republicans face are both intellectual and political. They are not likely to be solved by any one candidate or election and will be compounded and confounded by the events of 2016.

It Was All A Lie by Stuart Stevens

Title It Was All a Lie
Author Stuart Stevens
Publisher Knopf
Release Date 2020
Category HISTORY
Total Pages 256
ISBN 9780525658450
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"An indictment of the Republican party from one of the most successful Republican political operative of his generation"--

Twilight Of Democracy by Anne Applebaum

Title Twilight of Democracy
Author Anne Applebaum
Publisher Signal
Release Date 2020-07-21
Category Political Science
Total Pages 208
ISBN 9780771005862
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize One of Back Obama's Favourite Books of the Year A Pulitzer Prize–winning historian explains, with electrifying clarity, why elites in democracies around the world are turning toward nationalism and authoritarianism. From the United States and Britain to continental Europe and beyond, liberal democracy is under siege, while authoritarianism is on the rise. In Twilight of Democracy, Anne Applebaum, an award-winning historian of Soviet atrocities who was one of the first American journalists to raise an alarm about antidemocratic trends in the West, explains the lure of nationalism and autocracy. In this captivating essay, she contends that political systems with radically simple beliefs are inherently appealing, especially when they benefit the loyal to the exclusion of everyone else. Despotic leaders do not rule alone; they rely on political allies, bureaucrats, and media figures to pave their way and support their rule. The authoritarian and nationalist parties that have arisen within modern democracies offer new paths to wealth or power for their adherents. Applebaum describes many of the new advocates of illiberalism in countries around the world, showing how they use conspiracy theory, political polarization, social media, and even nostalgia to change their societies. Elegantly written and urgently argued, Twilight of Democracy is a brilliant dissection of a world-shaking shift and a stirring glimpse of the road back to democratic values.

Title Is the Republican Party Destroying Itself
Author Thomas E Patterson
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2020-01-24
Category
Total Pages 220
ISBN 1658728637
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Is the Republican Party Destroying Itself? explores five traps that the Republican Party has set for itself and endanger its future. The traps vary in lethality but, together, they could cripple the party for a generation or more. One trap is its steady movement to the right, which has distanced the party from the moderate voters who hold the balance of power in a two-party system. A second trap is demographic change. Younger adults and minorities vote heavily Democratic, and their numbers increase with each passing election. The older white voters that are the GOP's base of support are shrinking in number. Within two decades, based on demographic change alone, the GOP faces the prospect of being a second-rate party. Right-wing media are the Republicans' third trap. A powerful force within the party, they have tied the GOP to policy positions and versions of reality that are blunting its ability to govern and impeding its efforts to attract new sources of support. A fourth trap is the large tax cuts that the GOP has three times handed to the wealthy. The rich have reaped a windfall but at a high cost to the GOP. It has soiled its image as the party of the middle class and created a split between its working-class supporters and its marketplace conservatives. The fifth trap is the GOP's disregard for democratic norms and institutions, including its effort through voter ID laws to suppress the vote of minorities and lower-income Americans. In the process, it has made lasting enemies and created instruments of power that can be used against it. That Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election says more about the Republican Party than it does about Trump. In the whole of American history, there is only one major party - today's GOP - that would have nominated a Trump-like candidate for president. And he has deepened each of the Republican Party's traps. If the GOP were to become a second-rate party, Trump will have accelerated its downfall rather than being the cause of it. Before he came on the scene, the GOP was already a conservative party in name only. It had become a reactionary party out of step with what America is becoming. Republicans have traded the party's future for yesterday's America.The GOP needs to restore its conservative heritage if it is to remain a competitive party. Our democracy requires a healthy and competitive two-party system and would not benefit from a greatly diminished Republican Party, nor can it flourish from the reactionary course that the GOP has been pursuing.

Title Republican Party Politics and the American South 1865 1968
Author Boris Heersink
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Release Date 2020-03-31
Category History
Total Pages 356
ISBN 9781107158436
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Traces how the Republican Party in the South after Reconstruction transformed from a biracial organization to a mostly all-white one.

The Party Decides by Marty Cohen

Title The Party Decides
Author Marty Cohen
Publisher University of Chicago Press
Release Date 2009-05-15
Category Political Science
Total Pages 416
ISBN 9780226112381
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Throughout the contest for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, politicians and voters alike worried that the outcome might depend on the preferences of unelected superdelegates. This concern threw into relief the prevailing notion that—such unusually competitive cases notwithstanding—people, rather than parties, should and do control presidential nominations. But for the past several decades, The Party Decides shows, unelected insiders in both major parties have effectively selected candidates long before citizens reached the ballot box. Tracing the evolution of presidential nominations since the 1790s, this volume demonstrates how party insiders have sought since America’s founding to control nominations as a means of getting what they want from government. Contrary to the common view that the party reforms of the 1970s gave voters more power, the authors contend that the most consequential contests remain the candidates’ fights for prominent endorsements and the support of various interest groups and state party leaders. These invisible primaries produce frontrunners long before most voters start paying attention, profoundly influencing final election outcomes and investing parties with far more nominating power than is generally recognized.

American Carnage by Tim Alberta

Title American Carnage
Author Tim Alberta
Publisher HarperCollins
Release Date 2019-07-16
Category Political Science
Total Pages 688
ISBN 9780062896360
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Politico Magazine’s chief political correspondent provides a rollicking insider’s look at the making of the modern Republican Party—how a decade of cultural upheaval, populist outrage, and ideological warfare made the GOP vulnerable to a hostile takeover from the unlikeliest of insurgents: Donald J. Trump. The 2016 election was a watershed for the United States. But, as Tim Alberta explains in American Carnage, to understand Trump’s victory is to view him not as the creator of this era of polarization and bruising partisanship, but rather as its most manifest consequence. American Carnage is the story of a president’s rise based on a country’s evolution and a party’s collapse. As George W. Bush left office with record-low approval ratings and Barack Obama led a Democratic takeover of Washington, Republicans faced a moment of reckoning: They had no vision, no generation of new leaders, and no energy in the party’s base. Yet Obama’s forceful pursuit of his progressive agenda, coupled with the nation’s rapidly changing cultural and demographic landscape, lit a fire under the right, returning Republicans to power and inviting a bloody struggle for the party’s identity in the post-Bush era. The factions that emerged—one led by absolutists like Jim Jordan and Ted Cruz, the other led by pragmatists like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell—engaged in a series of devastating internecine clashes and attempted coups for control. With the GOP’s internal fissures rendering it legislatively impotent, and that impotence fueling a growing resentment toward the political class and its institutions, the stage was set for an outsider to crash the party. When Trump descended a gilded escalator to announce his run in the summer of 2015, the candidate had met the moment. Only by viewing Trump as the culmination of a decade-long civil war inside the Republican Party—and of the parallel sense of cultural, socioeconomic, and technological disruption during that period—can we appreciate how he won the White House and consider the fundamental questions at the center of America’s current turmoil. How did a party obsessed with the national debt vote for trillion-dollar deficits and record-setting spending increases? How did the party of compassionate conservatism become the party of Muslim bans and walls? How did the party of family values elect a thrice-divorced philanderer? And, most important, how long can such a party survive? Loaded with exclusive reporting and based off hundreds of interviews—including with key players such as President Trump, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Jim DeMint, and Reince Priebus, and many others—American Carnage takes us behind the scenes of this tumultuous period as we’ve never seen it before and establishes Tim Alberta as the premier chronicler of this political era.

Painting The Map Red by Hugh Hewitt

Title Painting the Map Red
Author Hugh Hewitt
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2013-02-12
Category Political Science
Total Pages 256
ISBN 9781621571483
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Nationally syndicated talk show host and political strategist Hugh Hewitt delivers this insider's guide to the 2006 elections and the crucial messages GOP candidates and activists will be adopting to foster the spread of Red States.

To Make Men Free by Heather Cox Richardson

Title To Make Men Free
Author Heather Cox Richardson
Publisher Basic Books
Release Date 2014-09-23
Category History
Total Pages 416
ISBN 9780465080663
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

When Abraham Lincoln helped create the Republican Party on the eve of the Civil War, his goal was to promote economic opportunity for all Americans, not just the slaveholding Southern planters who steered national politics. Yet, despite the egalitarian dream at the heart of its founding, the Republican Party quickly became mired in a fundamental identity crisis. Would it be the party of democratic ideals? Or would it be the party of moneyed interests? In the century and a half since, Republicans have vacillated between these two poles, with dire economic, political, and moral repercussions for the entire nation. In To Make Men Free, celebrated historian Heather Cox Richardson traces the shifting ideology of the Grand Old Party from the antebellum era to the Great Recession, revealing the insidious cycle of boom and bust that has characterized the Party since its inception. While in office, progressive Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower revived Lincoln's vision of economic freedom and expanded the government, attacking the concentration of wealth and nurturing upward mobility. But they and others like them have been continually thwarted by powerful business interests in the Party. Their opponents appealed to Americans' latent racism and xenophobia to regain political power, linking taxation and regulation to redistribution and socialism. The results of the Party's wholesale embrace of big business are all too familiar: financial collapses like the Panic of 1893, the Great Depression in 1929, and the Great Recession in 2008. With each passing decade, with each missed opportunity and political misstep, the schism within the Republican Party has grown wider, pulling the GOP ever further from its founding principles. Expansive and authoritative, To Make Men Free is a sweeping history of the Party that was once America's greatest political hope -- and, time and time again, has proved its greatest disappointment.

Title Let them Eat Tweets How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality
Author Jacob S. Hacker
Publisher Liveright Publishing
Release Date 2020-07-07
Category Political Science
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781631496851
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A groundbreaking account of the dangerous marriage of plutocratic economic priorities and right-wing populist appeals—and how it threatens the pillars of American democracy. The Republican Party appears to be divided between a tax-cutting old guard and a white-nationalist vanguard—and with Donald Trump’s ascendance, the upstarts seem to be winning. Yet how are we to explain that, under Trump, the plutocrats have gotten almost everything they want, including a huge tax cut for corporations and the wealthy, regulation-killing executive actions, and a legion of business-friendly federal judges? Does the GOP represent “forgotten” Americans? Or does it represent the superrich? In Let Them Eat Tweets, best-selling political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson offer a definitive answer: the Republican Party serves its plutocratic masters to a degree without precedent in modern global history. Conservative parties, by their nature, almost always side with the rich. But when faced with popular resistance, they usually make concessions, allowing some policies that benefit the working and middle classes. After all, how can a political party maintain power in a democracy if it serves only the interests of a narrow and wealthy slice of society? Today’s Republicans have shown the way, doubling down on a truly radical, elite-benefiting economic agenda while at the same time making increasingly incendiary racial and cultural appeals to their almost entirely white base. Telling a forty-year story, Hacker and Pierson demonstrate that since the early 1980s, when inequality started spiking, extreme tax cutting, union busting, and deregulation have gone hand in hand with extreme race-baiting, outrage stoking, and disinformation. Instead of responding to the real challenges facing voters, the Republican Party offers division and distraction—most prominently, in the racist, nativist bile of the president’s Twitter feed. As Hacker and Pierson argue, Trump isn’t a break with the GOP’s recent past. On the contrary, he embodies its tightening embrace of plutocracy and right-wing extremism—a dynamic Hacker and Pierson call “plutocratic populism.” As Trump and his far-right allies spew hatred and lies, Republicans in Congress and in statehouses attack social programs and funnel more and more money to the top 0.1 percent of Americans. Far from being at war with each other, reactionary plutocrats and right-wing populists have become the two faces of a party that now actively undermines democracy to achieve its goals against the will of the majority of Americans. Drawing on decades of research, Hacker and Pierson authoritatively explain the doom loop of tax cutting and fearmongering that characterizes our era—and reveal how we can fight back.

Title It s Even Worse Than It Looks
Author Thomas E. Mann
Publisher Basic Books
Release Date 2016-04-05
Category Political Science
Total Pages 272
ISBN 9780465096732
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Hyperpartisanship is as old as American democracy. But now, acrimony is not confined to a moment; it's a permanent state of affairs and has seeped into every part of the political process. Identifying the overriding problems that have led Congress—and the United States—to the brink of institutional collapse, It's Even Worse Than It Looks profoundly altered the debate about why America's government has become so dysfunctional. Through a new preface and afterword, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein bring the story forward, examining the 2012 presidential campaign and exploring the prospects of a less dysfunctional government. As provocative and controversial as ever, It's Even Worse Than It Looks will continue to set the terms of our political debate in the years to come.

The Substance Of Hope by Jelani Cobb

Title The Substance of Hope
Author Jelani Cobb
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date 2020-10-13
Category Political Science
Total Pages 224
ISBN 9781635577433
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A trenchant and timeless examination of the still-contested meanings of President Barack Obama's election, from a preeminent scholar of race, politics, and American history-with a new introduction by the author. When voters in 2008 chose the United States' first black president, some Americans hailed the event as a sign that the nation had, at long last, transcended its bloody history of racial inequality. Obama's victory was indescribably momentous, but if the intervening years proved anything, it is that we never leave history entirely behind. Indeed, this may be the ultimate lesson of the Obama era. First published in 2010, The Substance of Hope is acclaimed historian Jelani Cobb's meditation on what Obama's election represented, an insightful investigation into the civil rights movement forces that helped produce it, and a prescient inquiry into how American society does-and does not-change. In penetrating, elegant prose, Cobb teases apart the paradoxes embodied in race and patriotism, identity and citizenship, progress and legacy. Now reissued with a new introduction by the author, reflecting on how the seismic impact of the Obama presidency continues to shape America, The Substance of Hope is an indelible work of history and cultural criticism from one of our most singular voices.

Title The Corrosion of Conservatism Why I Left the Right
Author Max Boot
Publisher Liveright Publishing
Release Date 2018-10-09
Category Political Science
Total Pages 256
ISBN 9781631495687
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Warning that the Trump presidency presages America’s decline, the political commentator recounts his extraordinary journey from lifelong Republican to vehement Trump opponent. As nativism, xenophobia, vile racism, and assaults on the rule of law threaten the very fabric of our nation, The Corrosion of Conservatism presents an urgent defense of American democracy. Pronouncing Mexican immigrants to be “rapists,” Donald Trump announced his 2015 presidential bid, causing Max Boot to think he was watching a dystopian science-fiction movie. The respected conservative historian couldn’t fathom that the party of Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Reagan could endorse such an unqualified reality-TV star. Yet the Twilight Zone episode that Boot believed he was watching created an ideological dislocation so shattering that Boot’s transformation from Republican foreign policy adviser to celebrated anti-Trump columnist becomes the dramatic story of The Corrosion of Conservatism. No longer a Republican, but also not a Democrat, Boot here records his ideological journey from a “movement” conservative to a man without a party, beginning with his political coming-of-age as a young émigré from the Soviet Union, enthralled with the National Review and the conservative intellectual tradition of Russell Kirk and F. A. Hayek. Against this personal odyssey, Boot simultaneously traces the evolution of modern American conservatism, jump-started by Barry Goldwater’s canonical The Conscience of a Conservative, to the rise of Trumpism and its gradual corrosion of what was once the Republican Party. While 90 percent of his fellow Republicans became political “toadies” in the aftermath of the 2016 election, Boot stood his ground, enduring the vitriol of his erstwhile conservative colleagues, trolled on Twitter by a white supremacist who depicted his “execution” in a gas chamber by a smiling, Nazi-clad Trump. And yet, Boot nevertheless remains a villain to some partisan circles for his enduring commitment to conservative fiscal and national security principles. It is from this isolated position, then, that Boot launches this bold declaration of dissent and its urgent plea for true, bipartisan cooperation. With uncompromising insights, The Corrosion of Conservatism evokes both a president who has traduced every norm and the rise of a nascent centrist movement to counter Trump’s assault on democracy.

The Idea Of A Party System by Richard Hofstadter

Title The Idea of a Party System
Author Richard Hofstadter
Publisher Univ of California Press
Release Date 1969
Category Political parties
Total Pages 280
ISBN 0520013891
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This volume traces the historical processes in thought by which American political leaders slowly edged away from their complete philosophical rejection of a party and hesitantly began to embrace a party system. The author's analysis of the idea of party and the development of legitimate opposition offers fresh insights into the political crisis of 1797-1801, on the thought of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Martin Van Buren, and other leading figures, and on the beginnings of modern democratic politics.

Rule And Ruin by Geoffrey Kabaservice

Title Rule and Ruin
Author Geoffrey Kabaservice
Publisher Oxford University Press
Release Date 2012-01-02
Category Political Science
Total Pages 504
ISBN 9780199921133
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The chaotic events leading up to Mitt Romney's defeat in the 2012 election indicated how far the Republican Party had rocketed rightward away from the center of public opinion. Republicans in Congress threatened to shut down the government and force a U.S. debt default. Tea Party activists mounted primary challenges against Republican officeholders who appeared to exhibit too much pragmatism or independence. Moderation and compromise were dirty words in the Republican presidential debates. The GOP, it seemed, had suddenly become a party of ideological purity. Except this development is not new at all. In Rule and Ruin, Geoffrey Kabaservice reveals that the moderate Republicans' downfall began not with the rise of the Tea Party but about the time of President Dwight Eisenhower's farewell address. Even in the 1960s, when left-wing radicalism and right-wing backlash commanded headlines, Republican moderates and progressives formed a powerful movement, supporting pro-civil rights politicians like Nelson Rockefeller and William Scranton, battling big-government liberals and conservative extremists alike. But the Republican civil war ended with the overthrow of the moderate ideas, heroes, and causes that had comprised the core of the GOP since its formation. In hindsight, it is today's conservatives who are "Republicans in Name Only." Writing with passionate sympathy for a bygone tradition of moderation, Kabaservice recaptures a time when fiscal restraint was matched with social engagement; when a cohort of leading Republicans opposed the Vietnam war; when George Romney--father of Mitt Romney--conducted a nationwide tour of American poverty, from Appalachia to Watts, calling on society to "listen to the voices from the ghetto." Rule and Ruin is an epic, deeply researched history that reorients our understanding of our political past and present. Today, following the Republicans' loss of the popular vote in five of the last six presidential contests, moderates remain marginalized in the GOP and progressives are all but nonexistent. In this insightful and elegantly argued book, Kabaservice contends that their decline has left Republicans less capable of governing responsibly, with dire consequences for all Americans. He has added a new afterword that considers the fallout from the 2012 elections.

The Death Of Politics by Peter Wehner

Title The Death of Politics
Author Peter Wehner
Publisher HarperCollins
Release Date 2019-06-04
Category Political Science
Total Pages 272
ISBN 9780062820815
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The New York Times opinion writer, media commentator, outspoken Republican and Christian critic of the Trump presidency offers a spirited defense of politics and its virtuous and critical role in maintaining our democracy and what we must do to save it before it is too late. “Any nation that elects Donald Trump to be its president has a remarkably low view of politics.” Frustrated and feeling betrayed, Americans have come to loathe politics with disastrous results, argues Peter Wehner. In this timely manifesto, the veteran of three Republican administrations and man of faith offers a reasoned and persuasive argument for restoring “politics” as a worthy calling to a cynical and disillusioned generation of Americans. Wehner has long been one of the leading conservative critics of Donald Trump and his effect on the Republican Party. In this impassioned book, he makes clear that unless we overcome the despair that has caused citizens to abandon hope in the primary means for improving our world—the political process—we will not only fall victim to despots but hasten the decline of what has truly made America great. Drawing on history and experience, he reminds us of the hard lessons we have learned about how we rule ourselves—why we have checks and balances, why no one is above the law, why we defend the rights of even those we disagree with. Wehner believes we can turn the country around, but only if we abandon our hatred and learn to appreciate and honor the unique and noble American tradition of doing “politics.” If we want the great American experiment to continue and to once again prosper, we must once more take up the responsibility each and every one of us as citizens share.

Title What Happened to the Republican Party
Author John Kenneth White
Publisher Routledge
Release Date 2015-08-14
Category Political Science
Total Pages 152
ISBN 9781317381747
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

As the 2016 election campaign attests, the Grand Old Party—once moderate and even magnanimous—has fallen into a prison of its own making when it comes to presidential politics. After the debacle of the George W. Bush presidency and the rout of the Romney candidacy, Republicans said they must broaden their base, become more inclusive, and return to the warmth of Reagan idealism. Instead, what we have is a bitter, backbiting, and race- and gender-baiting campaign with a candidate more exclusive than any before him. How did we get here and how do we get out? This book tracks the modern history of the Republican Party and shows its decline, even while shining a light on its high points and urging it back in a positive direction. Every reader interested in the US presidential election, the primary process, and the clash of politics and culture will find something enlightening in John White’s exposition. Above all, he puts the Age of Trump into perspective, looking back as well as forward in his analysis. Who is this book for? Students of American government, political parties, campaigns & elections Scholars in political science and political history General readers interested in the current presidential campaign and the health of American democracy Features 1. Current. Anticipates the current state of the Republican Party, at odds with itself as much as with the American public. Includes 2014 midterm election data with an eye toward the 2016 presidential contest. 2. A broad historical sweep. Covers a broad historical period from the 1950s (Eisenhower era) to the present, with a strong emphasis on the Reagan years which represent the GOP at its zenith. 3. Efficient use of polling and demographic data. Takes a broad swath of historical data (including polling data) and presents it in a condensed, readable format. At the same time, the reader is not inundated by polling and demographic data. 4. Bold. Any reader will come away from this book understanding that the GOP predicament is likely to last for some time to come. The problems Republicans face are both intellectual and political. They are not likely to be solved by any one candidate or election and will be compounded and confounded by the events of 2016.

Title What s the Matter with Kansas
Author Thomas Frank
Publisher Picador
Release Date 2007-04-01
Category Political Science
Total Pages 320
ISBN 1429900326
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

One of "our most insightful social observers"* cracks the great political mystery of our time: how conservatism, once a marker of class privilege, became the creed of millions of ordinary Americans With his acclaimed wit and acuity, Thomas Frank turns his eye on what he calls the "thirty-year backlash"—the populist revolt against a supposedly liberal establishment. The high point of that backlash is the Republican Party's success in building the most unnatural of alliances: between blue-collar Midwesterners and Wall Street business interests, workers and bosses, populists and right-wingers. In asking "what 's the matter with Kansas?"—how a place famous for its radicalism became one of the most conservative states in the union—Frank, a native Kansan and onetime Republican, seeks to answer some broader American riddles: Why do so many of us vote against our economic interests? Where's the outrage at corporate manipulators? And whatever happened to middle-American progressivism? The questions are urgent as well as provocative. Frank answers them by examining pop conservatism—the bestsellers, the radio talk shows, the vicious political combat—and showing how our long culture wars have left us with an electorate far more concerned with their leaders' "values" and down-home qualities than with their stands on hard questions of policy. A brilliant analysis—and funny to boot—What's the Matter with Kansas? presents a critical assessment of who we are, while telling a remarkable story of how a group of frat boys, lawyers, and CEOs came to convince a nation that they spoke on behalf of the People. *Los Angeles Times

Title The Republican Party and American Politics from Hoover to Reagan
Author Robert Mason
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Release Date 2011-11-21
Category History
Total Pages 86
ISBN 9781139499378
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

During a long period of the twentieth century, stretching from the Great Depression until the Reagan years, defeat generally characterized the electoral record of the Republican party. Although Republicans sometimes secured victory in presidential contests, a majority of Americans identified with the Democratic party, not the GOP. This book investigates how Republicans tackled the problem of their party's minority status and why their efforts to boost GOP fortunes usually ended in failure. At the heart of the Republicans' minority puzzle was the profound and persistent popularity of New Deal liberalism. This puzzle was stubbornly resistant to solution. Efforts to develop a Republican version of government activism met little success. Only the Democratic party's decline eventually created opportunities for Republican resurgence. This book is the first to offer a wide-ranging analysis of the topic, which is of central importance to any understanding of modern US political history.

Burning Down The House by Julian E. Zelizer

Title Burning Down the House
Author Julian E. Zelizer
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2020-07-07
Category History
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9780698402751
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A New York Times Notable Book! A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice The story of how Newt Gingrich and his allies tainted American politics, launching an enduring era of brutal partisan warfare When Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, President Obama observed that Trump “is not an outlier; he is a culmination, a logical conclusion of the rhetoric and tactics of the Republican Party.” In Burning Down the House, historian Julian Zelizer pinpoints the moment when our country was set on a path toward an era of bitterly partisan and ruthless politics, an era that was ignited by Newt Gingrich and his allies. In 1989, Gingrich brought down Democratic Speaker of the House Jim Wright and catapulted himself into the national spotlight. Perhaps more than any other politician, Gingrich introduced the rhetoric and tactics that have shaped Congress and the Republican Party for the last three decades. Elected to Congress in 1978, Gingrich quickly became one of the most powerful figures in America not through innovative ideas or charisma, but through a calculated campaign of attacks against political opponents, casting himself as a savior in a fight of good versus evil. Taking office in the post-Watergate era, he weaponized the good government reforms newly introduced to fight corruption, wielding the rules in ways that shocked the legislators who had created them. His crusade against Democrats culminated in the plot to destroy the political career of Speaker Wright. While some of Gingrich’s fellow Republicans were disturbed by the viciousness of his attacks, party leaders enjoyed his successes so much that they did little collectively to stand in his way. Democrats, for their part, were alarmed, but did not want to sink to his level and took no effective actions to stop him. It didn’t seem to matter that Gingrich’s moral conservatism was hypocritical or that his methods were brazen, his accusations of corruption permanently tarnished his opponents. This brand of warfare worked, not as a strategy for governance but as a path to power, and what Gingrich planted, his fellow Republicans reaped. He led them to their first majority in Congress in decades, and his legacy extends far beyond his tenure in office. From the Contract with America to the rise of the Tea Party and the Trump presidential campaign, his fingerprints can be seen throughout some of the most divisive episodes in contemporary American politics. Burning Down the House presents the alarming narrative of how Gingrich and his allies created a new normal in Washington.