The Republicans: A History of the Grand Old Party

The Republicans: A History of the Grand Old Party

by Lewis L. Gould
     
 

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Lewis L. Gould's 2003 history of the Republican Party was a fast-paced account of Republican fortunes. The Republicans won praise for its even-handed, incisive analysis of Republican history, drawing on Gould's deep knowledge of the evolution of national political history and acute feel for the interplay of personalities and ideology. In this revised and updated

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Overview

Lewis L. Gould's 2003 history of the Republican Party was a fast-paced account of Republican fortunes. The Republicans won praise for its even-handed, incisive analysis of Republican history, drawing on Gould's deep knowledge of the evolution of national political history and acute feel for the interplay of personalities and ideology. In this revised and updated edition, Gould extends this history, adding a new chapter on the George W. Bush presidency, the election of 2008, and the response of the Grand Old Party to Barack Obama. His narrative covers such contemporary figures as Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and John McCain, as well as forgotten Republican leaders including James G. Blaine, Mark Hanna, Wendell Willkie, and Robert A. Taft.

Contending that the historic Republican skepticism about the legitimacy of the Democratic Party has shaped American politics since the Civil War, Gould argues that the persistent flaw in the relations between the two parties has led the nation to the current crisis of stalemate and partisan bitterness. No other account of Republican history is as up-to-date, crammed with fascinating information, and ready to serve as an informed guide to today's partisan warfare. Lay readers and political junkies alike seeking the best book on Republican history will find what they are looking for in Gould's comprehensive volume.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With acute insight, Lewis Gould traces the evolution of the GOP from the party of nationalism and activism in its early years to the party of limited government and states' rights in the post-World War II era. He brilliantly demonstrates that the central constant running throughout that long history is the Republicans' tendency to view themselves as the legitimate defenders of American values while demonizing their Democratic opponents as threats to the republic itself. This superb book goes a long way toward explaining the current deranged condition of American politics." —Charles W. Calhoun, author of From Bloody Shirt to Full Dinner Pail

"Lewis Gould's magisterial work takes the reader on an epic journey from the Republican Party's creation in the white-hot crucible of national politics in the 1850s to the bitter partisan and ideological rivalries of the present day. This is not only the best and most comprehensive study of the Grand Old Party, it is also a thoughtful, insightful, and often surprising meditation on America and the unhealed wounds of history." —Geoffrey Kabaservice, author of Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, From Eisenhower to the Tea Party

"Think that the idea Washington is broken or that Republicans are divided is new? Read this book! It is at once judicious, graceful, shrewd, and sprightly." —Laura Kalman, University of California, Santa Barbara

Review of original edition: "Gould nimbly portrays the almost 180-degree shifts in GOP policy through the decades, making it possible to understand how the Republican platform of 2000 could so closely mirror the Democrats' platform of a century ago. Although the book gives serious weight to issues such as race, especially in shaping the party's antebellum origins, greater emphasis is placed on personalities, especially those of the presidents..... It's very instructive to see how recent figures such as Newt Gingrich stand in relation to their predecessors-and how the current administration both shares and rejects the party's historical principles." —Publishers Weekly

Review of original edition: "Gould, an emeritus University of Texas at Austin professor, has researched U.S. political parties throughout his career. He establishes the 1850s context in which the new party arose, examines Lincoln's wartime policies (including an activist federal government) that were pursued by the Republican administrations that dominated the rest of the century, and then analyzes the Progressive-era debate over regulating industrial society in which the GOP shifted to the small-government, low-tax, laissez faire approach it has now championed for nearly a century. Gould's political history blends historical disciplines, exploring, for example, the interaction of demographics and ideology as the party's vision and tactics have changed over the years." —Booklist

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199936625
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
09/26/2014
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
463,921
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Lewis L. Gould is Eugene C. Barker Centennial Professor Emeritus in American History at the University of Texas at Austin and currently a Visiting Distinguished Professor at Monmouth College. He is the author of many political history books, including Theodore Roosevelt and The Modern American Presidency.

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