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Grand Old Party: A History of the Republicansby Lewis L. Gould
Synopses & Reviews
From Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War through the disputed election of George W. Bush and beyond, the Republican Party has been at the dramatic center of American politics for 150 years. In this exciting new book, the Þrst comprehensive history of the Republicans in 40 years, Lewis L. Gould traces the evolution of the Grand Old Party from its emergence as an antislavery coalition in the 1850s to its current role as the champion of political and social conservatism. Gould brings to life the major Þgures of Republican history--Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Rea-gan, and George W. Bush--and uncovers a wealth of fascinating anecdotes about Republicans, from “the Plumed Knight,” James G. Blaine, in the 1880s, to Barry Goldwater in the 1960s, to Newt Gingrich in the 1990s. Gould also uncovers the historical forces and issues that have made the Republicans what they are: the crusade against slavery, the rise of big business, the Cold War, and opposition to the power of the federal government.
Written with balance and keen insight, Grand Old Party is required reading for anyone interested in American politics. Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike will Þnd their understanding of national politics deepened and enriched. Based on Goulds research in the papers of leading Republi-cans and his wide reading in the partys history, Grand Old Party is a book that will outlast the noisy tumult of todays partisan debates and endure as a deÞnitive treatment of how the Republicans have shaped the way Americans live together in a democracy. For the next presidential election and for other electoral contests to come, this book (a perfect companion to Party of the People by Jules Witcover, a history of the Democratic Party published simultaneously by Random House) will be an invaluable guide to the unfolding saga of American politics.
"Quite lluminating, and at times even entertaining (as when Gould offers his take on the four presidents most representative of the GOP's core). Just the thing for the 2004 election." Kirkus Reviews
"[N]imbly portrays the almost 180-degree shifts in GOP policy through the decades....Although the book gives serious weight to issues such as race...greater emphasis is placed on personalities..." Publishers Weekly
"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." Mary Carroll, Booklist
"[F]airly evenhanded....Although engaging in the opening and closing chapters, Gould falters in the middle, making for an uneven read." Library Journal
"In this richly informed and timely book, Lewis Gould provides an illuminating, fluent, and persuasive history of the Republican Party. His saga addresses both issues and leaders in the frequently contentious politics of the party of Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan, their heirs, their enemies, and their legacy. This is required reading for all political junkies, Republicans and Democrats alike." John Morton Blum, Sterling Professor Emeritus, Yale University
"Is the party of George W. Bush the party of Abraham Lincoln or of William McKinley? Will the election of 2000 prove to have been like the election of 1896 or the election of 1928? Are Republicans conservatives by political pedigree or radicals? Lewis Gould reports learnedly, insightfully, entertainingly; you decide." H. W. Brands, author of The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin
"How a party that once believed in big government became the party that believes in small government is the story well told in this fascinating book by one of America's preeminent political historians. Lewis Gould unravels the mystery like a real-life Sherlock Holmes." Rick Shenkman, editor of the History News Network
"Lewis L. Gould is one of our ablest political historians. His Grand Old Party offers a lively yet penetrating history of the Republican Party from its founding in the 1850s through the contested election of 2000. With a suitable mix of fast-paced narrative and convincing analysis, Gould places the party?s policies and outlook within a broad political, social, and economic context." Charles W. Calhoun, professor of history, East Carolina University, and editor of The Gilded Age: Essays on the Origins of Modern America
About the Author
Lewis L. Gould is the Eugene C. Barker Centennial Professor Emeritus in American History at the University of Texas at Austin. A winner of awards for outstanding teaching and writing, he is the author of numerous works of political history. He lives with his wife in Austin, Texas.
Table of Contents
The party of Lincoln, 1854-1865 — Republicans and Reconstruction, 1865-1877 — Republicans in the gilded age, 1877-1893 — McKinley to Roosevelt, 1893-1904 — The Taft-Roosevelt split, 1905-1912 — Republicans during the Wilson years, 1913-1921 — The age of Republican dominance, 1921-1933 — The Republicans in the age of the New Deal, 1933-1945 — From "had enough?" to modern Republicanism, 1945-1961 — From Goldwater to Watergate, 1961-1974 — Republicans in the Reagan era, 1974-1988 — Bush to Gingrich to Bush, 1988-2000 — Conclusion: the historical legacy of the Republican Party.
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