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"Elephant's Edge: The Republicans as a Ruling Party is a very good exploration of the current Republican hegemony in American politics, from the White House to Congress to the federal courts to state houses across the country….This book is especially good in the sense that Taylor seamlessly brings together academic scholarship and journalistic accounts (and opinions) to draw a crisply constructed diagram of how the Republicans have succeeded so well in a relatively short period of time….Whatever one's political stripe, s/he will find this book to be highly informative and engaging, most especially those of us who are very keen to see whether the electoral landscape changes in both 2006 and 2008 elections."
Political Science Quarterly
"The operative word in this book's title is edge because Taylor says that the Republicans have the political advantage but do not have the appeal to become the long-term majority party. In this excellent investigation into the state of the Republican Party, he credits Newt Gingrich for the deft organizational skills that led to the Republican resurgence with the takeover of the House after decades of Democratic control. The Republicans maintain their edge, in no small part, through pork-barrel politics and redistricting, tactics that Republicans complained about when the Democrats did the same. The author shows that the edge has been bolstered by Bush's post-9/11 foreign policy (despite failings of the Iraq war), the increasing conservative judicial rulings of all courts, and small-government, low-tax policies. Despite this, Taylor concludes that the Republican Party will not achieve the dominance for which it aims because of the flexibility of the Democratic Party to adapt to its constituents' needs, the deteriorating conditions in Iraq, and growing fissures in an overconfident Republican Party. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries."
Library Journal, Starred Review
"This book is the latest entry in a growing field devoted to deciphering the success of the Republican Party in national politics….[a] sturdy survey of the far-ranging efforts of the Republican Party, whether in rigging the tax code or exploiting the Terri Schiavo case, to cement its majority status."
The New York Times
"This is one of those rare books that will please both political scientists and partisan activists. Taylor has written a book that has united a diverse group of scholars in praise of his conclusions. This group includes some of the most important names in the scholarship of political parties, such as Norman Ornstein, who wrote the introduction. Larry Sabato, Thomas E. Mann, and John J. Pitney, Jr. have all weighed in to agree with the premise. Taylor's incisive analysis of contemporary American politics argues that although the contemporary Republican Party is not the majority party, inherent Constitutional, political, and organizational advantages have made it the governing party. Taylor points to the Senate's rural bias, the Republican's superior organization, the creation of conservative think tanks, the emergence of overtly conservative media outlets, and the rightward drift of public opinion as reasons for the Republican edge. This edge, in Taylor's view, will offer the Democrats only transitory opportunities to control either the presidency or Congress. The book incorporates a wide range of scholarly articles into its well-written analysis of contemporary politics. Highly recommended. General readers, lower-division undergraduates and above."
|1||American party politics today||1|
|2||Uneven playing field : the Constitutional and geographical origins of the Republican advantage||17|
|3||Elephants in the White House : after forty years in the wilderness, playing the Democrats at their own game||39|
|4||Governing stealthily : Republicans in the states and the courts||71|
|5||Trapping the donkey : foreign policy as Republican advantage||103|
|6||Trapping the donkey again : domestic policy as Republican advantage||127|
|7||The well-oiled machine : the Republican Party organization, allied interests, and political money||159|
|8||Winning hearts and minds : the media and the Republican ideas industry||191|
|9||Social, economic, and attitudinal change as Republican advantage : public opinion and the partisan politics of wealth, work, faith, and race||213|
|10||The Republicans as a ruling (not majority) party||237|